Leah Remini 'in tears' over acceptance to NYU at 50: 'It's just never too late'

·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
·2-min read
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 12: Leah Remini attends
Leah Remini will be getting her associate's degree at New York University. (Photo: John Lamparski/WireImage)

Leah Remini is headed to college — after Scientology kept her from her educational path.

The 50-year-old actress, who left the controversial organization in 2013, was both "excited" and "in tears" as she shared on social media that she's been accepted to New York University School of Professional Studies. She'll be working toward an associate degree in liberal arts.

"For someone like me, a person who desperately wanted a higher education and options in my life, coming from a cult and a family who didn't value an education, this is a very big day for me," the former King of Queens star wrote.

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"This didn’t come easy," the Brooklyn, N.Y.-born star continued. "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.... I did it anyway."

Remini, who shares a 16-year-old daughter with husband Angelo Pagan, didn't sugarcoat that she's "scared shitless." However, she said she's ready "to do the work."

She added, "It’s just never too late is it?"

Her page was filled with congratulations, including from her best friend Jennifer Lopez, who wrote, "So proud of you baby!" and noted in the hashtag, "No, it's never too late."

Their mutual friend, producer Elaine Goldsmith Thomas, shared Remini's post, noting Remini "had always wanted a college education, but when she was very young she had joined a cult, and [was] waylaid."

Remini followed her parents into Scientology at age 9 — and as she became a star, she became one of the more famous faces of the organization with members including Tom Cruise and John Travolta. Remini and her family famously left Scientology in 2013.

She's since written a book about her experience — and made a docuseries, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. As prominent Scientologist Danny Masterson faces rape charges, Remini has shown support for his accusers, after spotlighting them in her docuseries. The organization has called dismissed Remini as a "bitter" ex-member.

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