Leah Remini is celebrating finishing her second year at New York University after being raised in the Church of Scientology with no formal education. The ‘King of Queens’ actress, 52, announced in May 2021 that she had been accepted into NYU, eight years after she left Scientology.
She also admitted enrolling as a student was such a challenge and at first she thought about giving up.
Leah Remini told her fans on her Instagram on Friday (02.06.23): “Two years ago, I had an 8th-grade education thanks to spending 35 years in a cult. And now, at age 52, I’ve successfully finished my second year at NYU. Undertaking this educational journey has been one of the most difficult experiences of my life.”
Leah Remini’s post further read, “There have been days where I’ve thought about giving up. While I’m still not finished, I’m so glad I decided to dive in. If you have the desire and capacity, please remember that it’s never too late to start again.”
She captioned her message with a tribute to her family, friends and followers: “Thank you for all your love and support.”
Leah Remini – who has daughter Sofia, 19, with actor Angelo Pagán, 55, who she married in 1996 – said on Instagram in May about being accepted into an associate degree program in liberal arts at NYU: “This didn’t come easy. This is one of the last chunks of my life that I am taking back for myself from Scientology. It took a lot for me to take this step, for fear that I was not smart enough, not worthy enough, not able to do the work that will be required, my age.”
Leah attacked Scientology in a Twitter post in 2022, saying as part of a long thread of posts: “Scientologists are taught that kids are no different from adults. So from a very young age I was held accountable like an adult and regularly told that anything bad that happened in my life, even things that I wasn’t responsible for, was my fault.”
Leah Remini said she still hadn’t “received any sort of formal education for years” by the age of 16 as she was instead forced into work. Representatives for the Church of Scientology hit back at her tweets, and told her to “get a life”.
Its international spokesperson Karin Pouw said in a statement to Page Six in the wake of her messages: “Leah Remini’s lack of education is of her own doing and it is shameful to publish such bigotry. Remini’s livelihood derives from promoting hate and lies like these toward her former religion. As Remini told journalist Meredith Vieira in 2004, she talked her mother into letting her drop out of school so she could become a ‘star.’ Remini needs to get a life.”
Leah Remini has become an outspoken anti-Scientology campaigner since leaving the society, with her 2015 ‘Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology’ autobiography and documentary series, ‘Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath’ – which aired a year after her memoir was released – attacking the group.