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Reneé Rapp thanks ‘Sex Lives of College Girls’ for changing her life amid exit news

The 23-year-old actor will only appear in a few episodes of the upcoming third season. 
/ Source: TODAY

Reneé Rapp is reflecting on the lasting impact of her “The Sex Lives of College Girls” character, Leighton, following news that she is leaving the show. 

On July 10, Deadline reported that Rapp will no longer be a series regular on the hit Max series. Rapp will only appear in a few episodes of the show’s upcoming third season before exiting “The Sex Lives of College Girls.”

Shortly after the news broke, Rapp commented on her departure in a statement posted on her Instagram story. 

@reneerapp via Instagram

The 23-year-old actor said the dramedy brought her to Los Angeles and helped her meet a few of her “favorite people.”

“2 and a half years later—it’s given me y’all and this community,” she wrote before expressing her gratitude to the show’s creative team. “Thank u Mindy (Kaling), Justin (Noble) and everyone at Max for believing in me.” 

She spoke about the significance of portraying Leighton, a wealthy legacy student who struggles to come out to her friends and family. 

Rapp continued, “A lot of queer work gets belittled—but playing Leighton has changed my life. I love who I am 10x more than I did before knowing her. I hope she gave y’all a little bit of that too. She’s such a tiny part of representation but even the tiny parts count.”

She shared that she “wouldn’t be half the person” she is today if she didn’t get to play Leighton and experience how much fans of “The Sex Lives of College Girls” support the character. 

At the end of her statement, she added, “I love that b— more than you know. I’m so excited for this season and I can’t wait for you to see what we have coming for her and the girls.” 

Rapp, Pauline Chalamet, Amrit Kaur and Alyah Chanelle Scott lead “The Sex Lives of College Girls” as four college roommates who attend the fictional New England university Essex College. 

Reneé Rapp as Leighton Murray in Max's "The Sex Lives of College Girls"
Reneé Rapp as Leighton Murray in Max's "The Sex Lives of College Girls"MAX

In Season One, the girls, who all came from different cultural and economic backgrounds, became friends and confided in each other as they navigated financial problems, relationships and fitting in. 

The Season Two finale set up multiple potential storylines for Leighton. In the last few episodes, she came out to her dad, reconnected with ex-girlfriend Alicia (Midori Francis) and left her sorority. 

Immediately after reports of Rapp’s departure, “Leighton” trended on Twitter. Viewers expressed their disappointment that the fan-favorite will not be a main character next season. 

“Goodbye leighton murray you were bigger than the whole sky,” one fan wrote, referencing a Taylor Swift song. 

Another mentioned Leighton’s close connection with Chalamet’s character, Kimberly, which was a big part of the show.  

“How am i supposed to live without the kimberly / leighton dynamic…….. leighton’s literally the group mom??????? they’re literally gonna fall apart,” the Twitter user said

Kaling, who co-created the show with Noble, also reacted to the surprising news. 

She shared the Deadline article on her Instagram story and wrote, “We love @reneerapp so much and of course will be so sad to say goodbye (to) Leighton Murray! But we can’t wait to see our friend on tour!!”

Kaling’s comment seemed to reference Rapp’s rising music and film career. Rapp has been cast as Regina George in the upcoming “Mean Girls” movie musical and she also released an EP in November 2022 titled, “Everything to Everyone.” 

Her debut album, “Snow Angel,” arrives on Aug. 18 and she has an international tour scheduled to kick off in September.

The singer will take over the TODAY Plaza on July 28 to perform for the 2023 Citi Concert Series

Rapp is the second main cast member to leave “The Sex Lives of College Girls” since it debuted in 2021. Gavin Leatherwood, who played Nico Murray in Season One, did not return for the sophomore season.