DWTS Alum Is Attending College at 52


Heavy "Dancing With the Stars" alum Leah Remini is attending college after spending "35 years in a cult."

“Dancing With the Stars” alum Leah Remini is attending college after spending “35 years in a cult.”

“Two years ago, I had an 8th-grade education thanks to spending 35 years in a cult,” Remini wrote via Instagram on June 2. “And now, at age 52, I’ve successfully finished my second year at NYU.”

The Hollywood star said it wasn’t easy for her to restart her education.

“Undertaking this educational journey has been one of the most difficult experience of my life,” she said. “There have been days where I’ve thought about giving up.”

But Remini said that she doesn’t have any regrets. “While I’m still not finished, I’m so glad I decided to dive in,” the former Scientologist wrote via Instagram. “If you have the desire and capacity, please remember that it’s never too late to start again.”

In the caption of her post she added, “Thank you for all your love and support.”

Remini is a former Scientologist who advocates “for people who Scientology’s policies have victimized,” per Variety. The “King of Queens” star left the organization in 2013. That same year, she appeared on “DWTS” and was partnered with Tony Dovolani. They came in fifth place, per TV Line.

Remini has been married to her husband,  Angelo Pagan, since 2003. They have one child, an 18-year-old daughter, Sofia Bella.

According to the Internet Movie Database, Remini is best known for her roles in “The King of Queens,” “Second Act,” and “Leah Remini: Scientology an The Aftermath,” a TV show that featured stories from former Scientology members who were “affected by the Church’s alleged harmful practices,” per the IMDb. 

Remini Originally Turned Down ‘DWTS’

Remini said she was cut off from her friends and family who were still in the Church of Scientology when she left, but she made new friends when she joined the “Dancing With the Stars” universe.

“I think it’s been hard, but its also been a time of growth for me and I found new strength and I found new friends and its been really great actually,” Remini told E! News in 2013. “I thought it was gonna be much harder, but people have really come to my aid and I’m just filled with love and joy.”

She might be a part of the “DWTS” ethos now, but Remini didn’t always want to participate in the competition.

“I really was living in a place of fear, I do things that I’m comfortable with…but if you’re never stretching yourself, you’re never really growing. And I always said no to the show, and then I was like–you know with what I had done–I was like, I need to start doing things that I’m scared of, and this is the time to do it,” Remini told the publication.

Remini Is a ‘Mess’ Over Her Daughter

Remini isn’t the only one in her family who’s attending college. Her daughter, Sofia, is also pursuing a higher education.

Remini said Sofia thought she found the right college for her, but left after things “didn’t work out.”

The star said Sofia came home for a few months, but found a new college and re-enrolled. Remini said she was heartbroken when her daughter left home again.

“You’d think the second time would be easier, but Angelo and I are even more of a mess now,” Remini wrote via Instagram in February.

“She’s back at it now, going through all the things a first-year college student should be going through, and we, her parents, are going through what parents like us go through,” Remini continued. “Crying, not knowing what to do with ourselves now other than looking at pictures and videos and crying some more.”

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