Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (2024)

There aren’t many people like Leah Remini out there. Aside from being a TV star and having one of the biggest personalities in Hollywood, Remini is best known these days for having spent most of her adult life and career as a hardcore member of one of the world’s most controversial groups: the Church of Scientology. After a midlife change of heart, Remini left the Church a few years back.Here are 41 rebellious facts about Leah Remini.

41. Good Catholic Girl

Despite her association with the Church of Scientology, Leah Remini was actually raised Roman Catholic.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (1)Max Pixel

40. Fame Comes Quick

Remini played Charlie Briscoe on TV sitcom sensationWho's the Boss; it was one of her earliest roles, and led to the spinoffLiving Dolls with Halle Berry. However, this spinoff was short-lived, and lasted only 12 episodes before it met the chopping block.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (2)Getty Images

39. Early Start

Remini was only nine years old when she was first indoctrinated into the Church of Scientology. Her mother became heavily involved in the Church after meeting Remini's stepfather, who was already a member. By the time Remini was a teenager, the family had moved out to Los Angeles to be closer to Scientology's epicenter.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (3)Shutterstock

38. School Days

Shortly after the family move to Los Angeles, Remini dropped out of school to focus on her acting career.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (4)Shutterstock

37. I’ll Be There For You

Remini actually auditioned for the role of Monica on the classic show Friends, but lost out to Courteney Cox in the end. She did, however, still get to make a guest appearance on the show. What could have been!

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (5)Getty Images

36. Bright Lights, Big City

Remini gained early fame for her role as Carrie Heffernan onKing of Queens, acting opposite Kevin James on the hit sitcom. She would then go on to a feature film role in the comedy classicOld School.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (6)Getty Images

35. This Is No Joke

Throughout her time in the Church, Remini was asked to convert many of her friends and family. One of her most high profile attempts was comedian Chelsea Handler, but Handler refused all of her advances. When Remini also asked Handler to stop making jokes about the Church, she was similarly rebuffed. Nonetheless, the two women are friends today.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (7)Getty Images

34. The Silence

Since the end of the first season of her former morning show, The Talk, Remini has been in a feud with none other than Sharon Osbourne, wife of Black Sabbath’s legendary Ozzy. After getting fired from the show, Remini alleged that Sharon had too much influence on the production, and that she was responsible for her firing. Osbourne, on the other hand, denies this account.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (8)Getty Images

33. Cruising

When in Scientology, Remini did sincerely believe in its teachings and took them very seriously. Because of this, she once wrote up a report against the Church’s most prominent member, actor Tom Cruise, claiming that his widely-publicized antics during an appearance on Oprah did not live up to the high standards of the Church’s policies. It backfired on her, however: she claims members defended Cruise and forced her to move to Florida and submit to disciplinary auditing for speaking out against the actor.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (9)Getty Images

32. Friends in High Places

For many years, Remini has been best friends with legendary diva Jennifer Lopez. Aside from appearing together on talk shows frequently, the two of them also played best friends on the big screen together in 2018, starring in the film Second Act. Is it at least partially based on their real-life relationship? I like to think so...

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (10)Getty Images

31. In It for the Long Haul

In her memoir Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Society,Remini claims that as committed Scientology members, she and her sister were forced to sign billion year contracts with the Church. That's right,billion year contracts.

In the Scientology documentary she was a part of, and in other interviews, she also revealed other surprising Church secrets, such as the fact that children are seen "As old spirits in little bodies who have returned to Scientology... children are treated as adults."

She also revealed that Tom Cruise is seen as the Messiah of Scientology in many ways. She writes, "To the Church, yes. Parishioners believe that [Tom Cruise] is singlehandedly changing the planet because that is what the "Church" is telling them."


Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (11)Getty Images

30. Thin Skin

Ever since her documentary series came out, Remini says that she constantly gets calls from people with tragic personal stories who don’t know where else to turn. Even though she has heard countless such stories by now, she still gets emotional every time she hears a new one for the first time.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (12)Getty Images

29. Hit and Run

Sadly, Remini's stepfather, who got her into Scientology, ended up divorcing her mother just a short time after they were married, and left the family.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (13)Shutterstock

28. Double Header

In 2016, Remini reunited with herKing of Queens co-star Kevin James forKevin Can Wait, but the series was cancelled after two seasons.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (14)Getty Images

27. So Close

Remini's only daughter, Sofia, was born the day after her 34th birthday. This means that her family gets two straight days of non-stop celebration every year from now on, not to mention what an awesome birthday present it must have been when Sofia was born.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (15)PxHere

26. Her Kryptonite

Despite comedy being her profession, Remini says that it's extremely easy to make her laugh, and that she struggles to hold back laughter when she hears anything even mildly funny. She says if something is very funny, she might actually cry or even pee her pants. How did this affect her ability to film a comedy show, you ask? Let’s just say many scenes had to be reshot multiple times before being worthy of airing.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (16)Getty Images

25. Prisoner of Love

Remini’s biological and once-estranged father, George Remini, was not such a positive role model in her early life. He got into some bad habits, and ended up serving prison time in Rikers Island.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (17)Pixabay

24. Better Late Than Never

Despite never having been nominated for a single Emmy award in the entire run of King of Queens, it only took Remini one season of her Scientology documentary to become nominated for not just one, but two of the prestigious honors in 2017.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (18)Getty Images

23. Family Ties

One of the harshest policies that Scientology enforces is “disconnection,” which insists that followers cannot have any contact with anybody who has left the Church—including their own family members. However, Remini's entire family left the Church along with her when they found out she was leaving. Many other ex-members have not been so fortunate, and struggle to this day with missing their loved ones.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (19)Shutterstock

22. Work-Life Balance

J-Lo and Chelsea Handler weren't the only celebrities Remini was tasked with trying to recruit. She was often harangued by her Church superiors for not doing enough to try to convert Kevin James and her other King of Queens co-stars during the years she spent on the show. Who knew that this was going on behind the scenes while we were all enjoying the sitcom’s run!

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (20)Getty Images

21. All Relative

Remini's husband is the low-profile Puerto Rican singer Angelo Pagan. He starred alongside his wife in their reality showLeah Remini: It's All Relative.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (21)Getty Images

20. In the Food for Love

Angelo and Leah first met in a Cuban restaurant in 1996, and they've been married since 2003. In Hollywood years, this is like a century.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (22)Getty Images

19. I've Got a Confession

That said, every couple has their problems, and in her memoirTroublemaker, Remini confessed, “My husband is a serial cheater." Whatever their issues, the two still seem to be going strong, and Pagan often writes and speaks words of support for his wife.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (23)Pixabay

18. Cash Flow

Over the course of her lifetime, Remini says that the various fees and donations she has paid in order to participate in Scientology totaled a whopping $5 million! Talk about buyer’s remorse.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (24)Pixabay

17. Before Things Changed

Remini's mother is of Austrian-Jewish descent, while her father is Sicilian. A true New Yorker, Remini was Brooklyn-born and raised.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (25)Pixabay

16. Labor of Love

If you thought Doug and Carrie seemed pretty convincing when arguing on King of Queens, it could be because Remini and Kevin James would often argue off camera too, especially on the set of the show. However, Remini insists that the arguments came solely from a place of love for one another, and that their only goal was trying to make the right decisions for the sake of the show.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (26)Getty Images

15. No Baby on Board

You might have noticed that until the finale, the King of Queensproducers kept Doug and Carrie away from even the possibility of having kids. Producer David Bickel explained, "The studio felt that if you have a big thing happen to the Heffernan family then it kind of dates the old shows as 'pre-baby' and the new shows as 'post-baby' and it kind of hurts syndication a little bit."

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (27)Shutterstock

14. Double Dates

While Jennifer Lopez was still with Marc Anthony, Remini and her husband Angelo Pagan were good friends with the couple, which makes sense, since they were both actor-singer duos. J-Lo and Anthony were even invited to Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes's wedding, though Remini says it was the Church who invited them.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (28)Getty Images

13. Remini to the Rescue

Those who like to just mind their own business may not get along too well with Leah. Remini has described her personality as “always involved,” and says that she goes out of her way to influence situations where she feels that someone is in need, no matter who it is or what kind of problem they’re facing.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (29)Getty Images

12. Clean Cut

Despite her tough personality, Remini has always tried to be somewhat of a goody two-shoes in her actions. She only drinks on rare occasions, and admitted in an interview that she has never tried an illegal substance of any kind.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (30)Getty Images

11. If at First You Don’t Succeed...

Like many actors, Remini’s success only came after a long string of failures and near misses. She spent more than a decade playing minor, inconsistent roles on various shows before eventually landing her big break on King of Queens.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (31)Pixabay

10. Being the Bigger Person

After many years apart from her troubled biological dad, Remini finally patched things up with him in front of the whole world on her reality show It’s All Relative. What made her decide to reignite their relationship after so much time? It was the desire to see her daughter have a connection with her grandfather that made Remini willing to suspend her apprehensions and see beyond her difficult past.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (32)Shutterstock

9. Number One Grandma

Remini has cited her grandmother as the main reason she still has a positive relationship with religion as a whole. She recalls the effect that performing Catholic rituals with her grandma as a child had on her, and is now trying to create a similarly warm and meaningful environment for her own family.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (33)Shutterstock

8. Childish Rules

Since being blacklisted as an enemy of the Church, believers are no longer permitted to associate with Remini. This means that many of her lifelong friendships no longer exist. Of all the people she has lost contact with as a result of this ordeal, she says the one she misses the most is her goddaughter.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (34)Shutterstock

7. What Now?

Often, cult survivors have a hard time finding a healthy relationship with religion. Many of these folks were initially drawn to their groups because they are spiritual people by nature, yet dealing with a religious environment in the aftermath of their experiences can be very emotionally difficult. In Remini’s case, however, she has found that returning to her Catholic roots has been a positive way of coping with the loss of her former belief system.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (35)Max Pixel

6. Silence Isn’t Always Golden

As devout as Remini was during the prime of her days as a Scientologist, there were still moments when even she bent the rules a bit. For example, when it was time for her to give birth to her daughter, Remini did it the conventional medical way rather than following the Church’s ritual of a "silent birth," where the baby is born in almost complete silence.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (36)Getty Images

5. Times Have Changed

Although she has very harsh words for Scientology today, Remini felt very differently about these issues during her days in the Church. She even once appeared on CNN to defend her religion from some of the very criticisms she now makes of it, stating that, “If somebody is going to get turned off about something because of what they read or heard, then that person's not smart enough to even enter a church. If you're really against something, then know what you're against.”

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (37)Getty Images

4. J-No

Jennifer Lopez's father is actually a long-time member of Scientology. As Remini put it, "[Lopez's] father is a very indoctrinated Scientologist, and has been for quite a long time. He's achieved the confidential levels of Scientology." However, J-Lo remains unaffiliated with the Church, and identifies as Catholic.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (38)Getty Images

3. Till Absence Do Us Part

Remini traces her doubt in the Church back to one moment. At the highly-publicized wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Remini noticed that Shelly Miscavige, the wife of Scientology leader David Miscavige, was conspicuously missing from the ceremony. When she asked about Shelly's absence, Remini claims she received“an unbelievable torrent of attack” in response, and misgivings started to swirl in her mind; she would soon file a missing persons report for Shelly, though the Los Angeles Police Department says the report was unfounded. Whatever the truth, Shelly has not been seen in public in over a decade.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (39)Getty Images

2. I'm a Big Kid Now

InTroublemaker, Remini revealed some of Tom Cruise's strange behaviors behind closed doors. She called him “a big kid with his loud laugh, high energy and goofy ideas of fun," like when he invited Remini and some other celebrities over, bizarrely, to play a game of hide and seek. But his jovial energy was also incredibly volatile: he once berated his staff because they ruined his plans to bake cookies, saying, "'LRH[Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard]is here,' holding his hand over his head; 'Dave [Miscavige] and I are here,' placing his hand at chin level, and then with his hand down at his waist he said, 'you are here.'" Ouch, Tom, ouch.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (40)Flickr Alan Light

1. No Regrets

Despite all that she has been through, Remini still says that she doesn't regret becoming involved in Scientology, and that she definitely feels like she learned from the experience. She is now at peace with the fact that it happened and takes solace in sharing her story and helping others avoid the same trauma she went through.

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini - Factinate (41)Getty Images

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? We’re always looking for your input! Please reach out to us to let us know what you’re interested in reading. Your suggestions can be as general or specific as you like, from “Life” to “Compact Cars and Trucks” to “A Subspecies of Capybara Called Hydrocho*rus Isthmius.” We’ll get our writers on it because we want to create articles on the topics you’re interested in. Please submit feedback to Thanks for your time!

Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at Thanks for your help!

Rebellious Facts About Leah Remini    - Factinate (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Ray Christiansen

Last Updated:

Views: 6523

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (49 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Ray Christiansen

Birthday: 1998-05-04

Address: Apt. 814 34339 Sauer Islands, Hirtheville, GA 02446-8771

Phone: +337636892828

Job: Lead Hospitality Designer

Hobby: Urban exploration, Tai chi, Lockpicking, Fashion, Gunsmithing, Pottery, Geocaching

Introduction: My name is Ray Christiansen, I am a fair, good, cute, gentle, vast, glamorous, excited person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.