Dancing With the Stars fans have barely met Season 17 contestant Leah Remini yet, but the former King of Queens star is notorious for her departure from the Church of Scientology this summer.

While the 43-year-old actress has remained relatively quiet about her family’s exit in July, she opened up to Ellen DeGeneres on the September 9 premiere of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, revealing she lost friends during the ordeal; in fact, they’re forbidden from speaking to her!

When asked in general how she’s doing, Leah admitted, “It's hard. We lost friends that can no longer talk to us who are still in the organization." Ellen asked if that is really true — that after you leave the church, communication is cut off.

"Correct," Leah responded. "And these are friends that we've had for dozens of years. But I have great friends, other friends that are not in the church, that have stood by us. Our family is stronger, we're together, and that's all I can ask for." To top it off, Ellen chimed in that she’ll be Leah’s friend. And let’s be honest — who is a better friend than Ellen? They can dance together!

While she was a star long before publicly leaving Scientology, it definitely gives her an extra bit of buzz heading into DWTS. She’ll be dancing with pro Tony Dovolani, and based on some Instagram videos of them in action, they’ll be fun to watch this season.

Are you surprised that Leah lost friends because of her departure from Scientology? Watch the video, then sound off below.


Alyse Whitney is Assistant Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.