The New York Personal Injury Blog

New York Gossip Girl Leighton Meester Lawsuit Against Mom

In a routine contract dispute with her mom, New York gossip girl Leighton Meester included some pretty scandalous allegations against her mother, Constance Meester.

The two Meesters are battling over whether Leighton is required to continue paying about $7,500 to her mother to care for her sick brother, Lex. In the lawsuit, Leighton is arguing that she voluntarily gave her mother the money every month and could withhold the payments if she wanted. However, Constance is arguing that her daughter made an oral contract promising to make the payments, so the Gossip Girl star could not just stop payments whenever she wanted.

Contract disputes are not sexy and the heart of this dispute -- whether an enforceable contract exists -- is especially not sexy. But what makes Leighton Meester's complaint headline-grabbing is the "facts" she includes in the lawsuit.

Starting off with the tame, Leighton alleges that her mother is lazy. Despite the ability to work, Leighton says that her mother refuses to do so and expects Leighton to support her.

Then the allegations really start to get harsh. Leighton says that she has been sending the money home to care for her sick brother. However, Leighton accuses Constance of taking the money and using it for things like hair extensions, cosmetic surgery, and Botox injections. Leighton then implies that Constance has been acting this way because she has a drug and alcohol abuse problem.

The relevancy of these allegations in a contract dispute is questionable, especially given the potential harm these charges may cause Constance Meester. Constance has fought back, calling the claims absurd, writes the Los Angeles Times. But is there anything Constance can do about the complaint, especially if the allegations turn out to be untrue?

Normally, when someone makes a false statement about you and that statement harms your reputation, you can bring a defamation action. However, this remedy may not be available to Constance. That's because not all defamatory statements are actionable. A speaker of a defamatory statement has an "absolute privilege" to make the statement in certain situations -- such as in a judicial proceeding.

So even if the allegations by New York gossip girl Leighton Meester turn out to be untrue, Constance Meester may have no legal remedy even if her reputation is damaged.

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