Did Tom Cruise put the screws to Leah Remini and pressure the then-“King of Queens” star to try to talk the head of CBS out of running a “60 Minutes” expose about the Church of Scientology?
That’s the shocking claim Remini makes in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, recounting the “extremely awkward” conversation she had with CBS head honcho Les Moonves at the behest of “Mission: Impossible” star — and fellow Scientologist — Cruise.
“I got pressure to call [CEO] Les Moonves at CBS to try and get a ’60 Minutes’ report squashed. I got a call from the church and Tom [Cruise] to call Les Moonves and use my influence to squash the story,” says Remini, who left the church in 2015.
“So I called Les Moonves, even though I was really uncomfortable with it. And he said, ‘Listen — you’re not the only one who has called me about this and I have no right to interject my opinion of what I like or don’t like with the news organization of CBS and I will absolutely not engage this conversation. I’ll tell you or anyone else who calls me.'”
According to Remini, Moonves also told her: “I don’t give a s**t if it’s you, if it’s Tom Cruise, if it’s Jenna Elfman, you’re all going to get the same story from me.”
Despite her awkward attempt at intervention, church leaders were not happy that her effort failed. “I called them back and said, ‘Hey, I tried,'” she says. “They just weren’t happy that I couldn’t squash the story. I said, “I’m just a f***ing actress on television and I can’t demand that my boss take a f***ing report off the air.”
Remini was a lifelong Scientologist until her high-profile split last year from the church, which she now describes as “a brainwashing proposition”. She is currently in the midst of suing the church for $1.5 million after a Scientology spokesperson disparaged her in a letter to A&E encouraging them to not air her new series, “Scientology and the Aftermath.”