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Leah Remini talks attending NYU at 51, reflects on how Scientology forced her to grow up too soon


Leah Remini talks attending New York University at 51 as she reflects on how Scientology forced her to grow up too soon: ‘From a very young age I was held accountable like an adult’

  • The actress, 51, discussed her beginnings in the religious movement in a series of tweets
  • She posted a black and white picture of herself at 16 years old. She sat, unsmiling, with her hair tied back in a large ponytail 
  • Remini revealed that she hadn’t received any sort of ‘formal education for years’ at the time because she had ‘been working for years so that I could support myself and my family’ 
  • She was accepted to New York University last year at the age of 50, and she said that she wouldn’t have believed such a thing was possible for her in her childhood 


Leah Remini opened up about growing up in Scientology and the expectations that she experienced from a young age. 

The actress, 51, discussed her beginnings in the religious movement in a series of tweets. 

She posted a black and white picture of herself at 16 years old. She sat, unsmiling, with her hair tied back in a large ponytail.  

Throwback pic: Leah Remini opened up about growing up in Scientology and the expectations that she experienced from a young age while posting a throwback picture of herself at 16

Throwback pic: Leah Remini opened up about growing up in Scientology and the expectations that she experienced from a young age while posting a throwback picture of herself at 16

Remini wore a black leather jacket and, while turned sideways, she looked over her right shoulder. 

‘1. This photo was taken when I was 16. I was so proud of this headshot. I thought my side pony made me look versatile and like a consummate actress. I was ready to take on the world. But by this point, I had been living the life of an adult for years even though I was a kid.

She continued, ‘2. 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. 

She then revealed that she hadn’t received any sort of ‘formal education for years’ at the time  because she had ‘been working for years so that I could support myself and my family.’  

Talking Scientology: The actress, 51, discussed her beginnings in the religious movement in a series of tweets (pictured 2019)

Talking Scientology: The actress, 51, discussed her beginnings in the religious movement in a series of tweets (pictured 2019)

Growing up early: Remini, picture 2010, said she was forced to be 'accountable like an adult' and 'even things that I wasn’t responsible for, was my fault'

Growing up early: Remini, picture 2010, said she was forced to be ‘accountable like an adult’ and ‘even things that I wasn’t responsible for, was my fault’

‘Scientology was my life,’ she wrote. ‘Our friends were mostly Scientologists, I met my agent through Scientologists, and I worked for an insurance company owned by Scientologists.’ 

The Second Act actress then took her followers through her audition processes early on in the career. She said she ‘auditioned for roles but was repeatedly told that my brash approach and thick Brooklyn accent were taking me nowhere fast.’  

Remini was accepted to New York University last year at the age of 50, and she said that she wouldn’t have believed such a thing was possible for her in her childhood.  

Scientology throughout her life: Most of who Remini said she knew growing up were through Scientology including her agent and her friends (pictured 2019)

Scientology throughout her life: Most of who Remini said she knew growing up were through Scientology including her agent and her friends (pictured 2019)

New lease on life: Remini said she never though she'd go back to college by saying 'Had you told me then that I would be a student at NYU at age 51, I wouldn’t have believed it' (pictured 2012)

New lease on life: Remini said she never though she’d go back to college by saying ‘Had you told me then that I would be a student at NYU at age 51, I wouldn’t have believed it’ (pictured 2012)

‘Had you told me then that I would be a student at NYU at age 51, I wouldn’t have believed it,’ she wrote on the popular social media site. 

‘I had big dreams back then but when I look back they were rooted in my desire to survive…I couldn’t have imagined a world in which I would be a university student at my age.’

She concluded with a reflection on how her viewpoint changed and, in a sense, how she’s become a villain in Scientology. 

‘And the idea that I would leave Scientology and work to expose the abuses that current and former members face was not a thought I could even conjure up,’ she wrote. ‘Only Scientology’s darkest enemies would think in such a way.’

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