Sep. 11, 2013 at 10:41 AM ET
Actress Leah Remini's exit from the Church of Scientology has been unspooling gradually since July, when media outlets began reporting that she broke with the organization. But on Monday, she opened up to Ellen DeGeneres about the repercussions of her — and her family's — split from the church, saying it was "hard."
"We've lost friends that can no longer talk to us and are still in the organization," she said on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." "These are friends that we've had for dozens of years."
She explained that Scientology was part of her life from very early on. "My mother got involved when we were very young, so it was all we ever really knew," she said. "But over time my eyes opened and I just could no longer be affiliated with the organization, and my family felt the same, so we left."
Fortunately, Remini has a support system (including DeGeneres) outside of the organization. "I have great friends, other friends that are not in the church that have stood by us," she said.
"Our family's stronger, we're together, and that's all I could ask for," she added.