03/11/2015 5:32 AM AEDT

Leah Remini Responds To Katie Holmes' Statement Following Scientology Special

"I’m touched by it, because I know now she did what she did, leaving in the way that she did, because she had to protect her daughter."

During a recent interview with "20/20," Leah Remini opened up about her experiences in the Church of Scientology, which included various run-ins with Tom Cruise and his then-wife, Katie Holmes. 

In one instance, the former "King of Queens" actress recalled a time when she told Cruise and Holmes, who were engaging in some heavy PDA, to "get a friggin' room." The incident, which was likely meant as a lighthearted quip, resulted in Remini being written up. 

For the "20/20" special, Holmes responded to Remini via statement, which appeared on screen. 

"I regret having upset Leah in the past and wish her only the best in the future," Holmes said. According to TMZ, the statement was not a response to the kissing incident specifically, but to many of the things Remini discussed during the interview. 

In a follow-up interview, which aired on "Good Morning America" on Monday, Remini smiled while Holmes' comment was read out loud to her. 

"I'm smiling because it almost makes me want to cry," she said. "It makes me emotional because at the time that Katie and this particular crew were writing reports, it caused me a lot of time and pain in my family, being reprogrammed. So at the time I was fighting with her -- I guess for the lack of the better word -- within the church, and now I know really what she was going through." 

She continued, "At the time I was thinking of myself and my family and what we were going through, and although painful, I had no idea that she was going through probably a lot more. Looking back now and seeing her and Suri out there in the world and her being able to be with her daughter and live her life, I’m touched by it, because I know now she did what she did, leaving in the way that she did, because she had to protect her daughter, which in a way connects us now."

The actress admits that she can now relate to Holmes on a new level, since they're both out of the church and "back to being human." 

As for Cruise, Remini said that she's still unsure of the actor's exact role in the church: "In my experience, there seems to be a lot of power there ... The power seemed to be enormous." 


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