Lea Michele Changed Her Last Name Because of Bullying

Celebrity News Dec. 8, 2011 AT 7:01PM
Lea Michele Changed Her Last Name Because of Bullying Credit: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Lea Michele and Rachel Berry aren't that different after all.

Like the character she plays on Glee, the 25-year-old actress was bullied in her younger years. So much so, in fact, that she changed her last name to get kids to stop picking on her! 

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"Sarfati. That's my real last name," Michele said on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno Wednesday. "I don't use it a lot because I got Lea So-fatty, Lea So-farty at school."

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So when did the star drop her real last name in favor of Michele? "When I was little and I went on my first audition, they were like, 'And may we have your name?' And I was like, 'Lea Michele.' And I've been Lea Michele ever since."

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The actress isn't the only celeb who was picked on; stars like Demi Lovato, Jessica Simpson and Eva Longoria have also opened up on their struggles with bullying.

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