Kirstie Alley's Fractured Relationship With Leah Remini Revisited

Throughout her career, Kirstie Alley has made a few enemies in Hollywood, with one of her most notable foes being Leah Remini.

The "Cheers" star, who died on December 5, 2022, had a years-long feud with the "King of Queens" alum stemming from Remini's defection from Scientology. The two hurled insults at each other for nearly a decade, with Alley staunchly defending her faith. "Kirstie has never been afraid to express herself," an insider familiar with their beef revealed to OK! Magazine. "It's part of her appeal and is something she's incapable of dialing back, even if she tried to." The source added that Alley found it "cathartic to share her experiences" and was willing to take on anyone, including Remini, who "judged or questioned" her religion. "She will take on anyone who comes her way," they explained. 

Alley vocally opposed any attempts to discredit her devotion to her religion, with Remini often finding herself at the receiving end of the "Look Who's Talking" actor's comments because of her controversial claims about Scientology.

Kirstie Alley called Leah Remini a 'bigot'

In 2013, Leah Remini abruptly left the Church of Scientology after 30 years of devotion. Since then, she has become an outspoken critic of her former faith. "As time goes on, you start to lose touch with the real world," she said of her experience in a 2015 interview with ABC. "The mindset becomes 'Us against them.' The decision to leave is you are giving up everything you have ever known and everything you have worked for your whole life."

The actor revealed during an appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" that her departure came at a price. "I'm okay. It's hard. We've lost friends that can no longer talk to us and who are still in the organization," she explained. "These are friends that we've had for dozens of years." Kirstie Alley was hellbent on reputing those claims, telling Howard Stern that the assertions were "bull s**t" (via Us Weekly). "I just want everyone to know I have hundreds of friends and people that I know that have come into Scientology and left Scientology," she told Stern. "It is not true that you cannot [leave]. You're not shunned. You're not chased."

Alley slammed Remini as a "bigot" over her words about Scientology. "If someone was really out there [saying negative things about your religion], would they be your friend?" she asked Stern. "They wouldn't be mine. It's not selective. I just won't have people in my life that are that."

Kirstie Alley severed ties with people associated with Leah Remini

Tony Ortega, who writes a blog about the Church of Scientology called The Underground Bunker, revealed that Kirstie Alley was quick to cut ties with her friends if they associated with Leah Remini. She distanced herself from Maksim Chmerkovskiy, her dancing partner on Season 12 of "Dancing with the Stars," after the professional dancer formed a friendship with Remini.

"I got a message now that I am associating with other people that she can't be associated with. I am no longer to be spoken with, and sorry, but it is what it is," the dancer revealed during an appearance on "Watch What Happens Live" (via ET). "I think the world of her. I'm not judging people by their religion. I'm Jewish. I don't really believe in science fiction, but whatever." In an interview with Us Weekly, he said he found it "ridiculous" that someone would do such a thing. However, he admitted, "everyone is entitled to their own insanity."

According to Ortega, before their falling out, Chmerkovskiy introduced Alley to his protégé Serge Onik. The two traveled together extensively, and Alley admitted in her memoir, "The Art of Men: I Prefer Mine Al Dente," that the two were "inseparable." However, after Onik posted a photo of him and Remini together on Facebook, Alley reportedly ended their relationship for good.

Kirstie Alley had a nasty Twitter spat with Leah Remini

In February 2022, Kirstie Alley and Leah Remini had a heated exchange on Twitter regarding Alley's comments about the war happening in Ukraine. According to People, in a since-deleted tweet, the "Cheers" star wrote that she doesn't know "what's real or what is fake in this war" and that she'll be "praying" instead of making comments. Maksim Chmerkovskiy — who was born in Ukraine — took offense to his ex-friend's statement. He wrote on Instagram, "no one needs your prayer if you don't know what's real or fake," and recalled the time Alley took the initiative to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy, writing, "I remember all that you were saying to me about situations where innocent are suffering."

It wasn't until Remini chimed in that things took a turn for the worst. "So @kirstiealley can comment on things she knows nothing about like mental health, psychiatric drugs, and virology, but she won't comment on Putin who is an evil tyrant?" she wrote. "She has no comment on these crimes against humanity? But she's going to pray? Scientology, her 'religion,' says Christ is a pedophile and a lie. Scientologists aren't allowed to believe in anything else other than Scientology. So who is she praying to?"

Unsurprisingly, Alley didn't back down. "I don't care what the punk a** t*** say. I believe in the power of prayer," she fired back in a since-deleted post (via Radar Online). "I will continue to pray for the people of Ukraine. Putin is a c*** and a coward and I'll pray his own soldiers refuse to do his dirty work. PS, I pray to the same God you do. So get over your nasty selves."