Jada Pinkett Smith and Leah Remini made amends Monday during the latest episode of Facebook Watch’s Red Table Talk. The actresses had a falling out after Remini, the host of the Emmy Award-winning documentary series Scientology and the Aftermath, accused Smith and her husband, Will Smith, of being members of the controversial religion.
According to Jada, it was Remini who wanted to hash out their issues. “She reached out to me, which was really huge to her.”
“I remember the first time I met you was 20 years ago,” Jada recalled. “And then we reconnected at the Church of Scientology.”
Remini grew up as a member of the church but left in 2013 and became an outspoken critic of it. “I come from a world of fighting,” she explained to the Red Table Talk host. “And I don’t know [if] that was your experience with Scientology, but my world fully indoctrinated as a child [was]… the world is bad and everyone who is not a Scientologist is bad.”
In 2015, The Kings of Queens star released Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, a memoir about the church and why she decided to leave. In the book, Remini included a passage about frequenting dinner parties at the home of Tom Cruise, a famed Scientologist, with other celebrities, including the Smiths. She detailed how Will and Jada played an awkward game of hide-and-seek with the Mission Impossible star.
“It upset me,” Jada said about the passage, “because I didn’t understand why we had to be in your book. I was hurt.”
When the book was released, headlines spread claiming Jada and her husband were Scientologists. The Girls Trip star repeatedly dismissed the claims and did so again in October when Will appeared on Red Table Talk.
Remini thought her refusal to publicly acknowledge her was a tactic. She told Jada that her behavior when confronted about Scientology on Watch What’s Happening Live in 2015 was a “textbook” reaction.
According to the anti-Scientology activist, Jada’s dismissal appeared to be Fair Game, which are policies and tactics used against enemies of the religion.
Jada apologized for her reaction. Remini also said she was sorry and was accountable for how her painful journey caused her to ignore the effect of her words on the Smith family.
“I should’ve thought about what that meant for you guys, and I didn’t,” Remini said.
Watch the full episode below.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.