A Brooklyn teen when she followed her mother into Scientology, Leah Remini spent 35 years as a high-profile member of the church before leaving in 2013. Two years later, she published a memoir, Troublemaker, that bared the experiences that led her to question her faith and got her labeled a “suppressive person.” She came to Deadline’s The Contenders Emmys event recently at the DGA theater to tell a packed house TV Academy and guild voters why she decided to host the A&E documentary series Leah Remini: Scientology And The Aftermath.
Accompanied by ex-Scientology international spokesman Mike Rinder (who spent the entire nine-episode first season as her on-air wing man), Remini here discussed why she collected shocking testimony from ex-members who lost their families because of restrictive Scientology standard operating procedures that ostracize members who question authority. Every episode of this compulsively watchable drama included Remini reading criticisms leveled at her by the church, and she talks about what it feels like to be on the outside of an organization that was a cornerstone for the majority of her life.
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