Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester seems to have it all: an accomplished career, a lovely family, and financial security. She’s married to fellow actor Adam Brody, who starred in his own teen drama, The O.C. Meester and Brody have two children together.
Now that reboots are all the rage, Meester’s old show is getting its own second chance. The Gossip Girl reboot will be on HBO Max, but the actor has said at this point she doesn’t plan to be on it.
Despite all her career and personal success, Meester’s life didn’t exactly start off easy. She has a troubled family life which led her to sue her own mother in 2011.
Leighton Meester’s mom has a troubled history
That landed her in prison, along with Doug, and Meester’s maternal aunt and grandfather. Meester came into the world with a good chunk of her family behind bars, including her mom. She was taken out of her mother’s custody shortly after birth and sent to live with her maternal grandmother.
Meester’s family struggled with money for her entire childhood, but Meester doesn’t blame them for any rough times. She doesn’t even blame her mother for being in prison when she was born. She’s said in the past that despite it all she believes her mother is a good person, although it’s not clear if she still thinks so after their legal battle.
Leighton Meester was forced to sue her own mother
Things came to a head between Meester and her mother Constance in 2011 when Meester filed a lawsuit in LA courts. According to Meester, she had been sending her mother $7,500 a month for her little brother’s medical care.
Lex, Meester’s brother, was not well. Although it is not clear exactly what was wrong with him, his condition was apparently bad enough to warrant brain surgery. Meester sent her mother the money to aid his recovery, but unfortunately, that’s not what it was used for.
Instead of using the money for her son’s care, Meester’s mother took the $7,500 a month and put it right in her own pocket. According to court documents, Constance got Botox, hair extensions, and plastic surgery with the money Meester sent for Lex’s care.
That would have been bad enough, but after Meester took her mother to court over the misuse of money, her mom demanded even more money.
The court sided with Leighton Meester
Constance turned around and counter sued her own daughter, claiming that she was owed money from the Gossip Girl star on multiple grounds. She asserted that she was Meester’s manager, that she was an adult-dependent of Meester, and that Meester’s attorney had promised her $10,000 a month in exchange for testimony in another court case Leighton had against her agency.
All of the claims were shot down by the court. Constance was never Meester’s manager, and if she were an adult-dependent, only a guardian could bring suit against Meester.
Lastly, exchanging testimony for monetary gain is not permitted, so Meester could not have paid for her mother’s testimony. The court sided with Meester and agreed that she had never had a contract to pay her mother $10,000 a month.
Meester was still working on Gossip Girl at the time the lawsuit was decided. The show would end a year later, but Meester is still hesitant to badmouth her parents. She’s a private person who rarely talks about her own children, and she doesn’t seem willing to air her dirty laundry. She may be afraid that her family drama will distract people from her career, which is her real focus.