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Troublemaker
Cover of Troublemaker
Troublemaker
Surviving Hollywood and Scientology
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An eye-opening, no-holds-barred memoir about life in the Church of Scientology, now with a new afterword by the author—the outspoken actress and star of the A&E docuseries Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath

Leah Remini has never been the type to hold her tongue. That willingness to speak her mind, stand her ground, and rattle the occasional cage has enabled this tough-talking girl from Brooklyn to forge an enduring and successful career in Hollywood. But being a troublemaker has come at a cost.

That was never more evident than in 2013, when Remini loudly and publicly broke with the Church of Scientology. Now, in this frank, funny, poignant memoir, the former King of Queens star opens up about that experience for the first time, revealing the in-depth details of her painful split with the church and its controversial practices.

Indoctrinated into the church as a child while living with her mother and sister in New York, Remini eventually moved to Los Angeles, where her dreams of becoming an actress and advancing Scientology's causes grew increasingly intertwined. As an adult, she found the success she'd worked so hard for, and with it a prominent place in the hierarchy of celebrity Scientologists alongside people such as Tom Cruise, Scientology's most high-profile adherent. Remini spent time directly with Cruise and was included among the guests at his 2006 wedding to Katie Holmes.

But when she began to raise questions about some of the church's actions, she found herself a target. In the end, she was declared by the church to be a threat to their organization and therefore a "Suppressive Person," and as a result, all of her fellow parishioners—including members of her own family—were told to disconnect from her. Forever.

Bold, brash, and bravely confessional, Troublemaker chronicles Leah Remini's remarkable journey toward emotional and spiritual freedom, both for herself and for her family. This is a memoir designed to reveal the hard-won truths of a life lived honestly—from an author unafraid of the consequences.
Praise for Troublemaker

"An aggressively honest memoir . . . Troublemaker is the most raw and revealing Scientology memoir to date."Entertainment Weekly

"Leah's story is a juicy, inside-Hollywood read, but it's more than that. It's a moving story about the value of questioning authority and how one woman survived a profound crisis of faith."People

"Remini [offers] up some juicy tidbits from her decades in the church."Newsweek
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An eye-opening, no-holds-barred memoir about life in the Church of Scientology, now with a new afterword by the author—the outspoken actress and star of the A&E docuseries Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath

Leah Remini has never been the type to hold her tongue. That willingness to speak her mind, stand her ground, and rattle the occasional cage has enabled this tough-talking girl from Brooklyn to forge an enduring and successful career in Hollywood. But being a troublemaker has come at a cost.

That was never more evident than in 2013, when Remini loudly and publicly broke with the Church of Scientology. Now, in this frank, funny, poignant memoir, the former King of Queens star opens up about that experience for the first time, revealing the in-depth details of her painful split with the church and its controversial practices.

Indoctrinated into the church as a child while living with her mother and sister in New York, Remini eventually moved to Los Angeles, where her dreams of becoming an actress and advancing Scientology's causes grew increasingly intertwined. As an adult, she found the success she'd worked so hard for, and with it a prominent place in the hierarchy of celebrity Scientologists alongside people such as Tom Cruise, Scientology's most high-profile adherent. Remini spent time directly with Cruise and was included among the guests at his 2006 wedding to Katie Holmes.

But when she began to raise questions about some of the church's actions, she found herself a target. In the end, she was declared by the church to be a threat to their organization and therefore a "Suppressive Person," and as a result, all of her fellow parishioners—including members of her own family—were told to disconnect from her. Forever.

Bold, brash, and bravely confessional, Troublemaker chronicles Leah Remini's remarkable journey toward emotional and spiritual freedom, both for herself and for her family. This is a memoir designed to reveal the hard-won truths of a life lived honestly—from an author unafraid of the consequences.
Praise for Troublemaker

"An aggressively honest memoir . . . Troublemaker is the most raw and revealing Scientology memoir to date."Entertainment Weekly

"Leah's story is a juicy, inside-Hollywood read, but it's more than that. It's a moving story about the value of questioning authority and how one woman survived a profound crisis of faith."People

"Remini [offers] up some juicy tidbits from her decades in the church."Newsweek
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  • From the book AS FAR BACK AS I can remember, I was always performing and trying to make people laugh. I grew up on I Love Lucy, Welcome Back, Kotter, Happy Days, Gilligan's Island, Three's Company, Sanford and Son, All in the Family, Good Times...You get the idea. Watching all of these shows always made me feel something. I knew early on that I wanted to make people feel this same way.

    As a kid I was always putting on shows—re-creating skits from The Carol Burnett Show and singing Donny and Marie songs in the living room. My older sister, Nicole, reluctantly played my sidekick; although she never had any enthusiasm for these skits and performances, she obliged. I also took to giving her notes like "Nic, Donny loves Marie, so when we do 'I'm a Little Bit Country,' you gotta look at me like he looks at Marie, with a smile and maybe a wink." She would respond with "Or how about I just punch you in the face?" Okay, we all make choices as performers.

    WHEN I WAS NINE YEARS old, I heard that the Broadway musical Annie was holding open auditions for the lead role. I didn't let the fact that I had no singing talent or acting experience deter me. My mom supported me, believing that I would one day be an actress, and she got a playwright friend to teach me the song "Tomorrow" and take me to the group audition. Her boyfriend at the time photographed me for my "headshots," in which I wore my very best Little House on the Prairie shirt. When I got the pictures back, I was seriously floored at how beautiful I looked. Clearly, the Annie people would see this little gem from Brooklyn and want to hire me on the spot—but I was still willing to sing for them if need be.

    The audition was a cattle call, which meant everyone was assigned a number and sat in the audience section of a huge theater until that number was called. The image running through my mind was that of a front-page headline in the New York Post: "Brooklyn Girl with No Experience Nabs Annie Role." Whatever I lacked in terms of dancing or singing, someone could teach me. I had the chutzpah to land the part. And as for my long, straight brown hair—well, that's what wigs were for. And with that, I was off to hand the director my picture.

    But as soon as my name was called and I got onstage, facing the director and all those people sitting in the darkened theater, I went blind with panic.

    The pianist hit a key and I started to sing immediately. "The—"

    "No. That's for the key," the director interrupted.

    "Okay. Well, maybe you should tell people...Do you want me to start again?" I said.

    "That's okay. Go home to Mommy," the director said as he looked down at his clipboard.

    I burst into tears before I had even gotten off the stage. I was crying the way kids do when they can't catch their breath. My mom's friend, the one who taught me the song, who had brought me to the audition, took me for a slice of pizza and an Italian ice, over which we discussed how that director would regret not hiring me and how Annie would bomb without me. The Broadway show Annie would suffer and suffer big without me in it!


    WHEN I WASN'T ACTING OUT my favorite TV shows, Nicole and I could be found hanging out on Eighty-sixth Street, near Bay Parkway, where loud music thumped from the cars to get girls' attention, even though the guys in their gold chains, Old Spice, and gelled hair acted like they were too cool to care. I aspired to be one of those girls whose attention the guys sought—tight Jordache and Sergio Valente jeans with a brush jammed in the back pocket, lots of makeup and Aqua Net, and even more attitude. All they ever seemed to do was...
About the Author-
  • Leah Remini is an actor, producer, and writer. A fixture on television since the age of eighteen, Remini is best known for her beloved role of Carrie on the nine-season hit The King of Queens. Remini went on to produce and star in one of the earliest and most successful comedic web series, In the Motherhood, and appeared in the movie Old School alongside Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn. In 2010, Remini helped launch and co-hosted the first season of the CBS daytime hit show The Talk, and in 2013 she was seen on the dance floor in Dancing with the Stars. She currently co-stars in the TV Land comedy The Exes and TLC's reality show Leah Remini: It's All Relative, which she also created and executive produces. Remini finds great joy in her philanthropic work with numerous and diverse military, women's, and children's charities. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.
Reviews-
  • Newsweek "An aggressively honest memoir . . . Troublemaker is the most raw and revealing Scientology memoir to date."--Entertainment Weekly "Leah's story is a juicy, inside-Hollywood read, but it's more than that. It's a moving story about the value of questioning authority and how one woman survived a profound crisis of faith."--People "Remini [offers] up some juicy tidbits from her decades in the church."
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    Random House Publishing Group
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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