Most of us know Leighton Meester as her spoilt and bitchy Gossip Girl character Blair Waldorf. But in reality, she’s nothing like Blair – which is hardly surprising seeing as the actress’ upbringing couldn’t have been more different from her iconic character’s...
Leighton Meester became the it-girl of a generation when she hit our screens as Gossip Girl’s love-to-hate character Blair Waldorf. But in real life, Leighton Meester had a very rocky start to life – as she’s revealed that she was born whilst her mother Constance was serving a ten-year prison sentence for smuggling marijuana.
Both Constance and Leighton’s father Douglas had been imprisoned for their roles in a drug smuggling ring that brought over 1200 pounds of marijuana from Jamaica into the United States. Whilst her mum was a prisoner, Leighton was born in a hospital and spent the first few months of her life in a halfway house where Constance was able to nurse her.
After that, baby Leighton lived with her grandparents whilst her mother served sixteen months in prison before being released. She’s spoken openly about her unusual upbringing in interviews, saying in 2012:
‘You can take what is handed to you and use it as an excuse to mess up. But I've always handled what was given to me by life. I consider myself lucky. I was never lied to. And I was loved.’
Leighton started modelling at the age of 11 then hit the bigtime with her Gossip Girl role in 2007. She has always been keen to see the positive side of her difficult start to life, telling Us Weekly back in 2008:
‘It makes me very nonjudgmental and open-minded. And I think it just makes me appreciate the things that I have now.’
What is Leighton Meester’s net worth?
As of 2019, Leighton Meester and her actor husband Adam Brody were estimated to have a joint fortune of $16 million. The couple met whilst filming The Oranges back in 2011 and married in 2014. They welcomed a daughter named Arlo Day Brody in August 2015. Leighton and Adam recently bought a $6.5 million mansion on the Los Angeles coast.