Jada Pinkett Smith and Leah Remini recently got candid about Scientology and their past relationship following a public feud, which erupted after a “misunderstanding.”
It has long been rumored that Jada and husband Will Smith are or were at one point linked to the Church of Scientology, the religion made famous by Tom Cruise and one that Leah practiced for decades until she left it in 2013. In 2017, the latter actress told The Daily Beast that Jada has “been in Scientology for a long time.” Jada responded by saying that while she had “studied Dianetics” and appreciates “the merits of Study Tech,” she was “not a Scientologist.”
Leah, now an outspoken critic of the religion who now hosts the A&E show Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, and the latter star hash out their differences and discuss the faith on Monday’s episode of Jada’s Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk.
“Regardless of what was being presented to you, from me as a friend, you were seeing a side of me that wasn’t 100 percent authentic because my job was to always be a perfect person in front of you, or any celebrity, to solely get you into Scientology, fully indoctrinated, fully on board and deserting any other beliefs or systems of learning,” Leah told Jada, as seen in a promo video released on Saturday. “You cannot dabble in Scientology.”
“I just never got any of that,” Jada replied.
“Of course you wouldn’t,” Leah said.
She later said, “So there’s a certain protocol and there’s certain things you would not see, you would not be privy to.”
Jada, who has said that Leah reached out to her before they sat down for the interview, wrote on Instagram, “This episode revealed something to me about myself that hit me like a ton of bricks. Often when I’m in the midst of a conflict with another person, my narcissism will lead me to believe that I’m the only one hurting in the situation…and that’s NEVER the case. Anger can be a great liar.”
“A misunderstanding divided them, but the truth will reunite them,” read an official synopsis for the sit-down.
Amid her frequent criticism of the religion, the Church of Scientology has over the years condemned Leah’s remarks and characterized her as a bitter opportunist.
In her 2017 interview with The Daily Beast, Leah said, “I know Jada’s in. I know Jada’s in. She’s been in Scientology a long time. I never saw Will there, but I saw Jada at the Celebrity Centre…all the time.”
Jada responded on Twitter at the time, “I recently lit Shabbat candles with Rabbi Bentley at Temple Sinai… but I am not Jewish. I have prayed in mosques all over the world… but I am not a Muslim. I have read the Bhagavad Gita… but I am not a Hindu. I have chanted and meditated in some of the most magnificent temples on earth… but I am not a Buddhist.”
“I have studied Dianetics, and appreciate the merits of Study Tech… but I am not a Scientologist,” she wrote. “I practice human kindness, and I believe that we each have the right to determine what we are and what we areONE ELSE can hold that power.”
Jada, Will and Leah were all friends with Tom at one point. They had all attended his 2005 wedding to now-ex Katie Holmes and in her 2015 memoir Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, Leah also recalled an instance when he invited the couple and other celebs, including Scientologists, to his home and announced to them that he wanted to play hide-and-seek.
Jada later said on Watch What Happens Live that all their kids were there and that Tom was simply trying to make it a fun time for everyone.
“I had hoped that she had left [Scientology], but this was the telltale sign that she was still in,” Leah told The Daily Beast. “That was untrue. Bulls–t. There were no kids there.”
In her Daily Beast interview, Leah also claimed Will and Jada “opened up a Scientology school and have since closed it.” She was referring to the New Village Leadership Academy in Calabasas, California that shut down in 2013 and was rumored to be affiliated with Scientology. In a 2009 NPR interview, Jada said the institution “is not a Scientology school.”