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Jason Lee is no longer a practicing Scientologist.
The 46-year-old actor and his family moved to Denton, Texas, last year, and he recently quietly shared the news with local outlet, The Dentonite. When asked what businesses he owns in Denton, Lee took the opportunity to clear up rumors about himself.
“If [my wife] Ceren and I had an idea for a business, it certainly wouldn’t happen at the cost of someone else’s,” Lee said. “And being that we don’t practice Scientology, and that we aren’t particularly interested in opening religious centers in general, we have no plans to open a Scientology center.”
“Quite a few rumors about me/us floating around but none of it’s true,” he continued. “We’re not here to buy up or change or take over Denton, put some kind of personal stamp on it. We’re just here like anyone else who wants to be a part of Denton’s very cool creative community, and to be involved and perhaps help where we can.”
Lee and wife Ceren Alkac married in 2008 and have two children together – 9-year-old Casper and 4-year-old Sonny. Lee also has a son with his ex, Beth Riesgraf, 12-year-old Pilot Inspektor.
The former My Name Is Earl actor had been practicing Scientology since the ‘90s. Last June, Lee’s ex-wife, Carmen Llywelyn, wrote an essay for the now defunct Gawker blaming the controversial religion for their split. Lee and Llywelyn married in 1995, and divorced in 2001.
“When I think back, I believe a part of me knew if I didn’t accept Scientology the marriage would be over before it even started,” Llywelyn wrote. “That may sound somewhat superficial and at that age, maybe it was. But in truth, regardless of how different I feel about Jason and Scientology today, I was very much in love with the guy and wanted our marriage to work. I did what I thought was right.”
Lee isn’t the only celeb who has parted ways with the Church of Scientology. Lisa Marie Presley left the religion in 2012, as did Crash director Paul Haggis, in 2009.
Actress Leah Remini, who left the Church in 2013 after being a member for 36 years, has been the most openly critical of the religion, penning her book, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, last November. In June, Tony Ortega, who worked on the HBO documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, told ET the former King of Queens star is working on a new show spotlighting Scientology and its effects on family life.
The Church has previously denied all of Remini’s allegations and released a statement claiming that bitterness and anger are common threads in her life.
“Leah Remini knows the truth she conveniently rewrites in her revisionist history,” the statement reads in part. “The real story is that she desperately tried to remain a Scientologist in 2013, knowing full well she was on the verge of being expelled for refusing to abide by the high level of ethics and decency Scientologists are expected to maintain.”