Published January 13, 2015
"Gossip Girl" actress Leighton Meester may be glamorous now, but the 22-year-old was born in jail, where her mother was serving time for smuggling drugs.
"It makes me very nonjudgmental and open-minded," she told Us Weekly. "And I think it just makes me appreciate the things that I have now."
Leighton's mom, Connie, had given birth to her just as her 10-year prison term began; she wound up serving only 16 months and was released in 1986.
Her father Doug also served time for his involvement in the drug ring that smuggled over 1,200 pounds of marijuana into the United States from Jamaica. Her parents split up in 1992.
Today, Leighton and mother Connie — who is a screenwriter — have a solid relationship.
"She's always there for me no matter what," she told Us. "I swear, that woman knows everything."