“THE King of Queens” star Leah Remini has been dragged into an ugly family feud over the tragic death of her half sister.
Leah’s stepmother claims the actress turned her back on cancer-stricken Stephanie Remini, but pals insist that Leah stepped up in her sibling’s time of need.
“Leah’s been heartbroken over Stephanie’s passing,” said a friend of the 43-year-old star. “Even though they weren’t particularly close, Leah always tried to help her out.”
Stephanie, 35, struggled with personal issues over the years, continued the source, and she hid the severity of her condition from Leah and other family members.
“Before Stephanie lost her battle with cancer, Leah did everything she could to arrange for family members to visit her,” said the friend. “But Stephanie refused to see them.”
After Stephanie passed away on New Year’s Eve, Leah paid $5,000 for her memorial service. Despite that, Leah’s stepmother Donna Fiore blasted the star.
“Leah turned her back on Stephanie while she was dying, and I am furious about it!” Fiore told The ENQUIRER.
According to Fiore, Leah – who made headlines when she left the Church of Scientology in 2013 – ignored Stephanie’s pleas for help. However, she did acknowledge that Leah paid for Stephanie’s cremation and memorial.
Fiore married Leah’s father, George, when the future TV star was 5. The couple had two daughters of their own, Elizabeth and Stephanie.
“Despite what her stepmother claims, Leah did try to help,” said the friend. “It’s a sad situation. Hopefully, time will heal the wounds.”