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Kirstie Alley ‘disconnects’ from not one but two men over their friendship with Leah Remini

Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Kirstie Alley, in happier times

Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Kirstie Alley, in happier times

Kirstie Alley has been in the news again this week. Her TV Land series Kirstie was cancelled after one season, but the really hard shock came from her former Dancing With The Stars dance partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who revealed on the Bravo network that the two aren’t speaking anymore.

Chmerkovskiy implied that Kirstie had ended their friendship because of his association with Leah Remini, who left Scientology last year and has been pretty public about it.

“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,” he said on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live. And then he made it even more plain that the dispute was based on Alley’s fervent connection to Scientology.

“I’m not judging people by their religion. I’m Jewish. I don’t really believe in science fiction, but whatever,” he said.


The story was quickly picked up by celebrity media, which has generally got things right: Alley is still livid about Remini’s defection, and like other Scientologists who have “disconnected” from Remini, Alley is cutting off ties not only with the King of Queens actress but also people around her.


And that not only includes Chmerkovskiy, our sources tell us, but another TV dancer who had been an important part of Alley’s life.

But first, let us remind you of how we got here.

On Monday, July 8, 2013, we broke the news that Leah Remini had left the Church of Scientology. Her disillusion with the organization had begun in 2006 at the wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, and had grown over the years until the fall of 2012 and a meeting with Scientology leader David Miscavige.

Two days after our story appeared, on Wednesday, July 10, Kirstie Alley swung into action. Our well-placed sources told us that she had worked the phones, demanding answers from Scientology’s Hollywood Celebrity Centre about what they were going to do about Remini’s defection. She also put out some tweets that were designed to let Remini know that she’d made an enemy. (Remini and Alley weren’t close to begin with, we were told.)

“When faced w malicious gossip I take a moment to experience the loss of the person I thought was my friend… Then I say fuck em,” Alley tweeted that morning, and after our story about it the tweet was widely picked up by the rest of the media.

Alley denied that the tweet was aimed at Leah, but she’s done little since then to indicate that she hasn’t taken Remini’s defection very personally.

In December, she made an appearance on the Howard Stern radio show and slammed Leah, calling her a “bigot.”

“When you decide to blanket statement that Scientology is evil, you are my enemy,” she said.

By that time, Leah had already completed her own run on Dancing With The Stars, when she was paired with dancer Tony Dovolani, who is business partners and close friends with the Chmerkovskiy brothers, Maksim and Valentin.

Since the show, Leah has remained tight with Dovolani (who has found himself being followed, we recently reported), and has also become friends with Chmerkovskiy.

(We’re told that the rumors of Chmerkovskiy dating Leah’s best friend, Jennifer Lopez, are not true, but those rumors probably started because Chmerkovskiy has spent time in Leah’s circle.)

Now, Kirstie Alley has pushed Chmerkovskiy away for spending time with her enemy. And if you know their past together, you know that’s actually a pretty big deal.

In 2012, Alley published The Art of Men: I Prefer Mine Al Dente, a memoir about her relationship history, with the important men in her life each getting their own chapter.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy gets his own chapter, “The Art of Maks.” In 2011, Alley had been paired with him during her first appearance on the show, and she admits in her book that she became infatuated with him.

She writes that she had quickly become accepted by his friends and family…

Maks announced that night that I was an honorary member of his family. Wow! In Kansas we don’t roll that way…I was flattered and delighted to be part of a new group of people that I’d grown so fond of, so close to, so quickly.

And despite their age difference, she had become extremely close to him.

Poor Maks probably to this day has no idea what he truly meant to me…I certainly never set out to love Maks, and it shocked me that I ended up loving him to the degree that I did.

But she wondered about their future together.

To this day I have no idea the role Maks will play or not play in my life. I know this: I would like to love him forever. I would like to work to keep him happy. I would like to be there for his wedding and the birth of his children…Alas, I hope my stint as a Chmerkovskiy was not a sprint but is a marathon.

Later in the book, another TV dancer gets his own chapter.

Kirstie met Serge Onik in New York, after she and Chmerkovskiy had finished in second place on Dancing With The Stars in May 2011. Chmerkovskiy was going away to travel in Europe, and he introduced to her his young protégé, Onik — then only 23 years old — and encouraged Alley to take him with her on her travels, as her new dancing partner.

Alley and Onik ended up doing a series of charity dances in Europe that fall, and were photographed together placing flowers at the grave of Jim Morrison in Paris. Rumors of yet another Kirstie Alley love affair filled the tabloid press.

In her book, Alley’s chapter on Onik is titled, “The Art of Young Lovers.”

We were together 24 hours a day, and we got to know each other very well — extremely well. We became each other’s confidants and would talk for hours about life, dreams, and goals. We were inseparable. By the time we hit Paris, Sergey was a stone cold level 6 [on Kirstie’s 10-point crush scale]. The danger zone. We had flirted from shore to shore, joking or not, that it would happen “tomorrow.”

Ultimately, however, she says they never consummated the relationship. But he was enough of a presence in her life to deserve his own chapter in her book. (Currently, he’s competing in So You Think You Can Dance.)

Now, we’re told, Kirstie has cut Onik out of her life just like she has Chmerkovskiy.

Why? Because on May 20, Onik tweeted this photo from his Instagram account…


Because of their association with Remini, Onik and Chmerkovskiy have been pushed away by Alley. She has “disconnected” from these two men she was so close with, and in the Scientology style.

We reported earlier that Remini has been declared a “suppressive person” by the church, which is Scientology’s version of excommunication. And it requires that any Scientologist who wants to remain in good standing with the church cut off all ties with an SP or risk being declared an SP themselves. The disconnection policy regularly rips apart families, as we’ve documented numerous times here. Remini has said several times on television shows that once it was known she had left Scientology, good friends she had known for decades dropped her from their lives overnight on the church’s orders.

Our sources tell us Alley is fiercely devoted to Scientology, and has not wavered like some of the organization’s other celebrities as the church has dwindled and faced more controversies than ever. Maybe that’s not surprising; in her book she says that her faith in L. Ron Hubbard is one of the most important things in her life.

Before I started Scientology, my life was myopic. I could barely see in front of my face. I would never have dared to dream of becoming an actress; by age 10 I’d had that thought thoroughly smashed out of existence. L. Ron Hubbard has had a profound effect on my life, and I consider him one of my best friends, although I never even met him.


Your proprietor hits Media Mayhem

We always enjoy appearing on Allison Hope Weiner’s television program, Media Mayhem. And this time, she asked great questions about Scientology’s numerous legal battles.



Posted by Tony Ortega on August 1, 2014 at 07:00

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SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING (Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43

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