Angus T. Jones walked away from his lucrative role on hit sitcom Two And A Half Men to pursue a higher education, according to his co-star Ashton Kutcher.
The 19 year old rose to fame as Jake Harper, the nephew of original lead actor Charlie Sheen's character, when he was just 10, but he stepped down as a show regular earlier this year (13), just months after he apologised to programme bosses for branding the comedy "filth" and urging viewers to turn it off in a testimonial video for the religious organisation Forerunner Chronicles.
Reports suggested Jones' exit from the programme was linked to his controversial comments, but now Kutcher, who replaced Sheen as the main star in 2011, insists the youngster simply wanted to attend college like a "normal kid".
He says, "Angus has been on the show his entire childhood and last year, he's like, 'Man, I really want to go to college and be a normal kid.' I was like, 'Angus, please come back, do one more year and then go to college', and so he came back last year and this year he decided he really wanted to go to college, so he's going to go off to college."
Jones, who is said to have banked $6 million a year on the show, has yet to speak out about his departure from Two and a Half Men, but Kutcher is hoping he will still make guest appearances in the near future.
He adds, "(Jones' character) went off to the military last year and so he's off fighting wars on behalf of the United States government... Maybe we could get him to Skype in or something... I don't know how they (writers) are gonna do it."
Actress Amber Tamblyn has since been cast as Jones' replacement and will star as his character's lesbian cousin.