If you watch Teen Mom 2 online, you're probably aware that Leah Messer has been…
The war between Leah Remini and the Church of Scientology appears to be far from over.
After the final episode of A&E’s docu-series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath aired Tuesday night, some may be thinking the discussion about the religious organization is going to stop. But if Leah has her way, this may just be the beginning.
For the past several weeks, former members of the church have spoken out to Leah about their experiences. And while the church is quick to call the series a “dramatized work of fiction,” it hasn’t stopped several viewers from wondering: What’s next?
When Leah appeared on ABC’s 20/20 just days before the season finale, it was revealed that talks of a second season are underway. But until a final decision is made, the self-proclaimed troublemaker has some plans of her own.
For starters, the former King of Queens star hopes the IRS will consider stripping away the church’s tax exempt status.
“By the IRS saying this is a religious organization, they are hiding behind now freedom of religion and they should take a look,” she explained. “I’m hoping there’s someone with some balls who will do something about it.”
The church’s attorney Monique Yingling would respond saying the church “is not concerned at all that that’s a real possibility. That’s certainly not something that Leah Remini could ever pull off. There’s no basis at all under which the IRS would attempt to revoke the exempt status.”
After hearing several allegations of abuse and mistreatment from former members, Leah has also brought up the idea of having the police and FBI get involved. When asked for her fondest hope, the former co-host of The Talk expressed her wish that the legal system gets involved.
“That somebody is willing to be honest and say, ‘What these people are saying is true and I’m ready to prosecute,'” she shared on ABC. “We need that person.”
Since the show premiered, the Church of Scientology has slammed the series and its subjects. “We have said from the beginning that Leah Remini is exploiting her former association with the Church of Scientology for her own profit,” a spokesperson shared with E! News. “The disclosures that Leah Remini and her principal source, Mike Rinder, were paid for their appearances, makes the series all the more dishonest. Ms. Remini needs to move on with her life.”
The church’s spokesperson also encouraged people to learn more about Scientology by visiting its website.
While the church has accused Leah of “promoting hatred and religious intolerance as a means to line her pockets,” the actress has a different perspective.
“I was watching high executives, former executives of the Church leaving and speaking out about abuses and things that they’ve experienced while working for the Church, and I saw how the church reacted,” Leah previously shared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “I felt I had a responsibility to say, ‘I’m not going to allow you to bully these people who were very brave to come out and tell their stories.'”
She continued, “And that’s from executives. But there are just average parishioners like me who leave and speak out about what they’ve experienced. They lose their family. The Church goes after their family to shun their family, oftentimes. I’m very lucky that that didn’t happen to me. My family chose me.”
Her openness is evident on Twitter where she has offered to meet with the church’s lawyer for a discussion. She also asked any Scientology member or spokesperson for the church to be a part of her A&E docu-series. They have declined.
And while some may be quick to call Leah a “troublemaker” thanks to her best-selling book, she may prefer the word fighter.
“Many people wish they had a hit show in their lifetime. I don’t have to work. I still love what I do but a big part of Leah, which the world doesn’t know is that I fight for people,” Leah shared on 20/20. “I stick up for people. That has always been in my blood.”
—Additional reporting by Holly Passalaqua