Leah Remini's bitter feud with the Church of Scientology is showing no signs of calming down.
The former King of Queens actress appeared on NBC News yesterday to discuss her new documentary series about the church and today The Hollywood Reporter has released an interview with her in which she reveals Tom Cruise once urged her to try and suppress a 60 Minutes expose on Scientology.
King of Queens aired on CBS, the same network that produces 60 Minutes and Remini says that she received calls from the Church and Tom Cruise to speak with Leslie Moonves, the CEO of CBS and get him to kill an expose report about Scientology.
"I got pressure to call Les Moonves at CBS to try and get a 60 Minutes report squashed. I got a call from the church and Tom to call Les Moonves and use my influence to squash the story." she said. Remini reluctantly agreed to call Moonves but was met with a defiant response from the CEO.
“Listen — you’re not the only one who has called me about this and I have no right to interject my opinion of what I like or don’t like with the news organization of CBS and I will absolutely not engage this conversation. I’ll tell you or anyone else who calls me.” He said, “I don’t give a shit if it’s you, if it’s Tom Cruise, if it’s Jenna Elfman, you’re all going to get the same story from me.”
When she delivered Moonves' answer back to the Church, they were less than impressed.
"They just weren’t happy that I couldn’t squash the story. I said, “I’m just a f—ing actress on television and I can’t demand that my boss take a f—ing report off the air.”
When asked what she thought of the rumours that Tom Cruise was contemplating leaving Scientology himself, Remini was dismissive.
"No, absolutely not. I highly doubt it. Highly."
She also revealed that she was regularly urged to get her King of Queens co-star Kevin James to join Scientology.
"You have to go in [to the church] every single day, so yes. It’s always, “Why are you not getting Kevin James in? You’re not setting a good example. You’re not getting the director in.” There was always pressure to make a Scientologist out of the people you were working with."
A Church of Scientology representative responded to Leah Remini's interview in the Hollywood Reporter with the following statement:
"Leah Remini is in it for the money and now tries to pretend otherwise. Her claim on Today that, “I’m not going to get a dime,” as executive producer of her new reality TV show is disingenuous. Ms. Remini obviously is being compensated for this show, just as she profited from her book. In addition, she recently attempted to extort the Church by first demanding $500,000, followed by an additional $1 million, because the Church invoked its First Amendment right to respond to her false claims with the truth. This shows the extent Leah Remini is willing to go to in order to distort the truth about Scientology."
"Further, her claim that she doesn’t like “bullies” is hypocritical because she has aligned herself with a handful of self-admitted violent bullies still bitter after having been expelled from the Church years ago. Like Ms. Remini, these individuals also seek to exploit their former religion to make a buck."