Since leaving the Church of Scientology in 2013, Leah Remini has become extremely outspoken about the organization and its practices, and the actress revealed in a new interview with PEOPLE that the church had asked her to convert her longtime friend Kevin James.
"They always tried to get me to, [asking] 'Why is he not in? Why have you not promoted it to him?' I was like, 'Because he's Catholic. He doesn't want anything to do with it,' " Remini said. "They let it go after a while, but usually you'd be expected to recruit, especially with somebody you work with for nine years."
Remini and James starred on The King of Queens for nine seasons together and became friends during their time on the show. The church has denied Remini's claims.
Since her exit from the church, Remini started the A&E docu-series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, which follows the actress as she shares ex-Scientologist's stories.
"These people who are speaking to me [for the A&E series], they're getting bullied by Scientology, their children are disconnecting, their parents are disconnecting, and I just hope that I've helped even one person to not give up their lives for an ideology," she said.
Remini's vocal stance against the church has led to the organization blasting her and her claims.
"It is Remini who is the attacker," a Scientology spokesperson wrote in a statement. "Her whole anti-Scientology shtick was scripted and choreographed by her, casting herself in her drama as the 'victim' so she could cash in on her false narrative while savaging her friends and those who helped her most of her life."
As for Remini, she doesn't care what the church does.
"If they're going to come for me, they're going to come, she said. "I'm not afraid of it. I think it's disgusting, and the more they do it, the more they expose who they really are … I would like to be the face of resistance to abuse."
"I'm finally at peace knowing who I am and who I want to be," she added. "I just want to be happy — and I want to help people."
Photo Credit: CBS