The actress, whose A&E exposé series “Scientology and the Aftermath” was recently renewed for a second season, went on Netflix’s “Chelsea” Sunday to chat with Chelsea Handler about her mission to reveal the organization’s dark side and support individuals affected by it. Remini herself had been in the organization since she was 9 years old; she officially left in 2013.
“I’ve been friends with you for a long time. I was friends with you when you were in Scientology, still,” Handler began. “Did you ever try to talk to me about becoming a Scientologist, do you recall?”
“No, because you were a drug-taker,” Remini responded. “So, that wasn’t good.”
“I never felt comfortable in that role,” the actress later continued. “Although it is demanded of the Church of Scientology celebrities to get other members in, so a lot of our friendships always had that kind of, in the background, like, ‘Why are you not getting your friends in? Work on Chelsea.’”
Remini then recalled a story in which members of Scientology had her call Handler after the comedian began joking about the group in her act.
“I was asked by the Church of Scientology to call you and ask you not to do that,” Remini said.
“Which you did, I remember that,” Handler said.
“You did, and you told me to go fuck myself,” Remini finished.
It’s easy to laugh now, but Remini is serious about spreading information on the harm she says the organization can cause its members, including requiring excessive fees for its services and breaking up loved ones.
The actress will have another opportunity to share her and others’ stories: a two-hour special edition of her A&E show is set to air May 29, outlets reported Tuesday. During the episode, former Scientology members will candidly detail their experiences within the church.
Previously, Remini has said the group’s key celebrity members, like Tom Cruise, could “singlehandedly” end Scientology were they to leave.