Dancing With the Stars kicks off again this month, and Tony Dovolani's partner couldn't be more of a firecracker. And an inspiration. Forty-three-year old Leah Remini has had steady work in Hollywood since she was 13 years old, and eventually, like many seasoned stars, found her way to the Church of Scientology. For years she was a devoted follower, until she started seeing some things that just weren't right. When she tried to say something about it, she ignited a war with the church.
Here is a summary of what happened this summer, from the L.A. Times:
Leah Remini made headlines in July when she publicly left the Church of Scientology. In August she filed a missing persons report for church leader David Miscavige's wife, Shelly, who allegedly hasn't been seen in public for six years.
"We can confirm that the missing person report has been taken, and that's all the information we have at this time," a Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson told Us Weekly.
TMZ confirmed that an ongoing investigation into Miscavige's whereabouts is underway. LAPD did not say whether Remini had any connection to the case, but a source told the site that Remini had filed the report shortly after cutting ties with the church last month.
Previous reports indicated that the "King of Queens" star left the church because it allegedly bars members from questioning leaders' management and reportedly forces them to "disconnect" from family members deemed "suppressive persons" if they choose to leave the church.
Remini told People that "no one is going to tell me how I need to think, no one is going to tell me who I can, and cannot, talk to."
Any previous tension Remini may have had with the church is surely being exacerbated amid these most recent reports.
In the past, Remini was allegedly derided by Tommy Davis, the former head of the Scientology Celebrity Centre, for asking about Shelly Miscavige's whereabouts at Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' wedding in 2006. The incident was among the alleged reasons that Remini broke ties with the church. Davis reportedly scolded her and told her she didn't have the "rank" to ask about Shelly.
Former Village Voice editor Tony Ortega runs the Scientology blog Underground Bunker, which chronicles the church's inner workings. Ortega, whose reliability has been denounced several times by the church, reported that Remini filed the report recently. He also said that in 2006 Shelly was transferred to a "secret compound near Lake Arrowhead in the mountains above Los Angeles." The place is the headquarters to the Church of Spiritual Technology and is home to about a dozen Scientologists who are "completely cut off from the outside world," he said.
The church's response was that this is "harassment."
Tony's partner is a breath of fresh air. The only bully here is Scientology.