Why did Jenny Humphrey suddenly leave Gossip Girl after season 4? Taylor Momsen —the actress who played the role — broke down why she decided to exit the show.

“I was the new girl. I was ‘Grinch girl,’” she recalled while appearing on a September 2023 episode of the “Podcrushed” podcast, hosted by Penn Badgley. “I was always in this kind of weird, isolated world, partially of my own creating, probably.”

Keep reading for all the details. 

Why Did Taylor Momsen Leave ‘Gossip Girl’?

Taylor explained that she was only 12 years old when the pilot was shot and didn’t really want to leave her middle school friends — but was “convinced” to do the show.

“Larger powers than me came down and went, ‘This is a great opportunity,’” the actress — who is also the front woman rock band The Pretty Reckless — shared on the podcast. “That’s where music became such a solace for me. Thanking back on my life, it was this place where I could just be — writing songs, emoting how I felt. I was by myself a lot. I didn’t have my own clique.”

The former actress explained that as the years went by, she realized that she had more of a say in her own choices — leading her to quit acting.

“It was a childhood thing that I got put into at two years old. I wasn’t making my own choices then,” Taylor added. “Literally, as soon as I got to an age where I could make my own decisions, it was like a click … I woke up one morning and went, ‘Wait a second. I don’t have to do this? I don’t have to do this other job? I can just play in my band and tour and write songs? I can just do that?’ Granted, a little more complicated to get out of a television show than that, but the answer was yes.”

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Photo by James Devaney/WireImage

How Did Taylor Momsen Leave Her ‘Gossip Girl’ Role?

When she decided to uproot and change her life pretty much overnight, the Gossip Girl team was there to help.

“They went, ‘Well, we can’t let you out of your deal, but we can write you out of the show, so you can go on tour,’” Taylor revealed. “They really allowed me to follow my dream, and I’m forever grateful and thankful to them for that.”

While Taylor played Jenny Humphrey on the show, Penn starred as her older brother, Dan Humphrey. Viewers of the show will remember when Jenny randomly decided to move to London in the fourth season. This podcast episode marked the first time the former onscreen siblings rounded since the show’s 2012 series finale.

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