Leah Remini addressed her ongoing fight against the Church of Scientology on Wednesday, telling talk show host Ellen DeGeneres she felt a responsibility to speak out on behalf of people “bullied” by the organization.
Discussing her new A&E docu-series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, the actress and former church member said, “I felt I had a responsibility to say, ‘I’m not going to allow you to bully these people who were very brave to come out and tell their stories.'”
She added, “My story pales in comparison to what happened to other people, how people are bullied into silence. We don’t have $3 billion to protect ourselves, so what I have is, I’m an actress, and I’m able to speak, and I’m able to give a voice to people who might not have an Ellen to go on.”
Known for her work on such shows as The King of Queens and Saved by the Bell, Remini, 46, had been a Scientologist since age 8 when she defected from the group in 2013. Last year she published a tell-all book, Troublemaker, about her often difficult experiences in the church. The church has denounced Remini and disputed her allegations.
Speaking to DeGeneres, Remini also discussed how people become engrossed with Scientology. “There’s a lot of things that are good in Scientology, because I wouldn’t have been in it [otherwise],” she said. “And that’s the thing too, is lot of people trivialize this thing, like, ‘Oh, it’s Xenu and it’s a volcano and it’s jumping on couches and acting crazy.’ These people are victims. We’ve been victimized. We believed in something because it starts out very normal.”
Scientology and the Aftermath debuts Nov. 29 on A&E. Watch a clip of Remini on Ellen above.