'Gossip Girl' Star Sued By Her Mother in $3M Breach-of-Contract Lawsuit
September 9, 2011
In the unusual and ongoing Hollywood employment lawsuit that our Riverside employment attorneys have been following, Leighton Meester, the star of the hit television show Gossip Girl, who recently filed a lawsuit against her mother, Constance Meeester, is trying to have her mother's $3 million breach-of-contract counter-lawsuit dismissed by a judge.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the 25-year old Gossip Girl actress reportedly sued her mother Constance in July, claiming that the money she sent her family on a monthly basis to provide for her brother's medical attention was misused by her mother. Leighton claimed in the suit that there was no contractual obligation for her to send them the $7,500 per month, but that she wanted to provide medical care for her brother after his brain surgery last May. The money was reportedly used instead to further Constance's plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures.
Constance Meester reportedly responded by filing a counter-lawsuit a few days later alleging that Leighton had breached various contract agreements totaling $3 million, and that as her manager, she sacrificed her own personal happiness to support her daughter's acting career. According to Constance's complaint, she was allegedly taken advantage of by Leighton, claiming a breach of management, support and settlement agreements--all of which Leighton claims are non-existent agreements.
Leighton reportedly states that the document evidence used in her mother's lawsuit was only an employment agreement allowing Leighton's acting services to be legitimized by her corporation, Intentional Productions, Inc. (IPC). The document states that Leighton is to be given all the income from her activities, only allowing for certain things to be deducted by the corporation, like agent commissions, manager's fees, union dues and health contributions--none of which Leighton claim provided Constance with any money, as she had no authority over the income.
As the lawsuit unravels, it appears that the agreements for settlement and support between Constance and Leighton, derive from a 2009 lawsuit between Leighton and Abrams Artist Agency, her former talent agents where Marty Singer, the attorney representing Leighton, contacted Constance for her testimony--and in return for the testimony agreed orally that Constance would be given $10,000 per month. Leighton argues here that this oral contract is "void" because it is against the law to bargain for testimony in order to win a lawsuit, and that her mother would have the duty to give her testimony under subpoena.
In Constance's lawsuit, she reportedly claims that these oral contracts should be considered as settlement agreements--but Leighton attacks this claim on many grounds, asking for this case to be thrown out. Leighton is also asking for the case to be dismissed as her mother claims in the lawsuit to be a victim of dependent adult financial abuse, assuming the role of Leighton's dependent, relying on her daughter financially. Leighton states that Constance has presented no physical or mental limitations to assume such a role, and even if she did, she would require a guardian to sue on her behalf--which would be most likely be Leighton.
Our attorneys based in Orange County, California represent individuals with labor or employment issues. Contact us today, at Howard Law P.C. to discuss your employment rights.
Inside the Strange Legal Battle Between 'Gossip Girl' Star Leighton Meester and Her Mother (Analysis), The Hollywood Reporter, September 8, 2011
Leighton Meester on Mom's Lawsuit: Get Outta Town!, The Hollywood Gossip, September 7, 2011
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