BY ALLISON TAKEDA
Kirstie Alley didn’t take issue with Leah Remini leaving Scientology. She did, however, take issue with Leah Remini leaving Scientology and then telling the world she’d been shunned by friends in the church because of it. Asked about the King of Queens star’s anti-Scientology remarks in an interview with Howard Stern on Wednesday, Dec. 4, Alley called Remini a “bigot” and slammed the actress’ claims about the church as “bulls–t.”
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"The thing about me is, I don't care what religion you are. If someone is attacking your religion, I will have your back, and I will defend you. I think that is the most repulsive thing a person can do, attack another person's faith," the Kirstie star, 62, told Stern. "Because a faith is what you look to to have hope, and is what you look to to help other people. I just think it's really wrong."
The former “Cheers” star — a member of the Church of Scientology since the 1970s — went on to address Remini’s claim that she “lost friends” when she left the organization. (The “Dancing With the Stars” competitor told Ellen DeGeneres in September that friends she’d had “for dozens of years” could “no longer talk” to her or her family once they’d quit. She also alleged on “DWTS” this season that the church was “looking for [her] to fail.”)
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“First of all, I just want to everyone to know I have hundreds of friends and people that I know that have come into Scientology and left Scientology,” Alley told Stern. (Famous Scientologists include Tom Cruise and John Travolta.) “It is not true that you cannot [leave]. You’re not shunned, you’re not chased. All that stuff’s bulls–t.”
The real problem, Alley continued, is that Remini portrayed the church in a negative light when she left. "When you are generalizing, and when your goal is to malign and to say things about an entire group - there are tens of millions of Scientologists in the world - when you decide to blanket statement that 'Scientology is evil,' you are my enemy," she explained.
Not that the two were ever that close to begin with. "The truth is, I don't think I've seen Leah for seven or eight years, not for any reason other than I'm acting, and she's acting," Alley said. "I didn't care if she was in or out."
That said, Remini is most certainly "out" of Alley's life - or at least her Twitter feed. "I have blocked her on Twitter," the Emmy-winning actress admitted to Stern. "Because she's a bigot. If someone was really out there [saying negative things about your religion], would they be your friend? They wouldn't be mine. It's not selective, I just won't have people in my life that are that."
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