Leah Remini Reveals Why She Left Scientology: I Choose My Family Over The Church

Posted Thursday February 27, 2014 10:55 AM GMT

She dealt with some serious backlash following her decision to leave the Church of Scientology, and now Leah Remini is ready to set the record straight about the big decision.

During a recent interview with Buzzfeed, the former "Dancing with the Stars" contestant revealed there were "dozens of influencing factors" including the church wanting her to choose it over her family.

"In my house, it's family first," Miss Remini stated. "But I was spending most of my time at the church. So I was saying 'family first,' but I wasn't showing that. I didn't like the message that sent to my daughter."

When she approached her friends within the church about its controlling antics, the 43-year-old said, "They only cared that their lives would be disrupted if they stood with me. They didn't care about doing the right thing."

Also discussing her childhood, Leah admitted she ended up resenting her own mother for dedicated most of her time to the religion. "We went from a middle-class lifestyle [in Brooklyn] to living in a roach-infested motel with six other girls off a freeway in Clearwater."

She continued, "The fact my mother stood by me after all her years in the church totally took away any resentment I may have been harboring. When it mattered the most, my mother was there for me. It was the moment that erased all those days she want's there."

In regards to who also stood by her since the dramatic departure, Leah shared she wouldn't have survived the guidance and support she received from her best friend, Jennifer Lopez.

"Jennifer made special rings for all the women in her life that say, 'I Love Me,'" she explained. "I've come to realize you have to love yourself before you can expect someone else to. You have to learn to believe you deserve love. And I'm getting there. I'm starting to believe it."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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