At some point in their careers, every major celeb writes a memoir. In most cases, it's in the form of a book that looks back on their career, sometimes even serving to put them back on everyone's radars again. When it really comes down to it though, it's an opportunity to make a lot of money. So when actress Leah Remini, best known for "The King of Queens" on TV and comedies like "Old School" published her memoir, it's business as usual, right? Far from it. Instead, it has managed to stir the pot and reveal some juicy tidbits about her life in Hollywood and as a former member of the Church of Scientology.
While many argue that Remini is merely cashing in on this memoir, some counter she's hurting her career.
By coming out against the Church of Scientology, she's attacking an organization that probably helped her along the way in the movie industry. The biography, titled Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, spills plenty of juicy details. Published in November of 2015 as per Amazon, the book ushered Remini's campaign against Scientology.
She's been outspoken against the Church, taking a road few other high-profile celebrities have been down before. We found all the shocking revelations from Leah Remini's book and compiled them here for a startling read.
20 Remini Went Overboard
In Leah Remini's new book, she doesn't hold back in spilling details from different stages in her life. One of the crazy revelations comes from a time back when she was a teenager. As Radar Online reports, Remini experienced an unusual and life-threatening form of punishment. The story goes that Remini and other Sea Organization members cleaned rooms at the Sandcastle, a hotel in Florida that is run by the Church. Sea Organization is an organization within the Church made up of its “most dedicated Scientologists," according to the official Scientology website.
After Remini finished cleaning the rooms, she decided to take some time for herself by hanging out by the pool at the hotel. But a Scientology member noticed her and made her come with him aboard a boat.
Apparently, the member took her out to the water and then just threw her overboard as punishment,
according to Radar Online.
Remini swam for dear life. Eventually, he let her back on the boat, though she was, "soaking wet and humiliated." Radar Online notes that the Church responded to Remini's claims saying, "It comes as no surprise that someone as self-absorbed as Leah Remini with an insatiable craving for attention would exploit her former religion...She is rewriting history." The whole issue has gone overboard now.
19 Cinderella Wasn’t Good Enough For Tom Cruise
Outside of Leah Remini's book, there has already been a lot said about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. What more is there to hear that the public doesn't already know about? The answer is a lot, surprisingly. As Remini's book reveals, there are plenty of golden nuggets to pan from reading it.
As the site, Nicki Swift reports, as taken from Remini's tell-all, in the years after Cruise's divorce to Nicole Kidman, he went looking for a new girlfriend. That's where the Church of Scientology came in to lend a hand. Apparently, Remini's friend, Nazanin Boniadi, who was also a member of Scientology had been taken under the Church's wing.
They hoped to prepare her as Cruise's wife. That meant giving her new clothes and an attitude adjustment to boot.
But in the end, the relationship didn't work out. Cruise dropped her and moved on. But as a result, Boniadi picked up the pieces and discussed the experience with others. According to Remini, the Church punished her for spilling the details. As Nicki Swift reports, Boniadi had to clean bathrooms for four months straight, adding she only had a toothbrush for scrubbing the toilets. Sounds frighteningly like a real-life Cinderella story to us.
18 Economy Babysitting
It doesn't take Leah Remini long in her book to reveal the sordid details about how the Church treated her younger sister (and other kids) growing up. Early on in the book, Remini reveals the way Sea Org, a Scientology organization, watches over its members' children. According to Remini, as detailed by E! Online, Sea Org converted a motel room into a nursery.
Remini recalls the room filled with "cribs of crying, neglected babies, flies and the smell of dirty diapers."
She goes on to mention that a fan at the window was the only air circulation. Now we're no parenting expert, but those don't sound like ideal conditions for babies.
Providing them independence, Remini notes that Sea Org members could drop off their babies early in the morning and pick them up again late at night. This is where she found her sister, Shannon when she visited the first time.
"The person in charge was a kid like me, just some random teenage Sea Org member on the post who was hardly qualified to be taking care of children," Remini notes in her book, as provided by E! Online. Apparently, her baby sister was crying and had wet herself when Remini found her.
17 The Kids Are Alright
According to Leah Remini, kids get it tough growing up in the Church of Scientology. The kids probably don't mind it though, since they're pretty much left to take care of themselves if her book is any indication. "In Scientology, minors are considered spiritual beings and not children in need of protection and guidance," writes Remini in an excerpt from her book provided by Glamour. She goes on to explain,
"You are the only one responsible for the condition for your life, regardless of your age."
Though Scientology holds children in high esteem, Remini faults members' hands-off approach when it comes to parenting. According to Remini, as Glamour reports, "The Sea Org members believed that their kids could make up their own minds. As a result, these kids could no longer live with their parents."
If what Remini says is true, it sounds like a radical way to bring kids up into the world. One might argue it gives children too much freedom. Remini later adds, "Even if that meant they ended up practically squatting, or sleeping in a stranger's apartment, their parents felt that it was the child's decision to make." At least that line of thinking is consistent with itself.
16 Leah Taught Tom And Katie How To Salsa
If an account from Leah Remini is any indication, some people just lack a sense of humor. It all happened at Tom Cruise's place when he invited her and her husband, Angelo Pagán, over to teach him Salsa dancing. As E! Online reports, Pagán was once part of a salsa band. When they arrived at Cruise's place, they met Katie Holmes along with two representatives there on behalf of the Church of Scientology. But in the midst of the salsa lesson, there was a point where Tom and Kate were all over each other. According to Remini as per E! Online, "He [Tom Cruise] was like, forcibly kissing Kate." But it's what Remini did next that shocked her.
In an effort to ease the awkwardness of Tom and Katie's PDA, Remini made a joke. "I said, 'Hey, get a frickin' room,' and I was written up for that," shares the actress.
Apparently, her joke didn't stick the landing. In an interview with 20/20 as reported by E! Online, Scientology members write up "knowledge reports" about others who deviate from the Church's guidelines.
Even Remini admits to writing up her husband before. Sounds like the Scientologists there didn't appreciate Remini's joke about how Cruise and Holmes.
15 Leah Owed Money For Stolen Food
Leah Remini fesses up to some not-so-flattering decisions she made as a member of Scientology. She admits, as a member of Sea Org, she stole food. To her credit, she fessed up to it long before writing Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology. In fact, she confessed directly to the Church about her "transgression."
As provided by Glamour, Remini writes in her book, "I gave this up as a transgression and my auditor asked how much I thought I owed to make up the damage for the food I stole 20 years earlier." According to Remini, the Church wasn't going to let her that easily off the hook. Apparently, she admitted to stealing "custard and hamburgers for three months" and asked her auditor how much she thought it was worth in the '80s.
His answer astounded her. "'Well, let's just round it up to $40,000. Okay?'" writes Remini as the response she got.
It's no surprise this shocked Remini (and us). But what's even more incredible is the fact that she paid the amount in the end. "I was dumbfounded, but I was also trying to get onto my OT levels," writes Remini. "So I paid the church $40,000 for this transgression." That's a steep price for custard and hamburgers.
14 The Pyramid Scheme
Similar to Leah Remini's experience in an earlier entry where she paid $40,000 for stealing food, it's no surprise the Church wants money. Lots of money, if Remini's book is true. Excerpts from Remini's book provided by Glamour reveal the kind of numbers the Church allegedly looks for.
Remini writes, "Having grown up a Scientologist, I knew firsthand the financial sacrifice that the church demands of its ordinary practitioners." Being a member since a young age, it makes sense Remini would have a deep knowledge of the Church. Remini mentions her family working to make their way up “The Bridge," which is short for "The Bridge to Total Freedom" according to Scientology's official website.
According to Remini, her family was deep in debt. "They were $250,000 in debt at this point," Remini writes. "The fact that people making average salaries of $50,000 a year somehow find a way to pay the $500,000 necessary to get on their OT levels—frankly, it's a superhuman task." She goes on to mention how incredible it is people commit to it.
Regrettably, she admits that it eventually leads to "financial destruction for a lot of people and families." Regardless of what one thinks of Remini, she's certainly brave for writing this book.
13 Tom Cruise Is A Cookie Monster
Leah Remini reminds us all throughout her book that Tom Cruise, a member of Scientology, is still the master of raising eyebrows. Remini shares a story about Cruise in her book that's stranger than anything. Understandably, Remini notes that people were conscious of their behavior around Tom. From Remini's accounts, it sounds like he has a little bit of a temper.
One instance Remini points out in her book lends to this theory. "Once when Angelo and I were over, Tom decided he wanted to make cookies," writes Remini in an excerpt from her book as per Glamour. "He walked into the kitchen, where a batch of prepackaged cookie dough had been prepared and was sitting on the counter, a perfect loaf ready for cutting and baking. Tom was looking for flour and other ingredients and must not have seen the cookie dough, and instantly got angry." Don't get in the way of Tom and his cookies.
She goes on further to detail a story she once heard from a friend involving Tom and his supposed anger. Apparently, an assistant gave him tea in a chipped cup. According to Remini, Tom responded with, "'Do you know who gets served with a mug that's chipped? [...] DBs.'" Apparently, DB stands for "degraded being."
12 Suri In A Flurry
Suri Cruise is the daughter of both Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. In her book, Leah Remini sheds light on a disturbing story that involves Suri at a dinner leading up to her parent's wedding. In an excerpt from Remini's memoir, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, the actress tells all about Suri's breakdown.
"After about five minutes I headed to the bathroom to offer some help," writes Remini as provided by E! Online. "When I opened the door, I found three women, including Tom's sister and his assistant, standing over the baby, who was lying on the tile floor. I didn't know if they were changing her diaper or what, but the three women were looking at her like they thought she was L. Ron Hubbard incarnate."
Apparently, Remini recalls them all treating Suri like a full-fledged adult. Instead of making efforts to cheer Suri up, Remini says they kept repeating her name over and over.
Sounds like quite the disaster unfolding in the bathroom. As much as that situation must've been awkward for Remini, the victim in all this is Suri. We just feel bad for this moment, with all these screaming adults around. With word out of Movie News Guide that Suri will be the flower girl at her mom's upcoming wedding to Jamie Foxx, it looks like she moved on from this traumatic event.
11 The Church Of Scientology Doesn’t Like Nicole Kidman
Leah Remini is stirring up trouble with all the details she's letting slip in her new tell-all. Appropriately titled Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, Remini doesn't hesitate to expose some of the odd corners of Scientology. According to Remini in book excerpts through Glamour, the Church isn't very fond of Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes anymore. As everyone knows, both of these actresses are both ex-wives of Scientology golden boy Tom Cruise. But if Remini's story is true, it wasn't enough to let both these women go their separate ways following the separations.
"On the way to the airport from the wedding, Angelo and I found ourselves in the same van as Bella and Connor Cruise," writes Remini, mentioning Tom and Nicole's kids.
She mentions while driving to the airport, it's the first time she's ever been with them alone.
"I had always wondered why they didn't have a relationship with their mom [Nicole Kidman]," admits Remini.
With the perfect opportunity, Remini goes out on a limb and asks the kids if they ever see their mom. According to Remini, Bella Cruise called her mom an "SP." What does that stand for? Apparently, as Glamour reveals, it means a "Suppressive Person."
10 No Way To Hide His Lying Eyes
If there is one thing Leah Remini deserves credit for in her memoir, it's that nothing remains secret. She lays it all out there. She may not do it in the most flattering manner. Just like she is in real life, she's brazen in the book also.
Remini even manages to throw her husband, Angelo Pagán, under the bus. "My husband is a serial cheater," admits Remini, as reported by Life & Style. She also calls her mom a not-so-nice name. Although she doesn't really delve into the details, it's fair to say she's willing to open up her own personal challenges.
If there is any consolation, Pagán backed her up on Twitter as per Life & Style writing, "So proud of @leahremini! Brave, bold and beautiful. I got your back baby!!" It seems that in spite any problems they're going through, they make it work out at the end of the day.
Plus, Remini isn't afraid to criticize herself. Provided by Life & Style, Remini calls herself "selfish and self-centered." Even more, she admits to having "physically threatened people." That's not really a surprise, considering the time she threatened to throw iced tea at Sharon Osbourne (see the next entry for all the details!).
9 Leah Remini VS. Sharon Osbourne
The Church of Scientology isn't the only thing Leah Remini has a beef with. She also shares a story about having dinner with Sharon Osbourne and her other co-hosts on The Talk. Apparently, while at dinner with her co-hosts of The Talk, Remini called out Osbourne on her behavior in the workplace.
This didn't make Osbourne very happy and led to a war of words. According to Remini in an excerpt from her book provided by E! Online, Osbourne responded, "'The only reason you care is because you're a loser, and you have nothing else going on in your life.'" Sounds like some harsh words!
But that was just the start of it. Remini then doubled down on her comments telling Osbourne, "'It would be in your best interest to just back it down.'" That's when Osbourne shot back with an "'Or what?'" Remini, in response, repeated Osbourne's question, as if to say the same.
That's when Osbourne went even further saying, "'Or you're going to get your low-life Mafia family after me?'" But Osbourne didn't get the last one in. According to Remini, she said, "'No I'm going to take this iced tea that I'm holding in my hand and I'm going to crack it over your [...] head.'" Sounds like that settled the matter.
8 A Silent Childbirth Leaves One At A Loss For Words
In her biography Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, Leah Remini doesn't hold back. She really lets it all out as she lambasts the Church of Scientology and even sheds insight into her Hollywood career. One of those topics within the Church concerns childbirth and the unique rules they stand by.
According to Glamour, in direct excerpts from Remini's book, the actress writes, "Scientologists espouse the concept of 'silent birth,' which LRH described in Dianetics as providing an environment where no one—not even the doctors or nurses in the room—talks during the delivery." As a side note, Remini here is referring to L. Ron Hubbard when she notes his initials LRH.
If true, this is a pretty radical guideline. It makes us wonder what Katie Holmes had to go through when she had Suri with Tom Cruise, a member of the Church.
Remini goes on to explain the reason behind this saying, "It's because in times of pain, loss, or unconsciousness, 'words, in particular, spoken during these moments, can have an adverse effect on one later in life.'" Although Remini explains that women can make sounds (but not say words), it sounds pretty intense. We can't imagine how hard it must be not to talk during childbirth for a Scientology member.
7 Tom Cruise Wants To Play A Game
Up until Leah Remini's book came out, we could only dream of what a star-studded party is like at Tom Cruise's place. But Remini's book ruined our dreams not that we know the reality. Spoiler alert: it's not very cool. In excerpts from Remini's book, Us Magazine details the time Remini went over to Cruise's house for a party with Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. Us reports that although Will and Jada aren't Scientology members themselves, they're good friends of Tom's.
Apparently, being a bunch of adults didn't stop Cruise from wanting to play hide-and-seek. Sounds a little odd.
As reported by Us, Remini told Cruise she couldn't participate. "'I can't play—I'm wearing Jimmy Choos,'" she told Cruise, probably grateful for an excuse. But Cruise didn't think that excluded her saying, "So you're It, then." That's when Remini said Cruise went to hide across the wide expanse of his property.
Wisely, Remini substituted her husband Angelo in her place. "'I'm not trying to play a [...] game of hide-and-seek in five-inch stilettos,'" quotes Us from Remini's book. We have to admit, a star-studded party at Tom Cruise's is a lot different than we imagined. Or maybe we're just really bad at hide-and-seek.
6 Scientology Tried To Recruit Jennifer Lopez
Friends don't use friends. It's a cardinal rule. Otherwise, if broken, it casts the entire relationship in doubt. This allegedly happened to Leah Remini, as detailed in her memoir. When Tom and Katie decided to tie the knot, they invited Leah and her husband, Angelo.
There was a caveat though. Tom also wanted Remini to bring her friends, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, as Vulture reports. Lopez and Anthony, who were together at the time, are kind of a big deal. We can't really blame Cruise for wanting them to come. But it also looks back in comparison to Remini's relationship with Cruise.
While on the surface it doesn't seem like a big deal, it looks rude on Cruise's part in retrospect. In an interview with 20/20, Remini explores the reasons for Lopez' invitation. "I can only assume because they wanted to make Jennifer a Scientologist," said Remini as per People.
According to Remini, Scientology members even tried to put a wedge between her and Lopez. "They were trying to extract me," Remini admits. It sounds like the wedding wasn't so fun after all, at least for Remini. All we know is friends don't use friends. While it's unclear that's what was going on here, we doubt Lopez was invited for any other reason.
5 Katie Holmes Made Tom Cruise Wait At The Altar
Whether Tom Cruise and the Church of Scientology tried to recruit Jennifer Lopez into their cause or not remains unclear. What's crystal clear though is that Lopez picked up on something going down during the wedding ceremony. As The Hollywood Reporter details from Leah Remini's memoir, Lopez—along with everyone else—started to antsy.
Cruise was at the altar, but Katie wasn't showing up.
According to Remini by way of The Hollywood Reporter, Cruise waited for an uncomfortable 20 minutes in front of everyone. That's a really long time to keep a guy waiting. Lopez saw right through it saying, "Do you think Katie is coming?"
It sounds like Holmes got cold feet on the day of her big wedding to Cruise. Or else she took a really long time getting ready. It's not clear. But the fact that Lopez picked up on this, as Remini details in her book, shows how painful this moment must have been. We're pretty sure Lopez wasn't the only one thinking that at the time. It must have cast doubt on everyone in attendance whether Holmes would ever show up. Of course, she eventually showed up but not before making the entire room sweat (not to mention Cruise).
4 Tom Cruise’s Assistant Takes A Hit
Tom Cruise is one of the biggest celebrities in the world today. He still stars in some big blockbuster movies. Plus, he doesn't look that much older than he did ten years ago. But Leah Remini's book sure paints a negative picture of the Hollywood star. She never seems to run out of stories about Cruise, or his connections to the Church of Scientology.
One apparent story from Remini involves Cruise's assistant. According to Entertainment Weekly, taken from Remini's memoir, Cruise's assistant resigned one day.
"Someone decided that she had done something wrong, and she had to undergo a sec-check that she says cost her so much that she lost her house."
In Scientology, a "sec-check" is another term for interrogation, as per Entertainment Weekly. Remini continues, "Instead of viewing this...as cruel injustice, she felt a huge sense of accomplishment when she finished her sec-check. She took pride in the fact that she left Tom in good standing with the church."
That really throws us for a loop. The fact that this assistant—who lost her house—would be happy because it sort of benefits Tom Cruise. While we don't know if Remini's story is true, we don't find it too hard to believe either.
3 Scientology Is All About That Money
As detailed in an early entry, Leah Remini claims that Shelly Miscavige, the wife of Scientology's top leader, has been missing for some time. As Entertainment Weekly notes, Shelly went missing over ten years ago. This has led Remini (and others) to speculate about Shelly's whereabouts.
In the book, Remini spends time discussing this matter about Shelly. During this portion, as Entertainment Weekly reports, Remini made a huge accusation about the Church of Scientology. According to Remini, the Church "is known not only to pay big money to off-duty LAPD officers who work as security at the Celebrity Centre," but are involved in charity as well. Remini mentions that the donations are in their names. In turn, Remini says, "So you never quite know who is in tight with the church."
The way Remini describes the Church of Scientology, it almost sounds like the mafia. It's ironic considering Sharon Osbourne accused her of coming from a Mafia family. But Remini paints this picture of Scientology having their hands everywhere. As a result, Remini claims they have influence and control over others. It's hard to prove whether this is the case. But with as much power and influence as the Church of Scientology has, it doesn't seem so far-fetched.
2 Leah Is Sorry But Not For Ruining Tom's Wedding
Apparently, Leah Remini was something of a rebel while part of the Church of Scientology. Throughout her memoir, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, Leah Remini opens up about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' wedding. She also left an impression on other members of the Church. But it was not a good one.
According to People, Remini asked several members in Scientology at the wedding where David Miscavige's wife, Shelly, was. David Miscavige is the leader of the Church of Scientology. As per People, Remini said, "Shelly was always where David Miscavige was. It was a wedding of the century it was like, 'where's Shelly?'" As a result of Remini's inquiries, several guests filed reports about her.
Due to this, the Church of Scientology holds that Remini caused a disturbance. Allegedly, the members reported she "basically destroyed the wedding." That's quite an impression she left on members of the Church that night. In turn, Remini had to apologize for causing a "disturbance."
In an interview with 20/20 reported by People, Remini said, "Basically I was being asked to recant what I said, to apologize for ruining the wedding of the century." If what Remini says is true, it sure sounds very strict to us.
1 The Church Kept Tabs On Remini
Even when Leah Remini started to doubt the Church of Scientology, things only got worse from there. As Nicki Swift details, taken from Remini's book, Church officials started keeping a close watch on her. That even included going to her house. According to Remini, they didn't want her to defame Tom Cruise in any way. She'd already shown that before. They wanted to make sure she wouldn't do it again.
The more Remini shares about the Church of Scientology, the more it sounds like the mafia. If what Remini claims is true, the Church certainly tries to use scare tactics in order to get what they want. In this case, they wanted Remini to shut her mouth and keep from leaking any sensitive information that could reflect poorly on the Church.
Unlucky for them, Remini's lid has burst off and she's transparent about everything. While she's certainly making bank from this book and elevating her presence by appearing on talk shows, there is some risk involved. The Church has lots of influence and will now do what they can do tarnish her reputation. That is, of course, if what she says is true. While Remini seems trustworthy, at the end of the day, her claims are only allegations.