The 46-year-old actress appeared on the Today
show on Monday, where she talked about her new A&E docuseries,Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath
, and why she's been so vocal after leaving the religion in 2013. Prior to her headline-making departure, Remini was raised a Scientologist.
"I'm not a big fan of bullies," Remini tells co-anchor Savannah Guthrie. "It is a big part of who I am, and I was a fighter in the church. This is what they taught me, and so, I'm gonna continue that fight, but I'm on the right side of the fight now."
"I just want to send a message that I'm not gonna sit back and let it go on," she adds, going on to claim that "people are talking about their experiences of physical abuse, mental abuse."
"To be called a liar -- to victimize victims -- is not OK with me," she continues. "It's for the victims. It's for the people who have spoken out, but it's also for people who maybe just don't have the strength to fight, or feel like they don't have a voice. I just want to give people strength."
The former King of Queens star also explains why it's "not easy to just walk away" from the church of Scientology.
"The dedication it takes to be a Scientologist is a lot," she says. "It's not easy to just walk away. Most people say, 'Why not just get up and leave?' Well, you're leaving everything you've ever known. You're giving up your whole life, because that is what it takes to be a Scientologist. And then you're gonna be losing your friends and family, because most of them are Scientologists."
The Church has repeatedly denied all of Remini's allegations, including claims made in her book, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology.
"It comes as no surprise that someone as self-absorbed as Leah Remini with an insatiable craving for attention would exploit her former faith as a publicity stunt by rewriting her history with it, including omitting that she was participating in a program to remain a Scientologist by her own choice, as she was on the verge of being expelled for her ethical lapses," the Church said in a previous statement to ET.
Remini also responds to criticism that she's speaking out against her former religion for money during her Today interview.
"I'm not gonna get a dime," Remini claims. "I've given millions to the church ... and I also think that it says a lot about the organization -- how they respond to their critics, and it's not just me, it's everyone who has spoken out."
Remini admits she has daily doubts about her decision to continue to speak out against Scientology.
"It's not an easy thing to do, but it's the right thing to do," she says. "I feel like this is the path that I'm supposed to be on at this time in my life."