Actors and husband and wife Angelo Pagan (L) and Leah Remini attend FOX Sports/PAC-10 Conference Hollywood premiere night at 20th Century FOX Studios in Los Angeles on July 29, 2010. File photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
LOS ANGELES, July 8 (UPI) -- Leah Remini has been open about her decision to leave the Church of Scientology. Though for some time she felt her years were wasted, her good friend Jennifer Lopez encouraged her to take on a new perspective.
Remini talked about the support of her pal while visiting Access Hollywood Live on Tuesday, saying that Lopez "is an amazing friend" who has "never disappointed" her and has been supportive of her decisions. The Leah Remini: It's All Relative star recounted a conversation she had with Lopez during a difficult time.
"She [Lopez] said to me, 'You know Leah, you don't have to give everything up. Like it's OK to look at it like there were some things about it that was helpful and just leave the rest. So don't throw it all away and think your life was wasted.' And I thought that was a beautiful thing to say," Remini said. "It just allowed me to breathe for a minute. She's just been supportive in an amazing way."
Remini also reiterated why she decided to go public with her 2013 departure from Scientology. A decision that severed her relationship with many close friends along with family members.
"It's very difficult. It's not just if you leave, it's if you leave publicly," she told the show. "You can leave, but if you make any public statements about your experience or talk about your experience that's when the label comes of a suppressive person. There's many layers to it, you lose your friends."
In 2013, Remini left the church when she realized she was spending more time in the religion than she was with her daughter, Sophia.
Having been raised in the religion, her departure was a difficult one. Her mother is still a devout member.
"It's people and a lifestyle you've known all your life," Remini told Oprah in May. "It formed who I am, good and bad. It formed the way I think, good and bad. And so there's a lot of pain connected to it, there's a lot of healing."
Remini doesn't regret her decision to leave publicly saying that many people were hurt by the effects of their decision to leave the religion. She said that if she didn't take a stand she felt her pain would have been all for nothing saying, "I just didn't want those people to feel alone."
The actress is still coping with the after-math of her decision saying she has been reading a lot and going to therapy, understanding her wounds weren't going to heal quickly. "It's not an easy thing to get over in your life," Remini said. "I think it's all part of my path."
Leah Remini: It's All Relative} will premiere July 15 on TLC.