Scientology Foe Leah Remini, 51, Bravely Takes On Top Scientologist Tom Cruise, 59, As She Rebuilds Her Life After Losing Her Sister To Cancer

Tom is one of the church’s biggest supporters, and has been under scrutiny for many years due to his affiliation with Scientology—often labeled a cult—and their strict rules and beliefs.

“Thank you to my friend @claireheadley for your courage. You have continued to speak out despite the non-stop attacks from Scientology,” she wrote. “Tom Cruise knows exactly what goes on in Scientology. Don’t let the movie star charm fool you.”

Claire’s post reads: “Glad all you Top Gun fans are enjoying the new movie. Personally, recent posts about this movie only serve to remind me of Tom Cruise and his crimes against humanity.”

Battling a Controversial Religion

Leah was raised in the church as a child and revealed what she experienced in a series called Leah Remini: Scientology And The Aftermath, which ran from 2016-2019. Claire was featured in the show, which highlighted “shocking stories of abuse, heartbreak and harassment experienced by those who have left the church and spoken publicly about their experiences,” according to a statement by A&E network

Now, more people like Claire are coming forward about the horrors they allegedly experienced. “Tom Cruise promotes a dangerous cult that destroyed my family too, the same cult that almost cost me my marriage and my life,” she said. “The same cult that forced me to have two abortions, and which I fled from in 2005 with the clothes on my back and $200 in my pocket, to which they tracked me down, across state lines, to attempt to prevent my escape.”

Claire, who refers to herself as a “cult survivor” on her Twitter page, says she refuses to watch his movies. “Trust me, Tom Cruise knows exactly who he is supporting and the abuse the organization perpetrates. I worked with him while I was there.”

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Tom became a Scientologist in 1986 after being converted by his first wife Mimi Rogers, now 67. The superstar was married to Aussie actress Nicole Kidman, 54, and most recently to Katie Holmes, 43. Tom and Katie divorced in 2012 after six years of marriage and share one daughter, Suri Cruise, age 16. A large part of the controversy with Scientology is that they are reportedly not allowed to have relations with family members who are not also members, though they deny this despite reports from former members.

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Katie and Suri are reportedly no longer a part of Tom’s life. Tom adopted his other two kids, Connor, 26, and Isabella, 29, with Kidman.

The “Church,” who is known for their bizarre and blatantly hostile publicity statements, attempts to discredit Leah Remini, but instead, only further sounds the alarm on their alleged abusive operations.

Leah’s Family Life

Leah has sadly had many years of suffering, but thankfully is coming out on top as a survivor. The Brooklyn-born King of Queens star has not been afraid and will no longer stay silent about the trauma she says she has endured. It is unclear whether her exit from Scientology has anything to do with her late sister, but interestingly enough, it is widely known that Scientologists are against traditional medicine.

The multiple eye-opening experiences have inspired Leah to try to make a difference and save others from the same type of suffering.

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Leah never commented publicly on Stephanie’s death until 2016, in honor of National Siblings Day. Leah posted a tribute to her late sister on Instagram. “A little throw back action and love to all of my sisters,” Leah wrote alongside a photo of she and her siblings, adding “#RIPStephanie.”

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While little is known about Leah and Stephanie’s relationship, it’s possible that she was forbidden to associate with her sister (who was not a Scientologist) at the time, and perhaps feels guilty about how things ended for her.

Leah has an older sister Nicole, a brother named Michael, and three half-sisters still living.

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Leah’s biological parents, George Remini and Vicki Marshal, divorced in 1977. Her mother remarried to a man named Dennis Farrara, who was  a member of the Church of Scientology, thus converting the rest of the family.

Leah’s estranged father George died in 2019, though his health details remain unclear. Leah found out about his death a month after the fact.

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Leah’s parents divorced in 1977 and her mother subsequently married Dennis Farrara, a man who was already a member of the Church of Scientology. He is the one who converted Vicki and her children to Scientology.

There are evidently many layers to this story, but what is important is that people work through those feelings, heal, and forgive themselves. The Remini family was largely affected by Scientology, along with cancer, and Leah’s activism on exposing the church’s alleged wrongdoings is likely a part of her healing in all areas.

Finding Peace With Loved Ones During A Cancer Battle

The ability to make peace with a loved one before they pass away can bring great comfort.

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Camila Legaspi was a teenager when she lost her mother to breast cancer, and while she did not have a strained relationship similar to that of Adele and her father, she did find that those final months with her mother brought her a great sense of peace.

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“I mean, I look at that year, and I feel like my relationship with my mom just improved and developed so much, even though there was this unspoken disease that was going on and that obviously overshadowed a lot of things,” Legaspi tells SurvivorNet.

“There was something about those moments with my mom and now knowing that she tried really hard to maintain this happiness and this love in our household makes the small things we did so powerful.”

Camila Regains Her Sense of Self After Losing Her Mother to Cancer

Legaspi recalls one day in particular that she spent with her mother towards the end of her battle.

“I remember specifically something we always used to do would be walk the reservoir in Central Park,” says Legaspi.

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“And it seems like such a simple thing to walk in the park with your mom, but knowing that I was walking in the park with my mom while she was struggling with this massive, massive life sentence, in some ways, but still making time to enjoy these small, simple moments with her daughter.”

She then adds: “There was kind of a peace that existed between us that only really appeared that year.”

Learn more about SurvivorNet’s rigorous medical review process.

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About the Author: Tung Chi