Jada Pinkett Smith denies Leah Remini's claims that she's a Scientologist
Jada Pinkett Smith is going clear with her ties to Scientology.
After former celebrity parishioner Leah Remini asserted in a recent interview with The Daily Beast that Smith was a member of the church, the Set It Off performer has denied her involvement with the controversial religion.
“I have studied Dianetics, and appreciate the merits of Study Tech,” Smith tweeted early Tuesday, referencing the set of written ideals originated by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, who first published what would later become the foundation for Scientology practices in 1950. “But I am not a Scientologist.”
Remini, whose anti-Scientology docuseries Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, won the TV star and activist her first award from the Television Academy at the Sept. 9 Creative Arts Emmys, stressed Smith’s alleged dedication to the church in her Daily Beast interview.
“I know Jada’s in. I know Jada’s in. She’s been in Scientology a long time,” Remini said. “I never saw Will [Smith] there, but I saw Jada at the Celebrity Centre. They opened up a Scientology school, and have since closed it. But Jada, I had seen her at the Scientology Celebrity Centre all the time.”
The former Scientologist of 35 years, best known for her role on the CBS sitcom King of Queens, publicly broke with the church in 2013 and has since been a vocal critic of the organization’s practices, which she claims are harming its constituents. In a passage from her 2015 memoir Troublemaker, Remini recalled a peculiar interaction she had with Smith and her husband, Will Smith, and prominent Scientologist Tom Cruise at the latter’s lavish home.
“At first I thought he was joking,” Remini wrote, recalling that Cruise wanted to play a children’s game with the adults in attendance — including the Smith couple. “But, no, he literally wanted to play hide-and-seek with a bunch of grown-ups in what was probably close to a 7,000-square-foot house on almost three full acres of secluded land.”
Per the Daily Beast discussion, Remini also referenced a “since-shuttered ‘Scientology school’ [called the] New Village Leadership Academy in the tony neighborhood of Calabasas, California, which was largely funded by the Smith family — who subsequently hired much of the staff, many of whom, including the Director of Learning, were Scientologists.”
Though the Smith family allegedly insisted their institution was secular, the article claims it “touted ‘Study Technology’ as one of its teaching methodologies on its website, a heavily criticized practice devised by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard,” in addition to Will and Jada reportedly donating approximately $20,000 to HELP, a Scientology literacy initiative.