July 29, 2013 15:45:16 GMT
The 'King of Queens' star additionally says, 'No one is going to tell me how I need to think, no one is going to tell me who I can, and cannot, talk to.'
Leah Remini made her first formal appearance at the 15th annual DesignCare event in Malibu over the weekend for the first time since being reported leaving Scientology earlier this month. In an interview with reporters, the "King of Queens" actress took time to address her exit from the controversial church.
"I believe that people should be able to question things," she told PEOPLE. "I believe that people should value family, and value friendships, and hold those things sacrosanct. That for me, that's what I'm about. It wouldn't matter what it was, simply because no one is going to tell me how I need to think, no one is going to tell me who I can, and cannot, talk to."
She added, "It doesn't matter, it could be anything. I thought about the family being broken up for some other cause, and I'm not about to shut up."
After leaving the church, she turned to her family for support. "We stand united, my family and I, and I think that says a lot about who we are, and what we're about," she said.
When asked if she's happy now, the star told Us Weekly, "Happy is a relative word." She went on, "I think the fact that my family has taken a stance and we are on a united front says a lot."
Remini left the church she previously fiercely defended after reportedly being subjected to years of "interrogations" and "thought modification." Rumor suggested she was reprimanded for asking the whereabouts of church leader David Miscavige's wife Shelly.
Her sister Nicole Remini confirmed this issue during a radio interview recently. "She's been curious for years," she spilled. "'Where the h*** is [Shelly]?'... This is all Leah asked, and this is what it's turned into?"
Leah Remini was reportedly shunned by her Scientologist celebrity friends including Kirstie Alley after cutting ties with the church. "Lying news outlets. I do NOT care what religions ANYONE is or isn't," Kirstie denied the rumor.
A representative for Scientology also issued a statement as saying, "The Church respects the privacy of parishioners and has no comment about any individual Church member."