Leighton Meester's early life was quite chaotic. Her mom and dad smuggled drugs for a Jamaican cartel, garnering them prison sentences. Leighton was born while her mother was staying at a halfway house, and eventually moved to New York City to live with her aunt. In New York City, she attended school and also began a modeling career as a teenager.
Her first major role was on the show Law & Order, and that served a launching pad for other television appearances including ones on Numb3rs, 7th Heaven, Entourage, and House M.D. She got her first major part on the show Gossip Girl, where she plays a rich and conniving Manhattan socialite. The part has seen much positive press, getting her a lot of earned attention and helping her get jobs in movies such as Date Night, featuring actress Tina Fey and actor Steve Carrell. She has also become a spokesmodel for Clearasil, Reebok, and the South Korean clothing company ASK Enquired. In 2009, she is releasing an album of her own, as well.
In 2009, rumors of a sex tape of hers began circulating and in July these were confirmed with a bidding war breaking out in Los Angeles over rights to the film. It is due to be released later this year.