Katherine Heigl: ‘Girly Girl’ Naleigh Loves Stilettos

10/20/2011 at 04:00 PM ET
Steve Granitz/WireImage

Katherine Heigl‘s daughter Naleigh may be adopted, but the toddler is proving that when it comes to fashion, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

“She’s a total girly girl,” Heigl, 32, told PEOPLE at the Elle Women in Hollywood Tribute event in Beverly Hills Monday.

“I had my stylist over and we were working on the outfit for tonight, and she had a slew of beautiful shoes and jewelry and clothes. Naleigh Moon loves all that stuff — she put on these crazy stilettos.”

“She’s [almost] three years old and her foot’s this big,” Heigl marveled. “But she could clomp around in these stilettos I think are impossible to walk in.”

Naleigh’s budding passion for fashion isn’t the only similarity to her actress mom.

“She’s really chatty now, and she gets this little attitude — not a bad attitude, but a very grown up, saucy attitude that blows my mind because I don’t even know where she’s picking it up from,” said Heigl before admitting with a laugh, “Unless it’s from me, which would just be upsetting.”

But despite their similarities, the Grey’s Anatomy alum admits her daughter is totally smitten with dad Josh Kelley.

“She’s a real Daddy’s girl, so she’s always liked him better than me,” Heigl told reporters. “But she has these moments where she just wants me, and there’s nothing more heartbreaking and beautiful than that moment when she calls for me.”

And what’s the best part of being a mom for the upcoming star of New Year’s Eve?

“There are so many,” she says. “There’s something really sort of magical about this little being that looks at you like you’re God’s gift.”

— Jessica Wedemeyer

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 60 comments

Jennifer Redgrave on

Wasn’t her name Nancy Leigh Mi-Eun Kelley ? And now it’s Naleigh Moon ?

Melissa on

Their nickname for her is Naleigh Moon, Josh even wrote a song about it:


Cheryl on


“Katherine and Josh have named their daughter Nancy Leigh and she will go by the nickname Naleigh. She is named after Katherine’s mother Nancy and Katherine’s sister Margaret Leigh.

Thats from the people article.

Jane on

As an adoptive parent, I do not like the way the article begins. “She may be adopted but…” But, really? She is her child. That’s why she is becoming like mom. Adoption is an amazing thing and does not define the child forever. Done.

librababe on

@Jane…yeah the first sentence is bad. They can mention the adoption elsewhere.

Jessa on

Jane – from one adoptive mother to another, I couldn’t agree with you more.

Romy on

they look like old people in young people’s skin. time for new styles

Victoria on

Wouldn’t Mi-Eun be pronounced Moon?

Jared on

As a non-adoptive single person, I say people read into things way too heavily. The writer is not trying to make any kind of grand statement, just making a humored remark that even though Heigl’s “shoe gene” obviously didn’t get passed down to her adopted daughter, it’s still something they share, as mother/daughter.

Elle on

I’ve never commented on a people.com article, but that first line immediately jumped out at me, too. Really, people.com? Is that an appropriate way to start out the piece? “She may be adopted, but…”

She’s their daughter. Surely there was a more tactful way of mentioning the adoption in the text.

Tim on

I think they’re just saying it’s not hereditary, but a social adaptation. I don’t see anything attempting some sort of stigma for being adopted. They’re saying she’s just like her mom, and it’s not genetic, it’s social.

Jane on

As an adopted person, I see nothing wrong with the first line. In fact, it is just a way to humorously state that while they aren’t biologically related, like mother, like daughter. It’s not a personal attack on adoptive families. I like to joke that I thank God I don’t share my adoptive family’s genes, because I would be just as crazy and messed up as them.

Jared on

@Tim – Exactly. Like if I said the two guys on here were commenting logically, while the women’s comments were reactionary, that would be something to be incensed about. But not this article.


LP on

Family is family – no “but’s” about it.

Kim on

I think some of you are being a tad overreactive to that first line of the story. Seriously..all they are saying is that her fashion sense wasn’t biologically inheritated from Katherine. No big deal.

Mandy on

I couldn’t agree more. Your child is your child regardless of how they came into your life. I keep seeing these articles that just have to start out with them being adopted. This is 2011, I think we can stop trying to qualify different family types.

Catca on


You made my day with that comment – too funny! While there definitely wasn’t anything wrong about mentioning the adoption in the context the writer of the story did, I do empathize with the some of the adoptive parents. Journalists tend to write stories about families where they say their children so and so, and their adopted son or daughter. It happens so often it’s almost rare for adoption to be mentioned in a way that is perfectly fine, such as with this story. So while people are being overreactive, I understand why they got a little sensitive.

dsfg on

Actually, I thought the opening paragraph was a little odd just because Katherine is NOT known for her good fashion sense . . . she continually shows up on the worst dressed lists.

Jared on

Catca – I’m glad the tongue-in-cheek’ness of my comment came through. I was worried it wouldn’t. 🙂 And I completely agree with everything you stated as well.

K on

And this whole time I thought her real name was Naleigh! She’s a cute little girl. Katherine and Josh have made comments about their ‘Leave it to Beaver’ sort of lifestyle. She knits, he fly fishes. I think it’s great. They are very normal, family oriented people.

Monie on


The rest of you, honestly, stop it. The child is happy and loved, the parents are happy and loved.. WHAT DOES IT MATTER?

Sheesh..! Truth be it told, their little girl is Asian…sooner or later, she’s bound to ask questions… and at the rate kids mature today, I’d say much sooner than later.

RIS on

I am so over political correctness, it is ridiculous. They did not mean anything bad by what they said, it is a FACT. Get over it.

Sarah K. on

I didn’t notice that first sentence until I read all of these comments and I don’t see the big deal. They only said the word “adopted” once and then left it alone.

Naleigh is adopted and there is no shame in mentioning that. Saying Naleigh is adopted doesn’t mean she’s any less their daughter. They in no way implied that she wasn’t their daughter. In fact, they said she’s just like Katherine and the article refers to Naleigh as her daughter multiple times.

One of the problems with the way adoptions are handled is that it’s like no one’s allowed to talk about it. It’s as if it’s shameful to be adopted. It’s obvious Naleigh is adopted, so why pretend like it didn’t happen? Stop acting like “adopted” is a dirty word.

Sarah on

My goodness, that opening line is offensive and ignorant.

Mdb on

Thought the first line was definitely poor writing.

Katie on

I am adopted and from Seoul, S. Korea and my parents are American and it was never really a defining moment until other people made a big deal of it. I went through many years od depression because it was looked at so much. Well she’s adopted.. and these aren’t her real parents, etc. Yes they are, your parents are the ones who raise you, give you a home, food on the table, love you, are there for you when you are sick, etc. And for them to already start that is going to be negative, always be positive.

Being adopted or being a parent who adopts is a beautiful thing.. I was always told by friends and friends’ parents it was bad and they pitied me all the time. Mainly traditional Asian families but still, American kids made fun of me all the time. I am fortunate enough I grew up then and not now looking at how bullies are these days in school.

Vicki on

Hahahaha…Jared, you are my new favorite poster!!! 😉

The article is very clear — that even though she’s adopted, the “apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” meaning she’s picking up Katherine’s likes and dislikes. What’s the big deal?

You all are right — adoption makes you one of the family. So why is it “insensitive” to mention that someone is adopted?

T. Laurel Sulfate, Snarkurchin on

As an adopted person of 46 years old, I can tell you that I *DO* feel somewhat defined by it. I’ll never not be adopted, and being adopted is part of my identity. I’m very glad my parents always understood and and never resented this.

“What does it matter?” is a question for adopted people to answer, and answer individually, not for non adopted people to toss out as a way of sweeping adoption under the rug. To me, it matters because it’s reality. When I was young and well-meaning people told me adoption and giving birth are “the same,” I wondered what was wrong with being adopted that people had to tell such preposterous lies about it.

Mamabear on

I also take offense to the comment used to open the story as well. I have two adopted daughters and trust me Naleigh’s adoption has nothing to do with Naleigh liking shoes like her mama. Even biological children could have different or similar likes to their parents.

Trust me, I am not one of those stand on a soapbox kind of people but I feel that the beginning of this story once again perpetuates that adopted children are different than biological children and trust me, it’s just not so. And also the people who think that some of us are being sensitive for saying it is rude, obviously do not understand unless you experienced this, this is a loaded comment.

Children are children regardless of how they come into their families and do not need a constant reminder that they are adopted, trust me, my children are Chinese and it is pretty obvious and they know they are adopted but comments like this are not necessary. 🙂

Sarah K. on

“And also the people who think that some of us are being sensitive for saying it is rude, obviously do not understand unless you experienced this, this is a loaded comment.”

Mamabear, I suggest you read the comments of T. Laurel Sulfate and Jane, who were both adopted. They saw nothing wrong with the sentence and explained why very well. You are speaking as an adoptive mother, but they are speaking as adopted children.

What I’ve gathered from this post and other experiences is that adoptive parents do not want to mention adoption, but adopted children DO (obviously not all of the time, but when appropriate). Sweeping adoption under the rug can create a feeling of shame. Why act like adoption is a shameful thing? Merely saying a child is adopted (especially in a context like this) is not an implication that the child doesn’t really belong. The article says she is like her mother. It’s good Naleigh was adopted! It should be celebrated, not swept under a rug.

NJ on

Almost 43 yrs. ago I was adopted. I have known forever that I am adopted but I’ve never heard out of my Mom or Dad’s mouths: “you may be adopted … but …”

What I have heard over & over is how special I am & how much they love me. That’s all I have ever needed.

I wasn’t “expected”, I was “selected” :))))))))

Kristi on

I am a 39 yr old mom of 3 beautiful kids and a full time college student. My daughter is almost 18, my oldest son almost 9, and my littlest guy just turned 3. My oldest son has special needs and has been a constant target of bullying. I am learning that constant communication with the school and bus garage is the best approach. I am very proactive and have had to learn assertiveness. Not bitchiness, but being my son’s voice. He has had real fear and I am afraid as he gets older, it will just get worse. It is an issue as old as time. That being said, I agree that some kids combined bring out the worst in each other. I had a friend like that myself growing up. I lacked assertiveness and to “fit in”, often just “followed” her around even when I knew it would result in trouble. Anytime, my son talks about a “new” friend I just try drawing him out about how they play on the playground and how his friend treats other kids. Its a good way to encourage opening up and keeps the lines of communication open. I do not claim to be an expert on parenting and god knows I have made ALOT of mistakes. As I get older, I realize how important it is to just PLAY and RELAX. Our children are only young once!! I missed out on a lot when my two oldest were little. Granted, life circumstances warranted me working a lot and hard through the years. And, I am blessed to be able to spend more time with my youngest. As goes sleep overs my daughter had her first when she was 5. However, after she refused to quit throwing rocks at the host’s daughter…well, she lasted about an hour before I had to pick her up! My youngest son loves sleepovers at Grammy’s house. My oldest son didn’t like to be to far away from me, for a long time. I think its very individual and when the child is ready and mom to, have at it! In response to negative and mean comments, I dont get it. We are all mom’s, wives and joined as sister’s in our endeavor to maintain homes, work and raise children. Why can’t we all be respectful of each other’s opinions? After all, we all expect other people to respect OUR opinion. I am appalled at how rude and downright malicious some of the comments are on these blog posts. And people actually put their names on them! Amazing. I was raised to be respectful of people’s diversities and differences, because we might as well face it NOONE IS PERFECT! Noone. Even with all the plastic surgery in the world mentally and emotionally a person is never perfect. Maybe physically some celebrities come close…but not as people. My dad always told my sister and I what makes a woman the most beautiful is a kind heart and inner beauty. A woman can be downright gorgeous, but when she has a hateful nasty spirit toward other’s it makes her unappealing. So, a kind word goes a long way in making another’s day. And, the way we learn from each other is through sharing our experiences in life and who knows one might learn a valuable lesson if they were willing to put the nasty words aside. That being said, this is the first time I have ever commented on one of your blogs and I will reiterate, I did not read the bullying blog. But, I am speaking solely, to the nastiness I have personally read on these blog sites. I do not understand people who make it their mission in life to tear another’s self esteem and worth as a person. We need to treat one another the way we individually would want to be treated. All of us have unique experiences and have been raised in diverse backgrounds. This does mold us as mothers, however we can still be open to how other’s are raising their children. I love hearing how other’s mom handle different situations, or discipline. Because, lets face it our kids are not born with a personal hand guide that shows us exactly what to do. So, learning other tactics, or tips is very helpful. We all have busy lives, so learning how other mom’s juggle and balance is great. Also, as moms we have emotional moments and don’t always get the “me” time, so hearing how other’s feel similiarly is encouraging and we can strengthen one another by sharing. I love reading about strong women who have overcame obstacles and are successful. Anyways, I hope everyone has a great day!! 🙂

yogash on

It is amazing how a story about clothes and shoes can turn so quickly into a passionate discussion of adoption. This is the real story that is being brushed under the rug. Why don’t we just put it on the table and have an honest discussion about adoption? Sounds like that’s what many of us want to do.

I am a 38 year old adoptee, that am finding it so intriguing that almost weekly, we are inundated with stories of celebrities adopting babies. I think it is amazing that there are so many options there for people who want babies and cannot or choose not to conceive their own.

People (magazine)…why not just write a story about the trend of adoption and the cultural, social and multi-layered implications? That would be way more interesting than what shoes the stylist suggests.

I agree with T. Laurel Sulfate…it is something that does define me, and I am happy to have my interesting story of mystery as a part of my history.


Jeanne on

As a mother who has adopted, it bothers me. I would never refer to someone’s child as “someone’s bio child” so why is it ok to refer to a “adopted Child” as such.

Jennifer on

Deep breaths everyone…

The words “may be adopted” are highlighted in pink and are a link to the story of her adoption. Why does everything have to be a slight again something or someone? Just words people. Lighten up. Try not to read into things and make something out of nothing.

kim on

I am an adoptive parent and my children, who happen to be of the same race as I, quite by accident, are aware of it. However, it is a sensitive topic. I bristle when people mention my “adopted kids’ vrs my “biological kids.” (We have two of each, but view them as entirely the same.) I also hate it when adults say things like “your kids are so lucky to have you….”
To all the non-adoptive parents out there, please know this: adoptive parents are sensitive about this topic because we hear so many insensitive remarks about it. I don’t view any of my kids as more or less lucky than any other, we are blessed to have all of them. Adoption does exist. I get it. Funerals exist too, and despite meaning well, ordinary people often say the wrong thing at them. It is no one’s fault, it just is. Adoptive parents don’t want kudos or sympathy, we just want to be normal. I am sure most adoptive kids feel the same way. Why mention it all? Who cares?

sat on

This is why celebs regret speaking to the press lol.

BunnieW on

How sad, that a toddler is already conditioned to love stilettos. Wake up, mom: these are sexual fetish attire. High heels do incredible damage to women’s feet, ankles, knees, backs and self-image. If heels are such a good idea, why don’t men wear them?

Mamabear on

Sarah K.

You completely misunderstood my point. Adoption is wonderful and I do not sweep it under the rug, it is a wonderful thing in our home. I actually bring up the dialog with my 2 girls (both 5) frequently. What I am saying is that the writer of this story does not need to categorize a child any differently because they are adopted. It just needs to say her daughter. My girls are a wonderful combination of their birthparents and my husband and I. I am sorry that you do not understand my point and that you felt a need to jump on my comment. I do not mean to be rude, but if you do not understand the topic or have experience with it, maybe you should hold back off from commenting.

Mamabear on

Well said Kim. 🙂

Margaret on

Enjoy it! When she’s a teenager she won’t be looking at you like you’re God’s gift!

Marky on

Here’s the way I, as an adoptive parent of a 42 year old Korean daughter, feel about referring to adoption in an article, conversation, or whatever. It IS a bit of a sensitive subject because, while we adoptive parents feel there is “no difference” between the adoptive children and the bio children, society is inquisitive and oftentimes poorly informed about why children are adopted, why you adopted, and how deeply you may love your adopted child.

Not long ago, one of my grandchildren said, “you’re not my REAL grandma because you’re not really my mommy’s mother.” I had to breathe very deeply before I freaked out because I happen to be particularly close to this daughter, and very much love her children. I was so hurt, I ended up just saying, “Yes, I AM her mother!” and being so upset I couldn’t really discuss it. Later, I asked my daughter about it, and she assured me those were not her words and not her feelings, as well. We figured out where it had come from, addressed it with the kids, and all have moved on, but it was my worst nightmare as an adoptive parent, to have anyone think I was less her mother than I am to any of my other children.

An adoptive parent loves their child deeply and may have walked hot coals and gone through a lot to become that child’s mother, so the last thing we want to hear is that our relationship is less than with a biological child, because, unless we are some abusive loser, it’s not! That being said, my daughter always heard the story from day one about how she came to our family and how much we love her. Of all my children, she is most like me in personality ad outlook. We can almost read each other’s minds, and I love her dearly.

Melissa on

Wow…I am adoptive parent and I was not offended at all by the first line. My infant son is huge and I am small, people ask me all the time if my husband is big (he is) or if my husband or I were big babies (we were), and I tell them yes but our son is adopted. Adoption isn’t a bad word in our family, us saying he is adopted is just a fact, it has no bearing on our love for him. I didn’t get from the article that Naleigh was less of their child because she was adopted…I got she loves shoes by nurture vs nature, that’s all.

Morgan on

She may be adopted…wow People, update your understanding of what adoption means. Offensive and ridiculous for you to have related her adoption and marvel that she might act a little bit like the woman who is her mother.

Shame on you.

An adoptive and currently annoyed mother in Denver.

Whatzitz on

I actually have a question that doesn’t slam anything or anyone, so I hope someone can take a second or two and come out of the fray to answer it. How do they pronounce “Naleigh?” Is it NAH-lee (as in the word “not”) or is it NAY-lee (as in the word “lay”?) Thanks.

Kari on

Whatziz I think it pronouced NAY-LEE like Haley I think.

captainobvious on

Can we please ban “dsfg” from commenting on this site? That woman/man must be one heck of a sterile gargoyle based on their comments. Pathetic.

Alexis on


Naleigh rhymes with Hayley. 🙂

Mirah Riben on

“Adoption is an amazing thing and does not define the child forever. Done.” REALLY??? I think NOT!

Adoption effects the lives of those adopted, their original mother, father, past and all possible future siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins FOREVER! It is NOT a one-time event. Whoever wrote this has zero concept, experience or knowledge of the subject.

I find the up-tight comments about mentioning adoption quite hypocritical. When adopting ups the humanitarian IMAGE of celebs and politicians, they proudly and very publicly ANNOUNCE to the world that they have adopted! And the public applauds their alleged “altruism” even when they pay huge amounts to baby brokers who traffic children to meet a demand for adoption.

And is an adoptee screws up, you know thy are going to make it clear the kid was never “really” theirs!

Adopters want it BOTH WAYS!

Wsbirthmom on

Hmmmmmm, has anyone thought that MAYBE just MAYBE the natural mother loved stillettos and/or fashion as well?

My son who was placed 7 1/2 months ago at the age of 3 days does things that he could not have ‘learned’ to his Amom. These things are ingrained in the genetics and blood of the natural parents.

But, then again, I’m sure this isn’t an ‘open’ adoption, so they will never know.

So so sad.

bastardChyalld on

Adoption pretty much defines an adoptee. To believe an adoptee is no different from a ‘biological’ child is wishful thinking on the parts of the non-adopted and many parents, adoptive or otherwise. A symbiotic relationship is conceived between a mother and her child for the 9 months duration in her womb. A baby goes into shock after 45 minutes of seperation from it’s mother and this is known as the primal wound. If adopted, this lasts throughout a lifetime unless all members of the adoption triad, adoptee, adoptive parents and birthmother receive proper counselling. To grow up without a sense of one’s roots, culture and the blood that is thivker than water is unfathomable unless one is adopted. To all those that aren’t: quit your blathering mouths.

VHM on

As an adult adoptee, I am offended at those who were offended by the first sentence. First of all, it means you are unable to comprehend basic English. Second, it means you have no respect for adoptees.

Oh, you might love having adoptees in your life, especially the ones who validate you, but you don’t respect them.

Cue the hatred for this particular adoptee who dared to speak out, and any other adoptee who doesn’t gush the politically correct lies about how wonderful it was to be adopted in 3…2…1….

Erimentha on

I was adopted, I am adopted, I will never be not adopted. Like it or not, it does define at least a small part of who I am. Non-adopted people are shaped by the various events in their lives, why is it so hard to fathom that adoptees will be shaped by being adopted? As someone else mentioned, there was nothing disrespectful about mentioning Naleigh’s adoption, in fact the author was talking to the fact that despite that fact, she is like her mother, her adoptive mother. She may also be like her biological mother, who knows? It makes me wonder why all you adoptive parents are so threatened by this – do you really need to claim ownership of your adopted child THAT much?

adopted maria on

LOL! I love the comments from all the adoptive mothers with issues. Guess what- the kid is adopted, just as I am adopted. This star’s child dresses the way she does because the star dresses her. Period. Adoption changes your name, not your DNA. Get over yourselves. This kid is nothing like Heigl, and will never be. And who cares if the article says she is her adopted daughter- IT’S THE TRUTH! If you love adoption so much, what’s your problem with telling the truth? It’s not like no one can figure out the kid is adopted, lol.

Daniel Ibn Zayd on

The mythology of adoption requires a few things of those who would maintain it as a valid institution. First, that the family created therefrom is “natural”; second, that nurture has equal or more weight than nature; and finally that everyone in the story toe the line without waver. This article transgresses this mythology, and so comes under fire, with the responses attempting, like the best supporters of propaganda before them, to bring us back to the Correct Narrative. Well, it doesn’t wash anymore. Many of us adoptees have returned to our birth countries, and we are changing things. This girl is one of the last to be adopted out of Korea, thanks to the work of adoptees who have returned there and changed the way that country sees the exportation and trafficking of human beings. That Hollywood continues to see adoption as a publicity gimmick only shows us how stuck in a Joan Crawford timewarp the U.S. continues to be. The rest of the world is moving on. I suggest the self-righteous here try to listen to what it has to tell you.

mod-ist on

That People leads with that sentence places emphasis on the fact of the adoption. The commenters are not saying “don’t mention the adoption”, but just that the whole crux of the article does not have to be “look how strange–even though they’re not biologically related, they share an interest.” Will adopted children always have to endure the comparison for the rest of their lives?

chloe on

Another adoptee here!

Was, is and will always remain the same. Adopted.

All of you adoptive parents who are getting bent out of shape, please, learn to accept reality. Biological is the norm. Biological children do not have to be specified as such. Adopted is rare and different.

If you are having so much difficulty dealing with the fact that your child is adopted, how do you think your child must feel about it? Not cool at all.

dsfg on

I think the issue people have with articles labeling kids as being adopted isn’t that the fact they are adopted should be hidden–it’s just that sometimes articles mention a child was adopted when that fact is not relevant. If it’s an article that’s specifically about adoption or the child’s birth, yeah, I get why the article would mention the child is adopted. But to just say this is so-and-so’s adopted daughter when it isn’t relevant is just poor journalism.

Sarah K. on

“I am sorry that you do not understand my point and that you felt a need to jump on my comment. I do not mean to be rude, but if you do not understand the topic or have experience with it, maybe you should hold back off from commenting.”

Mamabear, that was quite rude, especially since you don’t what my experiences are. I was very polite in my first response to you. You said that only people with no experience with adoption would disagree with your opinion. I’m sorry you felt that I “jumped” on you, but I merely suggested that your viewpoint isn’t shared by all adoptees and adopters.

Most of the adoptees on this comment section didn’t have a problem with the wording used by People. But should they also back off from commenting because they do not agree with you? Melissa mentioned being an adoptive mom and she too had no problem with the wording. Even though she and I agree, is her comment more acceptable than mine because she has adopted? You don’t know anything about my life, but even if I didn’t have any experience with adoption, I am still allowed to comment on this article.

Why do you assume that no one with adoption experience would be ok with People’s wording when there are so many comments here that prove that theory wrong? You do not have a monopoly on adoption opinions.

Smart on

Mamabear doesn’t want to hear from the product. The product (adoptees) shouldn’t be allowed to speak unless she says they can. She is the purchaser. She spent the money. Only the people who spend the money have the right to an opinion in her world.

Well, this product doesn’t understand what the adopters are raving about. The child IS adopted. Duh!

Since when is it offensive to point out the obvious?