Gossip Girl stars now – family feud, custody battle and sex assault denial
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Gossip Girl was once dubbed "every parent's worst nightmare" by critics – but it didn't stop producers running through with the series which ultimately saw it land a whopping six-season run.
Spoiler alert – but Penn Badgley's Dan Humphrey was confirmed as the devious mystery character – and the actor's career has gone from strength to strength ever since.
Sadly, the same glittering future didn't await all of his Gossip Girl pals, with some going through difficult times in their private lives.
The show covered all bases of the life of a Manhattan teenager with incredible wealth, with drugs, partying and underage drinking also thrown into the mix.
Immediately the show was crowned one of the most popular series on TV, with January 26 being named "Gossip Girl Day" in New York in 2012 as the show aired its 100th episode.
To celebrate Mr Gossip Girl, Penn Badgley, turning 35 today (November 1), we're taking a look at what he and his co-stars did next.
Penn Badgley as Dan Humphrey
Penn appeared in multiple smaller roles prior to his debut as Dan Humphrey, including John Tucker Must Die as the 'Other Tucker'.
After his appearance in the film, he soon landed the role as Dan, the wannabe-writer who was very aware of the privilege that his fellow classmates – including girlfriend Serena – had access to.
While it was later revealed that Dan himself was the illusive voice behind Gossip Girl, he still managed to write himself into the world of the Upper East Side, but what did he do next?
Aside from getting married to Domino Kirke in 2017 and later welcoming a child together, Penn Badgley's career took a rather dark turn.
Not too far a stretch from his character Dan, Penn took on the role of Joe in Netflix hit series You, still being sneaky and secretly spying on others – much like Dan acting as Gossip Girl – except Joe, is a killer.
You recently launched its third series on Netflix, with his character Joe meeting his match in wife Love.
Leighton Meester as Blair Waldorf
Leighton Meester embodied Blair Waldorf in a way that created a character that the audience loved to hate.
The inherent sparkle and cattiness that was Blair Waldorf made the audience fear her, all the while rooting for her success.
But what did our iconic Queen B do next?
Leighton married The OC actor Adam Brody and headed towards the music industry after her time on Gossip Girl.
The beauty is now a mother-of-two and has focused on her family life, but it's not always been an easy ride for Leighton.
In 2011, just before the end of Gossip Girl, Leighton and her mother Constance filed lawsuits against one another over her financial support to her younger brother.
She chose to pay for her younger brother's medical expenses as he suffered multiple health problems, and would cover his school fees, but she denied committing to a monthly contribution.
Ultimately, Meester won the lawsuit.
Ed Westwick as Chuck Bass
Ed Westwick as Chuck Bass paired with Leighton as Blair supported the show in making it the success it was.
Initially, Chuck's character was supposed to head down a dark path, which is why he does such despicable things in the pilot.
However, after bosses saw Ed's chemistry with Leighton, Chuck and Blair was born.
Outside of Gossip Girl, Ed's life has been incredibly up and down, with relationships, co-star dating and in 2017, alleged sexual assault claims.
Ed actively denied all claims, previously stating: "I have never forced myself in any manner, on any woman. I certainly have never committed rape."
There was later deemed to be insufficient evidence behind the accusations and Ed was never charged.
In the years that followed the claims, Ed has focused on acting back in the UK, starring on the BBC's White Girls from 2017 to 2019.
While he was still on Gossip Girl, he dated co-star Jessica Szohr – who played Vanessa Abrams – and is currently thought to be single after he split from Tamara Francesconi earlier this year.
Blake Lively as Serena Van Der Woodsen
Blake Lively has had an incredibly successful career in the years that followed her debut as the ultimate It Girl from Manhattan, but it's not just her career that has proven to be a success.
Not only is Blake a big name in the industry and remains one of the most well-dressed celebs – particularly when it comes to the Met Gala – but she is also one half of the ultimate Hollywood couple alongside husband Ryan Reynolds.
The pair have three daughters together, who they have mostly kept hidden from the public eye, and still focus heavily on their careers as they celebrate their success.
Prior to Blake dating and marrying Ryan, she dated her co-star and childhood friend Penn Badgley in 2007 and they were on and off until 2010, before calling it quits for good.
Taylor Momsen as Jenny Humphrey
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Viewers quite literally saw Taylor Momsen grow up on screen as her character Jenny Humphrey started to change.
When Jenny turned into more of a rock princess, it was because Taylor herself was focusing on her music career too.
Fans recognised Taylor immediately, but many were unsure where from – until it was pointed out that she played Cindy Lou Who in The Grinch – a far cry from her drama-loving and fashion-first character Jenny Humphrey.
She left Gossip Girl after multiple reported issues on set as Taylor slowly started to focus on her music, she did return for the finale, but in the years that followed her exit she toured with her band The Pretty Reckless.
Taylor created her group in 2009 and it has been going strong ever since.
Chace Crawford as Nate Archibald
Chace Crawford was another heartthrob in Gossip Girl, presenting himself as the "good guy" compared to Chuck's "bad boy" demeanour.
As the series went on he remained one of the key characters, though Gossip Girl was his first leading role.
After it ended, he remained acting, most recently appearing in Inheritance alongside Lily Collins, while also appearing on Amazon Prime series The Boys.
Kelly Rutherford as Lily Van Der Woodsen
After Kelly Rutherford appeared on Gossip Girl, she faced a harrowing custody battle.
In 2012 her two children were sent to live with their father in France and Monaco as a custody battle launched, which saw her actively try to get her youngsters back throughout, with her colleagues giving her undeniable support.
Kelly legally lost custody of her children in 2015, though she admitted in 2019 that she does still see her children "often".
At the time she told PEOPLE: "They're just becoming their own people, like, you know, all of us. It's beautiful to see and I love that they share it with me. They're really open with me. We're just really bonding, which is nice."
Elsewhere, Kelly has continued in her acting career, landing roles in the likes of Dynasty and Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists.
Zuzanna Szadkowski as Dorota
Dorota may have appeared like a background character, but to many loyal fans she was an incredibly important part of the Upper East Side – with some fans even convincing themselves that she was Gossip Girl.
She was the housekeeper of the Waldorf home, but more than anything she was Blair Waldorf's right-hand woman, who even got her own spinoff Chasing Dorota when the series ended.
Since her time on the show, she has starred in multiple theatre productions, while also appearing on TV shows including Girls, The Good Wife, and Search Party.
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- Penn Badgley
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