Gossip Girl Taylor Momsen was today blasted by anti-violence campaigners after boasting she carries a flick-knife everywhere and even carried it on a plane.
The American actress, 16, told how she has a knife collection and ‘relaxes’ by opening and closing a switchblade.
She said: ‘I have a knife collection. I have my favorite black knife with me all the time. It’s a switchblade.
‘It relaxes me to flick it. I close it and open it.’
Momsen, who is currently in London promoting her band The Pretty Reckless, went on: ‘I flew from New York to Los Angeles and still had a couple of knives in my purse. I thought I took them all out but they got tucked up in the folds.
‘I took them through security, took them on the plane, opened my bag to get my wallet in LA and they fell out. I was like ‘holy s***’,’ the 16-year-old added.
But her words were condemned by campaigner Lyn Costello who said her comments were ‘warped’.
The co-founder of Mothers Against Murder and Aggression said she should set a better example to young fans.
Momsen, who is in the UK to promote her band The Pretty Reckless, made her comments in an interview with the Metro newspaper.
Mrs Costello criticized the star and said: ‘When they’re put up as a teenage icon or any kind of idol they have to think about what they’re saying.
‘We’re losing our teenagers on a high scale to knife crime. I’d rather they were saying don’t have a knife and I certainly am quite appalled by her saying “I sit and play with it to relax me”.
‘What they need to do, these actresses and pop singers and rap singers, is realize that actually this can happen to you – and how would you feel if it did? – and become a little bit more sensible.
‘It’s just ridiculous. It, to me, just shows that she’s a little bit warped.
‘America has got the same problem with violence, it’s worldwide now, and what we should be doing as sensible adults is now saying to our young people – it is not trendy, it is not cool, it is not fashionable.
‘Not that it’s okay to sit and play with a switchblade, because a child, or that young person that listens to them and thinks “Well I’ll have one in my bag” could end up either killing somebody or having it used against them. So get a brain.’
And a spokeswoman for the charity Crimestoppers said: ‘For Taylor Momsen to take such a relaxed and flippant approach to carrying knives is extremely naive and reckless. In the UK it is illegal to carry knives and many who do often end up becoming the victim of knife attacks themselves.
‘These are extremely dangerous weapons and should not ever be thought of as some sort of toy to play with.
‘Crimestoppers is a charity which, in the UK, runs a texting service for young people to pass on information about those who are carrying knives as we know the dangers and devastation that knives can cause. We feel the fact that we run our texting service highlights the severity of carrying a knife.’