Leighton Meester Is Leaving 'Gossip Girl'

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Leighton Meester will leave Gossip Girl in two years, she says.

Why not go now? "Because we're under contract," Meester told E! Online while promoting Country Strong (in theaters Jan. 7) over the weekend.

She says she "obviously enjoys working on the show and living in New York," but wants to explore other projects. Producers have been understanding, she says.

"It allows you to be ready for when the show's over," adds Meester.

As for when the CW show, which premiered in 2007, will go off the air, she says, "I don't know," but hints it could be sooner rather than later: "I think there's that old saying about wanting to go out on top."

In August, show creator and executive producer Josh Schwartz shot down rumors that Blake Lively, who starred in The Town and will appear in Green Lantern, will leave the show.

"Have to respond. No truth to rumors that BL (Blake Lively) requested to have Serena killed. All is well," he wrote.

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