Culture

Leighton Meester

Leighton Meester
Leighton Meester
Leighton Marissa Meester is an American actress and singer. Meester first garnered attention and critical acclaim for playing Blair Waldorf in the CW's teen drama television series Gossip Girl. | Photo: | Leighton Meester, Actress, Gossip Girl, Sexy,

Helping to prevent domestic violence

Leighton Meester, known for her bad girl persona, Blair Waldorf, certainly does not live up to her character's evil ways. This month, Meester lended a hand, and a shoe to Marshall's Shop till It Stops in Union Square Park, New York City. She donated a pair of her own shoes to Soles4Soles, which give both new and gently worn shoes to people in need. Marshall's will donate $1 for every shoe purchased to help stop domestic violence.

After strutting down the runway in front of a barrage of Paparazzi and fans, Meester spoke, addressing teenagers. She spoke to the public about what teenagers can do to prevent domestic violence in their own lives. She told People Magazine, "I think it's an issue that everyone can take part in because it applies to everyone. You can be a victim or someone you love can be a victim. The more people are aware, the more it can be prevented."

Safe Horizon, the organization who sponsored the event, believes that every person impacted by violence and abuse deserves to have a "safe horizon;" a day when they could look forward to a better and safer tomorrow. Today, Safe Horizon is the largest organization helping victims of crime and abuse in the United States.

It's wonderful to see celebrities like Leighton Meester out there trying to make a difference in the world. Celebrities have such a powerful influence on people in this world, especially young teenagers. If they could use that power for good, many lives could be impacted for the better as a result. The more awareness we bring to problems such as domestic abuse, the better chance we have of stopping it.



Leighton Meester
Leighton Meester

In July 2011, Leighton Marissa Meester, born April 9, 1986, and her mother filed lawsuits against each other regarding Meester's financial support of her younger brother, who has multiple health problems. In June 2012, Meester subsequently won the lawsuit, with the judge rejecting her mother's claims from her previous counter-suit. | Photo: |
More on Meester
Meester was born in Fort Worth, Texas, to Constance (n?e Haas) and Douglas Meester, and lived most of her life in New York City and Los Angeles. Meester's last name is the Dutch word for "master" or "teacher". At the time of her birth, her mother was serving time in a federal prison for her involvement in a drug ring that smuggled marijuana from Jamaica to the USA. She was able to give birth to Leighton in a hospital and nurse her for three months in a halfway house, before returning to prison to complete her sentence, after which Leighton's grandmother cared for her. She has a brother, Alexander, who is 8 years younger. Meester has maintained that her parents gave her a normal upbringing and, despite their criminal past, are good people with experience that has only made Meester more open-minded and non-judgmental, "It made me realize that you can't judge anyone ' especially your parents ' for what they've done in their past, because people change." Meester has joked, "Look, I could've turned out a lot worse." She has cited her mother as her style icon.

Meester grew up in Marco Island, Florida, where she participated in productions at a local playhouse. When she was 11 years old, Meester and her mother moved to New York City. Meester attended the Professional Children's School and also began working as a model with Wilhelmina, booking a Ralph Lauren campaign shot by Bruce Weber and working with then photographer (now film maker) Sofia Coppola as well as many commercials including Tamagotchi toys and Clearasil. She has also posed for Limited Too campaigns alongside fellow future actress, Amanda Seyfried, in which Seyfried recalls, "Leighton was very confident." Meester made her television acting debut as a murder victim's friend on an episode of Law & Order. At 14, Meester moved to Los Angeles, California, wanting more stable work, and attended Hollywood High School and Beverly Hills High School.[11][13] She then transferred to a small private school and graduated a year early.

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Updated Aug 12, 2017 12:14 PM EDT | More details

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