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Leah Remini Makes Dig At Scientology After Kirstie Alley’s Death

Leah Remini has paid tribute to Cheers actress Kirstie Alley, who passed away aged 71.
Credit: Alamy

Leah Remini has made a dig at Scientology following Kirstie Alley’s tragic death

Remini, 52, is an American actress who is known for her role as Carrie Hefferman in the CBS sitcom The King of Queens.

She publicly left Scientology in 2013 and over the years, she has clashed with Cheers star Alley due to her continued commitment to the movement.

The religion believes that humans are immortal, with a person’s experiences transcending a single lifetime, while also being full of infinite possibilities.

Despite their differences, the 52-year-old paid tribute to the Look Who’s Talking star, who died earlier this week from cancer which was ‘only recently discovered’.

Find out more about Kirstie Alley in the clip below…

Remini referenced Alley’s two children, William True Stevenson, 30, and Lillie Stevenson, 28, when discussing the star’s passing to Rolling Stone.

She reportedly said: “The news of Kirstie Alley’s passing is very sad.

“Although Scientologists don’t believe in prayers, my prayers do go out to her two children, who are now without their mom.”

She is believed to have added: “I hope they can, one day, free themselves of this dangerous and toxic organisation.”

There has long been speculation that Scientology discourages followers from seeking medical care.

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However, this has previously been refuted by Top Gun actor and Scientologist Tom Cruise.

He spoke out in 2009, when the son of Scientologists John Travolta and Kelly Preston, Jett, 16, passed away.

The circumstances of the 16-year-old’s death prompted the Church of Scientology to respond to critics who claimed it does not promote medical treatment.

“That’s just not true. It’s actually false,” Cruise said (via ABC News).

While the Church of Scientology said: “Scientologists seek conventional medical treatment for medical conditions.

“Scientologists use prescription drugs when physically ill and also rely on the advice and treatment of medical doctors.

“The Church does not involve itself in the diagnosis or classification of any medical condition.”

Leah Remini
Leah Remini left Scientology after 30 years. Credit: Alamy

When Remini left Scientology after 30 years she didn’t leave it quietly.

She ended up releasing a docuseries titled Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.

Following her abrupt exit from the religion, Remini also told People magazine: “I believe that people should be able to question things.

“I believe that people should value family, and value friendships, and hold those things sacrosanct. That for me, that’s what I’m about.”

Since leaving the movement, Remini claims she’s been shunned by its members, which Alley refuted during an appearance on Howard Stern’s show in 2013.

The Emmy-winning star told the presenter (via Daily Mail): “I have hundreds of friends who have come into Scientology and left Scientology.

“You are not shunned, you’re not chased. All that stuff’s bulls***.”

She continued: “When you’re generalising and when your goal is to malign and to say things about an entire group… when you decide to make a blanket statement that Scientology is evil, you are my enemy.”

Alley then claimed she blocked Remini on Twitter ‘because she’s a bigot’.

Kirstie Alley
Leah Remini has made a dig at Scientology as she offers her ‘prayers’ to Kirstie Alley’s children. Credit: Alamy

Two years later, Remini also made an appearance on the show and said she ‘understood’ Alley’s comments.

The Kevin Can Wait star said (via The Sun US): “I know the policy. I understand that hiding behind, you know, religious bigotry is the route to go.

“I know why she thinks she’s angry with me, and I know, again, hiding behind that veil is something that is per policy.

“They see me as an enemy.”

When Remini was asked what she’d do if she saw Alley, she responded: “If I did [see Alley], I wouldn’t say anything because I know she couldn’t talk to me.

“I’m shunned. She couldn’t talk to me.”

The pair’s alleged feud was also addressed by former Scientologist Tony Ortega, who claimed to Us Weekly: “Kirstie tries to discredit Leah at every opportunity.

“Leah is a very big problem for the church and for Kirstie. She just isn’t going away. Kirstie has been given permission to attack [Leah’s claims].”

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Alley’s family confirmed the actress’ passing on December 5.

They released a statement that read: “To all our friends, far and wide around the world… We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a battle with cancer, only recently discovered.

“She was surrounded by her closest family and fought with great strength, leaving us with a certainty of her never-ending joy of living and whatever adventures lie ahead.

“As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother.”

After hearing the heartbreaking news, many celebrities took to social media and paid tribute, including John Travolta.

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Written by Aimee Walker

Aimee is a senior content editor at IGV who specialises in finding the best original stories, trending topics and entertainment news. She graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Media and Communications.