Leah Remini has been at the forefront of the campaign to expose the reported ills of Scientology for years now, so you can imagine the mixed feelings that had to be swirling when she stopped by Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk this week to hash out the Scientology-based dispute she’s had with the Girls Trip star.
To put their feud’s history in a nutshell, in her 2015 memoir Troublemaker, Remini wrote about a hide-and-seek party at Tom Cruise’s house, during which the Smiths took part in the game while Remini refused. When asked about the passage later on Watch What Happens Live, Pinkett Smith scoffed at the anecdote, saying she remembered it as an innocent good time, rather than some kind of Scientology insiders party.
Assuming Pinkett Smith was intentionally attempting to discredit her, an alleged Scientology tactic called “fair gaming,” Remini doubled down on her assertion that the actress and her husband Will Smith were Scientologists. Pinkett Smith, who Remini had seen at Scientology events before, subsequently acknowledged exploring the church’s offerings, but denied being a Scientologist.
Which brings us up to today. In their 20-minute sit-down, Remini apologized for immediately assuming Pinkett Smith was using church tactics on her, and Pinkett Smith apologized for not understanding where Remini’s analysis was coming from. Pinkett Smith says she never had any negative interactions with the church, which Remini credits to the massive (and, she suggests, protective) star power of the couple in general.
For her part, Remini says she was tightly controlled by Scientology until she and her family left in 2013, restrictions that included a three-month interrogation after she attempted to inquire about the whereabouts of Shelly Miscavige, wife of church leader David Miscavige, who has famously not been seen in public since 2007. In the end, the pair hugged it out and concluded that “it’s never too late to heal.” On the one hand, it’s always a gift when two people can make amends. On the other hand, boy, sure hope Shelly Miscavige is okay.