Leighton Meester Wins Court Battle Against Mother

"Gossip Girl" star no longer financially obligated to Constance Meester.

ByABC News
June 7, 2012, 11:14 AM

June 7, 2012— -- intro: "Gossip Girl" star Leighton Meester never has to pay her mother another dime.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Gregory Alacron ruled Wednesday that there was no valid or enforceable agreement requiring Meester to pay her mom, Constance Meester, any amount of money.

Constance, who gave birth to her daughter while serving time in a federal prison for a drug smuggling conviction, told TMZ last year that her daughter promised to give her $10,000 a month for the rest of her life. Last July, Meester asked a judge to rule that no such agreement existed and that she was not contractually bound to pay her mother money.

Meester also sued her mother, whom she had previously booted as her manager, for custody of her younger brother after her mom allegedly spent money meant for her brother's medical bills to pay for her own cosmetic surgery.

Constance Meester countersued for $3 million, alleging that her daughter repeatedly "hit her with a bottle" in December 2010 and was so crazed that her brother had to pull her off, but she later dropped the suit. Her daughter, however, continued to proceed with her claim.

Click through to read about eight other celebrity family feuds.

quicklist: 1title: Betty Witherspoon and John Witherspoontext: Last month, a visibly pregnant Reese Witherspoon appeared at an emergency competency hearing for her father, where a judge would dedice in a closed courtroom whether John Witherspoon could handle his own financial affairs.

Witherspoon's mother, Betty Witherspoon, is suing her husband, the Oscar-winning actress' father, for bigamy, saying that he took part in an illegal marriage that she learned about from the local newspaper. She is seeking to have the marriage annulled.

The family fears that the woman John Witherspoon married, Tricianne Taylor, may be trying to take advantage of his finances.

The court proceedings were closed, but Witherspoon and her brother asked a judge to place their father under a conservatorship, The Tennessean reported.

In the lawsuit, which is filed against John Witherspoon, 70, and Taylor, 60, Betty Witherspoon said that she was still in love with her husband and did not want a divorce from him. Betty described her husband as troubled -- with drinking, hoarding and money problems -- and in court documents said she believes he is suffering from early-onset dementia.

A restraining order was granted barring Taylor from using the Witherspoon name.

Betty Witherspoon said Taylor tried to take out bank loans in her husband's name, according to court documents, which also allege John Witherspoon did not remember marrying Taylor.

Court records show that Betty Witherspoon would like Taylor to return any vehicles, jewelry or other property acquired since their wedding.

"This is obviously a very difficult situation ... for someone who's as private as Reese Witherspoon," Charlotte Triggs, staff writer at People magazine, said. "It's really a stressful time for her." media: 16317950

quicklist: 2title: George Jones and Georgette Lennontext:George Jones has been fighting more than an upper respiratory infection; the country legend has gone public with a feud he's having with his daughter, Georgette Lennon, his only child with singer Tammy Wynette.

Jones posted a video on his website Tuesday, saying he wanted to apologize to his fans for his daughter and her new husband, Jamie Lennon, for "putting so much bad things about me on the Internet and Facebook."

"None of these things are true. They are all about money," he said.

"I have gave and gave till I can no longer give. I will never let her go hungry, but I am tired of putting out, and I am not the person they claim I am," said Jones.

The 80-year-old country star was hospitalized for nearly a week last month and had to postpone shows. He said in the video that he is on his way back to good health.

Meanwhile, his daughter, who performs as a country singer under the name Georgette Jones, has been defending herself on Facebook. She denied ever making any negative statements about her dad or selling stories to the tabloids.

"I have never and never will talk trash anywhere about my Dad and can easily prove that," she wrote on a group fan page, adding that she was "completely devastated." "I love my dad very much and would never hurt him."

Lennon explained in a long post that the feud began two years ago over a "personal issue" she declined to name, but it involved someone spreading lies about her to her father and his wife, Nancy. At the time, she was waiting for her father to decide whether he would walk her down the aisle at her wedding to Lennon, a pedal steel guitarist. When her father booked a performance on the same date, she realized it wasn't going to happen.

Though she never publicly criticized her father, others on her Facebook page did. She said she deleted every comment and eventually shut down the page.

Last year Lennon released a book about her relationship with her father and her late mother called "The Three of Us: Growing Up with Tammy & George." She wrote on Facebook, "I could have said many things in my book or out of hurt and anger since these lies started, but I still choose not to because I love him. Please keep us in your prayers."media: 16220646

quicklist: 3title: Tiger Woods and Kevin, Earl Jr. and Royce Woods text:Tiger Woods' half-siblings say their calls for help from the golf superstar have fallen on deaf ears.

Woods' older half-sibling, Kevin Woods, has been battling multiple sclerosis and is now confined to a wheelchair. He needs a caretaker and is in danger of losing his San Jose home. Kevin's brother Earl Woods Jr. told ESPN's Rick Reilly that calls to their famous sibling have gone unreturned.

"I leave messages. I leave updates on Kevin, but for whatever reason I don't get a response. ? Kevin loves Tiger. A call from Tiger would really pump Kevin up. When he doesn't call, it just makes him feel worse," Earl Woods Jr. said.

Woods' rep did not respond to ABCNews.com's request for comment.

Earl Woods Jr., Kevin Woods, and their sister Royce share the same father, Earl Woods, as Tiger. They are the offspring of Earl Woods' first marriage to Barbara Gary.

The Woods siblings remained close with their half-brother until he turned "about 15 or 16," and his star started to rise, Earl Woods Jr. said. Since their father's death in 2006, the half-siblings have not been able to contact Woods at all.

Now Kevin Woods needs his famous brother's help, Earl Woods Jr. says.

"Nobody's asking for money here, but [a caregiver] really would be nice for Kevin. It would make Kevin comfortable. He wouldn't have to leave his house. ? But we'd at least like to be able to find out how Tiger is, to find out if he's OK, and to let him know if we're OK," Earl Woods Jr. told Reilly.

Barbara Gary Woods, Earl Woods' first wife, told Reilly, "I'm very disappointed in Tiger. Before he got all famous, they were in touch a lot."

Earl Woods Jr. was more vehement.

"I'd like to [slap] Tiger, wake him up. I'd like to say, 'Don't come knocking on the door when you need a bone-marrow transplant.' To see this is the response we get? Maybe when you see the world like he does, you don't see what other people are going through. But, seriously? You've got problems with your knee? That's nothing compared to what Kevin is going through. Nothing," he said.media: 15432519

quicklist: 4title: Tracy Morgan, Asia Morgan and Alicia Warden text: In February, Tracy Morgan's mother and sister bad-mouthed him to the media for refusing to help save his mother's home from foreclosure.

Asia Morgan, 41, called her famous older brother a "d*****bag," telling the New York Daily News that the gloves are off "because of the way he's treating our mother."

Morgan, 43, shot back: "I am saddened that these untrue stories about me have people questioning my commitment to my family," he said in a statement to ABCNews.com. "For reasons that are between us, I have not seen my mother in 11 years and outside of a random call here and there have had little to no contact with my sister."

"We all have personal family issues that we have to deal with in life, but I choose to deal with mine in private and not through the media," the statement concluded.

According to Morgan's mom, Alicia Warden, the "30 Rock" star has refused to help her save her northeast Ohio home from foreclosure. Warden told the Daily News that after she called her multimillionaire son for help, one of his employees called back and said, "Tracy's offering you a one-shot deal" of $2,000.

"I told her, 'Thank you, but no thank you. I'm not some person in the street,'" Warden said, adding, "That was the straw that broke the camel's back."

"He's never been a nice person," said Asia, who lives near her mother. "And money's just made it worse."

Warden first approached her son about helping in February 2011, when she lost her job. She said he agreed to pay off her mortgage but changed his mind after accusing her of talking to the media, a charge she denied.

When Morgan collapsed at Sundance, Warden learned about it on the Internet, and the world learned that he was estranged from his mother when she called the Daily News to say she hadn't seen him in 11 years, had only talked to him on the phone.

"My mom's house isn't extravagant, but it's her home. Her health is failing. She has diabetes, and her legs are giving out on her," Asia told the Daily News. "This would be a drop in the bucket for Tracy. She has a son that can do, and she's done everything that she could possibly could for her family."media: 15491472

quicklist: 5title: Scarlett Johansson and Melanie Sloantext: Since Scarlett Johansson fired her mother, Melanie Sloan, as her manager in 2009, Sloan's financial situation has taken a turn for the worse. And, for now, it does not appear the starlet will come to her mother's rescue.

Sloan, who managed her daughter's career from her debut in the film "North" at age 9, claimed that she could no longer afford to buy a $1.4 million Manhattan apartment that she signed a contract for in October 2011 because she no longer had sufficient income to obtain a mortgage. She was suing the apartment's owners to get back her $130,000 deposit.

The owners are fighting back. Adam Leitman Bailey, a lawyer for the sellers, told ABCNews.com in January that Sloan claimed she had the financial resources to purchase the apartment back in October, then, three weeks later, said she couldn't afford it.

"I don't understand how someone's financial situation changes so quickly," Bailey said. "We think she's committing fraud and we believe she is not due the deposit back."

ScarJo replaced her mom in November 2009 with Hollywood uber agent Rick Yorn, whose roster includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz.

"Once I got married, I felt that I needed to cut the cord," the 26-year-old star told Vanity Fair.media: 15322830

quicklist: 6title: Beyonce vs. Matthew Knowlestext: When Beyonce announced in May 2011 that she was forming her own management company and would no longer require her father's services as a manager, she said, "He is my father for life and I love my dad dearly."

But her parting with Matthew Knowles might have been less than amicable.

In court documents filed in a Texas district court in July 2011, Knowles, who managed his daughter's career for 14 years -- from her Destiny's Child days to solo superstardom -- suggested that Beyonce believed her father stole from her and, as a result, barred him from her business affairs.

It could not have helped that Matthew Knowles admitted to having had an affair with Alexsandra Wright, who gave birth to their child. Beyonce's mother, Tina Knowles, filed for divorce from Beyonce's father soon afterward.

Matthew Knowles told The Associated Press that his relationship with Beyonce was "extremely amicable."

"Business is business and family is family. I love my daughter and am very proud of who she is and all that she has achieved," he said.media: 15322841

quicklist: 7title: Tori Spelling vs. Candy Spellingtext: In her memoir, "Mommywood," Tori Spelling described a dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship between her and her mother, Candy Spelling, which crumbled after family patriarch Aaron Spelling suffered a stroke in 2006.

The legendary producer behind the hit TV shows "Love Boat," "Dynasty" and "Beverly Hills: 90210" in which he cast his daughter, left behind a $500 million estate but gave a majority of his fortune to his wife, Candy Spelling, 66, while Tori Spelling, 38, inherited a mere $800,000.

Eventually, Tori Spelling said her credit card bills had her close to bankruptcy.

"It was after '90210.' Financially, I wasn't doing well. I didn't know what the next stage of my life was. I didn't know what direction I was going to go into," Tori Spelling told ABC's Juju Chang in July 2011. "I wanted to be an adult and we had money, and I was like, 'Great.' So, I would just go buy furniture. And, 'Oh, it's this amount? OK, I guess that's what it's supposed to cost.' I didn't know. I didn't know about having a budget."

Things between the reality show starlet and her mother really became heated in 2009 when the elder Spelling wrote an open letter to her daughter on TMZ.com titled "Middle-Aged Reality Show Stars (Like My Daughter)."

In the letter, Candy Spelling criticized her daughter for having her life played out on camera and turning her kids into "reality show props."

The two have since reconciled and Tori Spelling told Chang that the birth of her children, Liam, 5, and Stella, 3, and Hattie, 4 months, helped to heal their shaky mother-daughter bond. She added that now she feels "grateful" she didn't get her inheritance because it gave her "that extra push" to build up her own enterprise. media: 15491898

quicklist: 8title: Tatum O'Neal vs. Ryan O'Nealtext: Tatum O'Neal was born in the spotlight, the daughter of actor Ryan O'Neal, and was an Oscar winner by age 10. But while everything seemed glamorous on film, off-screen the former child star said her life became "very toxic."

Tatum O'Neal told "Nightline" anchor Cynthia McFadden in a June 2011 interview that by the time she was in her teens she was using drugs and alcohol, had been molested several times by family friends and had tried to commit suicide.

In her memoir, "Found: A Daughter's Journey Home," a follow-up to her 2004 New York Times best-selling memoir, "A Paper Life," O'Neal, candidly talked about her addictions, struggles with living in the public eye and her strained relationship with her parents.

Father and daughter endured a 25-year estrangement. They began talking again after the death of Ryan O'Neal's longtime partner, actress Farrah Fawcett, in 2009. But the relationship took a step back after the pair starred in the eight-part docu-series "Ryan & Tatum: The O'Neals," on the "Oprah Winfrey Network" (OWN) last summer.

"In fact, we're further apart now than when we started the show," Ryan O'Neal told TV Guide after the show wrapped. "So thanks, Oprah, for all your help."media: 15491752