TODAY

TODAY   |  July 12, 2013

Leah Remini reportedly leaves Scientology after decades

The actress is reportedly walking away from the church after clashes with its leadership. She has issued a statement that does not mention the church, but thanks people for “the overwhelming positive response.” NBC’s Kate Snow reports.

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>> first actress leah remi is speaking out following reports that she split from the church of scientology . kate snow is here with details on that.

>> good morning. the 43-year-old released a statement overnight and while it doesn't mention the church of scientology by name, what is clear is the actress is thankful for those that are standing by her.

>> my head must have fallen on the keyboard.

>> she spent nine seasons as the tough talking wife on the king of queens. she also spent decades as a big proponent of the church of scientology but a report in the new york post on thursday said the outspoken actress was walking away from the church after reportedly clashing with church leadership. while she doesn't come out and say she has left the church in a statement she says i wish to share my sincere and heart felt appreciation from the overwhelming positive response i have received from the media, my colleagues and from fans around the world. i am truly grateful and thankful for all your support. if he left, it makes her the biggest star to leave the church since the oscar winning writer and director walked away in 2009 after more than three decades as a member. he went public speaking with harry smith at rock center.

>> why did you finally leave the church ?

>> i was ashamed of my own stupidity. how i could have been so blind for so many years.

>> it was in the spotlight last summer when katie homes divorced tom cruise . it's unclear what role if any scientology played in that break up. she was at the couples wedding. but now the separation from the church . the church repespects the privacy of parishioners and has no further comment.