"It would be tragic if Ashley lost today, but if she did, If I, Liberty Van Zandt, am elected secretary, I would work closely with J.T. to ensure excellent standards of student government."
|Liberty Van Zandt|
|Full Name||Liberty Elizabeth Van Zandt|
|Nickname(s)||Libby, Libby Tibby, Lib, Rebel (by J.T.)|
|Date of Birth||September/October 1989|
|Family|| Harold Van Zandt (Father)|
Mrs. Van Zandt (Mother)
Danny Van Zandt (Brother)
Unnamed Son (with J.T. Yorke)
|Relationships|| Damian Hayes (Hook-Up)|
Toby Isaacs (Fling)
J.T. Yorke (Ex-Boyfriend)
|Affiliation(s)||Psi Alpha Zeta Sorority|
|First Episode||Family Politics (103)|
|Last Episode||The Rest of My Life (4) (923)|
|Reason||Attending Smithdale University|
|Portrayed By||Sarah Barrable-Tishauer|
Liberty, until graduation, lived at home with her parents and younger brother Danny. She was often seen as a know-it-all, and tended to get jealous easily. Over the years, she has toned down her need to be the best and is very outgoing around her friends. Underneath her ambitious exterior, she is really just a loving and empathetic person. Liberty is highly intelligent, but she is revealed to have a learning disability in season 1. This did not faze her from achieving over the years.
Her best friends are Manny and Emma, but her relationship with Emma has remained hot/cold over the years until college. Liberty and Manny remain with their tight grip as best friends and always have each others back.
Season 1Liberty first appeared in Family Politics. She was running for student council secretary, and was an avid supporter of Ashley in her bid for presidency, but also promised to be supportive of J.T. if he were to win.
She also found herself in the middle of controversy when Emma saw Mr. Armstrong getting close to her. Emma believed that Armstrong was molesting Liberty. When she told Manny, Terri happened to overhear the conversation. Once Terri told Paige what she heard, the rumor instantly spread all over the school even Terri swore Paige(of all people) to secrecy. As it turns out, Liberty had dyscalculia, a learning disability affecting her ability to learn math. Armstrong was only tutoring her. This put a strain on Liberty and Emma's friendship since the latter was the cause of the untrue rumor starting(although she didn't spread it).
Liberty also asked Ashley to let her read the morning announcements. Ashley refused, but eventually gave in. However, she set it all up so Liberty would be humiliated on camera. When it actually happened, Liberty was laughed at and teased; however, Ashley regretted it deeply. She found Liberty crying in the bathroom and gave her advice on how to do better. When Liberty did well, Ashley promised to let her do some of the announcements the following year.
This was also the year she developed a crush on J.T., much to his chagrin and annoyance. No matter what he did, Liberty refused to give up her pursuit of J.T. He even pretended to be gay so Liberty would stop bugging him. Disappointed at first, Liberty eventually accepts the "fact" that J.T. was "gay" and she even suggests that he comes out of the closet in an interview for the Degrassi Grapevine. However, J.T. admits to her that he lied about being gay just so she could "get the hint" that he doesn't like her. Disappointed again, Liberty briefly scolds him for not telling the truth from the beginning.
Liberty, Toby, J.T. and Spinner teamed up together to win $1,000,000 via a Pringles chip can contest and proceeded to buy expensive items thinking they would soon be in the budget for $1,000,000. In the end, even though the group thought J.T. had Pringles cans of the two needed symbols, he had two of the same ones, thus losing the contest. Spinner calls all of three of them(especially J.T.) losers and walks away. Frustrated at his silliness, Liberty and Toby shove J.T. into his locker and shuts it.
Liberty also attended Ashley's disastrous party at the end of the year and was seen dancing uncomfortably with her when Ashley was high on ecstasy. After a difficult night of tears, insults, fights and disturbing performances, Liberty leaves Ashley like everyone else.
Season 2Liberty's eighth grade year was nowhere near as hectic as her previous year. The biggest obstacle she had to overcome was when she was named manager of the girls' floor hockey team. She was very over-bearing, and her attitude drove away nearly all the members on the team. Liberty apologized to the team and even though they didn't win, Joey decided to sponsor them along with the boys' team.
She also showed her jealously when Emma won the school's science fair. After finding out that Emma's mother was dating Mr. Simpson, Liberty demanded that Emma give up the trophy, as she felt that she was the rightful winner of the competition and Emma only won due to bias on Mr. Simpson's part. However, Simpson later said that all the judges unanimously agreed that Emma's was the best.
Liberty still had a crush on J.T. so much that she clumsily almost got him expelled by decorating his locker and the latter being punished for vandalism. Liberty owned up and J.T apologized for calling her boring. When J.T. realized he had a talent in sewing, Liberty took the credit so he wouldn't be teased. Liberty blackmailed J.T. into making her a skirt but she still revealed his secret without being malicious. Kendra, Emma and Manny asked J.T. if he could make them a skirt too, so Toby laid off. Near the end of the year, Liberty agrees to tutor J.T. and help him prepare for the final exams only if he agrees to take her to the Hawaiian-themed dance. Although J.T. had his heart set on askingPaige, he reluctantly agreed to go with Liberty.
Season 3Much like her grade 8 year, Liberty's freshman year was a quiet and rather carefree one, as she did not have to overcome too many obstacles. After years of trying to win J.T.'s heart, she finally gave up. For one thing, he's had a crush on Manny since the beginning of the school year but the main reason why J.T. still didn't go out with Liberty was because he simply didn't like her. Therefore, he once again told her that he's not interested in her, this time more bluntly and harshly. She quickly got over her crush on J.T. and developed a new one on Sean, when she and the latter were paired up for a school project. Liberty tried everything to impress Sean, even dressing up in what she considered to be "edgy" clothing. After taking J.T.'s advice to be "brutal" with Liberty, Sean made it known to her that he will never be interested in her by calling her "as edgy as a butter knife."
Saddened, Liberty felt that she would never find a boyfriend. Sean approached her and informed her that one of his friends, Towerz, had a crush on Liberty. The two began dating, although they were never seen interacting on-camera. Seemingly content with her new romance, Liberty felt comfortable enough to advise J.T. to ask Manny to the dance, knowing that he developed feelings for her.
When Manny wanted to change her image and become hot, she proceeded to wear visible thongs and underwear, which disturbed Liberty. It is presumed that she was the one who informed Mr. Raditch about this, getting Manny in trouble.
Season 4Liberty returns to Degrassi for her sophomore year along with her younger brother Danny. At the beginning of the year, Liberty revealed that she and Towerz had broken up over the summer. She then began to set her eyes on the newly-single Chris Sharpe. When Emma found out, she tried to win Chris back, saying that it would ruin her reputation if Chris began dating Liberty after her. When she found out, Liberty was disgusted with Emma and the two of them temporarily ended their friendship. However, it appeared that Chris was never interested in Liberty to begin with.
Liberty was the only character that was not shown during the school shooting or even in the aftermath of it, so her feelings or reactions to it are never revealed. Everyone else remained distraught.
Later in the school year, Liberty and J.T. worked together to create the school play 'Dracula'. Given the tragic shooting that left Jimmy paralyzed and Rick dead, Mr. Raditch was not at all happy about Liberty and J.T.'s idea to create such a dark, morbid play such as 'Dracula'. Thinking that the principal was being merely mean and controlling, Liberty sang a song expressing her resentment to Mr. Raditch which ultimately lands her and J.T. in detention. J.T. told Liberty that he was actually impressed with her for being brave and speaking her mind. Flattered, Liberty took a chance and kissed J.T., letting him know that she still had feelings for him after four years. Much to her pleasure, J.T. kissed her back, thus returning the love she had for him. As a result, they became a couple.
Danny, Liberty's brother and J.T.'s friend, was not pleased about Liberty and J.T.'s relationship stating, "My sister's the smartest girl in school and you don't even have an IQ". Danny and J.T. began fighting constantly and during one day, J.T. pushed Danny to the ground causing him to hit his head on the cement pavement. Liberty was mad, because J.T. had badly hurt Danny. Danny soon realized that J.T. made Liberty happy, and the three sorted everything out.
Liberty's disposition was the polar-opposite of her usual perkiness. She had become extremely moody and sullen. J.T. knew something was wrong with Liberty, especially after her driving lesson. He picked her up, because she was mad at him for telling Toby about their sex life the night before. When Liberty revealed she was pregnant to him, he crashed into a bus stop on the way to school. Just to be sure, Liberty took a pregnancy test, and it came up positive, causing her to tell J.T that she couldn't trust him to handle "this". J.T felt insulted and said that he couldn't deal with her controlling him, and he dumped her. J.T later vowed that he wouldn't abandon Liberty or their baby.
They were trying to keep this a secret, but once Danny found he blackmailed them into getting a good grade. He even beat up J.T. because he was mad of what did to Liberty. So then after that went all down, they came to compromise that they all will take care of the baby.Liberty and J.T decided to keep the baby, and a they got back together a few episodes later, because they still had feelings for each other. Liberty was fearful of telling her parents, because she was afraid they would kick her out, so she made plans with J.T to move in with him. When they told J.T.'s grandma she said she wasn't raising anymore kids, and when they went Liberty's parents they were angry at J.T. more than anything, and she decides to move out after that.J.T began working at a pharmacy, but turned to selling Oxycodone to support Liberty and their baby. When Liberty found out, she was furious and told J.T. that he was dead to her, so then they gave the baby up for adaption.
Stressed with losing Liberty's trust, Toby's friendship, his job and his family, J.T overdosed on Oxycodone, but thanks to Jay's call to 911, he survived. However, he was put on suicide watch. Liberty confronted a tearful J.T. and told him that she was going to give the baby up for adoption. Liberty decided it would be best if J.T. wasn't around for her baby's birth, either. Also, when Danny found out he made J.T do his homework as payback, but eventually decided to do the mature thing and support his sister.Liberty appeared again before the baby was born, but J.T. was nowhere to be seen with her. Liberty and Toby went to the movie premiere of Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh?, however, they were not allowed into the after party because they were not MVP's. Liberty's stomach was starting to show a lot by this point.
Later on, Liberty's council duties and overachieving began to affect her condition. Although Liberty was distancing herself from J.T., Toby became their messenger by informing J.T of what Liberty was doing. Worried about Liberty, J.T. told Ms. Hatzilakos, and she took forcefully took pressure off of her, which made Liberty unhappy.Liberty went into labour while on the road with Toby in his car. She freaked out and Toby called 911. At the hospital, only Liberty got to hold their new born son before handing him over to his adoptive parents. They both watched sadly as he was taken away.
Afterward, Liberty regretted her decision and turned to alcohol to comfort her sorrows. She even flunked an exam worth 30% of her grade, much to her fathers displeasure. To make her feel better, Derek told her that he was adopted and his mother sent him a treasure chest, so he could communicate with her through mail, memory items, etc.
So, when her son's parents announce they are moving to Seattle, Washington, Liberty and J.T put together a memories box, so that one day their child can find them and learn about them. Liberty asked Toby, Danny and Derek to put items in the box too, so her baby can see how many good people were watching over him. J.T. and Liberty seem to be friends again, and they definitely still have feelings for each other.
Season 6After having a rough previous year, Liberty hoped that her senior year would be the best year of her life stating that it would be the crowning achievement of her academic career. She was already preparing to become valedictorian. Her year soon changed when Mia Jones and her daughter Isabella moved to Degrassi. J.T., who Liberty still had feelings for, started dating Mia. She wanted to get back with him but he went for Mia when Liberty was being tyrant. In a fit of jealousy, she told Mia about everything J.T. did to her during the previous year. However, J.T. was able to straighten everything out with Mia. Then he confronts her about everything saying that she is miserable, and seeing him happy burns her.
On Liberty's 17th birthday, Manny and Emma threw a party for her so Manny could get her mind off of Craig. Via word of mouth from Toby to Danny and Derek to Spinner to Marco to college kids who told everyone, hundreds of people, including Drake Lempkey and Johnny DiMarco from Lakehurst, showed up.At the party, Liberty confessed to J.T. her true feelings for him. J.T responded that he had a girlfriend but Liberty asked if he loved Mia, before running off. After talking to Toby, J.T. sought out Liberty. Sadly, he was stabbed by Drake Lempkey a former Lakehurst student, and Liberty was the one who found him dying. She was at the hospital and embraced with everyone in mourn upon finding out J.T. had passed away.
During the funeral she showed no remorse, until the memorial where she cried dramatically after finding out J.T.' s true feelings for her. After J.T.'s funeral, Liberty, in an emotional tailspin, developed feelings for Toby. She also refused to have Mia participate in anything honoring J.T. Her and Mia had a argument about that and she called Liberty a walking and talking robot. However, after Toby revealed to Mia that J.T. still loved Liberty, she had a change of heart and agreed to let Mia do what she wanted. Liberty was so affected by J.T's death, she dreamt of him lying on her bed with her, before telling him that he was dead. This was shown in a Degrassi Mini. She, Toby and Mia eventually cleaned out J.T.'s locker together.
When Lakehurst came to Degrassi for a cheerleading competition, Liberty, along with many people were against it, due to J.T.'s recent passing and his killers school coming. Emma convinced the crowd to shout, "Go home, Lakehurst!" Liberty joined in, along with Mia, Danny, Derek, Toby and Sean. All of them went against the Spirit Squad and their beliefs.
At the school dance she tells how much fun J.T. would have with her and Toby.
Season 7During the second semester of Liberty's senior year, Lakehurst burned down and the students integrated into Degrassi. She helped Toby deal with them being at Degrassi telling him one person killed J.T. not the whole school. After breaking up a fight between Danny and a Lakehurst student (later revealed to be Lucas), Lucas taunts Liberty by saying that J.T. asked for his death. This sends Liberty into a rage, only to have the fight broken up by Spinner. She goes on a road trip with Manny, Emma, and Ashley visiting Smithdale University for the college years and Manny's audition.
Towards the end of her senior year, she was and Damian were competing for valedictorian and she was upset about that. Liberty and Damian find that they're attracted to each other during a meeting at The Dot, but he later gives her mixed signals, which made her make a mean speech about him, but felt bad about after she won the vote for valedictorian and listening to Damian's speech. Later Damian and her make up and become a thing, although Liberty feels guilty because she is Emma's friend that is his girlfriend.
After exams are over Liberty found out that her essay won Natasha Bentingfield at prom. Toby asked Liberty to be his date and she said yes, but she revealed her feelings for Damian, which left him angry at her because he wanted to become more than just friends.At prom, Liberty and Damian sneak off together and make out. Manny sees them sneak off, and privately confronts Liberty who tells her to stay away from Damian. Liberty and Damian tell Toby not to say anything, who openly likes Liberty, but he loudly says "Oh, I won't tell anyone that Liberty and Damian fooled around and now he's bragging about it." Emma is angry and dumps Damian, and at graduation.
The next day Toby, Emma, and Manny are angry at Liberty and refuses to talk to her. They forgive her after she gives her valedictorian speech about the importance of friendship, and decide that they don't want to throw away six years of friendship. After the graduation ceremony is over, the four of them stand at the J.T. Yorke Memorial Zen Garden and Toby places a graduation cap on it and Liberty flips it.
In Uptown Girl (1), Liberty and Manny are unloading boxes at Smithdale as Emma then says good-bye to her mom and Snake. The three of them walk off excitedly inside. However, Emma is horrified when she finds out that she and Manny are not rooming together.
Later, Manny is participating in Frosh Week games when Emma comes up to her to tell her some news. Manny introduces her to Gwen, her roommate, but Emma ignores her. It gets awkward when Emma announces that she’s “fixed” the mistake, she and Manny are roommates now.
When Liberty arrives, Emma lets her know that she and Manny are her new roommates, along with a girl named Kelly. Liberty and Manny are unenthusiastic about it because they were having fun meeting new people. A guy walks in with his stuff and introduces himself as Kelly. Realizing that nobody is happy, Emma says she will sort everything out. Kelly answers that this was the last room available. They’re stuck together.
Later that day, Kelly absentmindedly walks in the room while Liberty is changing, and hides from embarrassment. Emma shows up with breakfast for everyone, but is left alone because they already had plans. Feeling lonely, Emma is calling home when Kelly walks in. She tells him that she plans on going home until Frosh Week is over because she can’t make new friends. Kelly tells her he came from the Yukon without knowing anyone, and grabs his water gun. He invites Emma along to the beach battle.
At the water fight, Emma is glad Kelly invited her. They spot Manny and Liberty and ambush them. Manny and Liberty apologize for not wanting to room with her. Emma accepts their apology, and then mentions she has plans with a few people she met.
In Didn't We Almost Have It All, Liberty is all set to join her mother's sorority, Psi Alpha Zeta, but when a new sorority, Pi Gamma Pi, appears to her with more options but higher prospects, she tries to prove to Dakota and everyone that she can handle the party lifestyle. Manny and Emma tell Liberty that she should still be herself and shouldn't change for the sorority. After drinking too much one night, Liberty and her friends go streaking through campus. The next day Liberty wakes up in a hospital due to alcohol poisoning and had to have her stomach pumped. There's a picture of her and her friends streaking the campus on the newspaper. Once she gets back to the sorority to find out whether she's kicked out or not. They tell her that she's still in, and she finds out they only wanted her in the sorority because she was black. She doesn't want to be "The token black girl" anymore, and turns them down.
In Jane Says (1), Liberty was seen as part of the Degrassi Alumni football team. Liberty was at the Dot to organize with the Alumni Football team, but also to study for exams and other things for college.
In Touch of Grey, Liberty starts to notice that Emma is using marijuana. When Emma was passing around the pot brownies for the floor olympics, Emma was all high and Manny and Liberty were worried. They sat her down and told her that marijuana isn't good she just laughed and ran off.
In Holiday Road, Emma reveals that Manny went back to Hollywood. This makes Emma upset since Manny is her best friend, and she can't hang with her for a few months while she is in Hollywood. She also mentions that Liberty has joined a sorority, and barely has time for anyone.In Degrassi Takes Manhattan, back in town from Smithdale University to attend Emma and Spinner's party, and invited by Peter. Liberty is sporting off a new mini-afro-perm, and is dressed for success. She is a little confused as to what is going on. She seems to be a little nervous, so she's stands by her brother, Danny, and his friend Sav.
When she sees Emma and Spinner walking down the isle, she seems surprised, but is also happy for Emma and Spinner. She also appears dancing with her brother, Danny and in the last scene, with a short statued man with glasses and dark hair, who resembles Toby.
- Liberty appeared in 93 episodes.
- Liberty is one of seven girls to reveal herself on camera or in public (she was streaking with some friends and they got photographed for newspaper at Smithsdale).
- Emma took off her dress at a Purple Dragon meeting
- An intoxicated Manny was naked in front of Peter 's video camera.
- Alli sent pictures of her naked to then boyfriend Johnny DiMarco .
- Darcy posted racy photos of herself online and sent them to Adams .
- Bianca had racy photos sent to the entire school.
- Clare made pictures of her breasts to put them on Ashers computer.
- Emma, Manny, and Liberty have all been romantically involved with Damian.
- Three out of six of Emma's ex-boyfriends were Liberty's crushes: Sean, Chris, and Damian.
- Liberty and her portrayer Sarah both have the same middle name: Elizabeth.
- Liberty is one of seven characters with a mental disability, which is dyscalculia. The other six are:
- Liberty and J.T.'s relationship was one of three to start in detention, the others were Jimmy and Hazel, and Sean and Ellie.
- Liberty lost her virginity to J.T.
- Liberty and Jenna both got pregnant with guys who get called by their initials.
- In a deleted scene, Spinner said that Liberty gave Emma and Spinner six months.
- Liberty may have been born in November since in Rock This Town the gang throw her a party. However, this episode aired in January but J.T. died in the Fall of 2006.
- In We Built This City, Liberty says she's going to Banting, but in Uptown Girl (1), she's attending Smithdale.
- Liberty, Jimmy, and Katie all share the same line "You're dead to me."
- Liberty is the first character to be Student Council President for two years in a row.
- Liberty was one of six characters to be followed into their freshman year of college as a regular. The other five were Paige, Ellie, Marco, Emma and Manny.
- Liberty was the first character to go streaking, the other two being Drew and Eli.
- Liberty is the fifth female to go through teen pregnancy. The others were Christine, Erica, Tessa, Manny, Mia, Jenna, and Vanessa.
- "Ashley Kerwin, we haven't met. I'm Liberty Van Zandt..." to Ashley (first line)
- "Well that's unusual." (final line)
- "Maybe this will teach you to keep private matters PRIVATE!"
- "I'm pregnant."
- "Don't make me tell the guys you're the next Martha Stewart!" to J.T.
- "Some advice... find a dictionary and look up pathetic!" to J.T. and Toby.
- "What drama? A Midsummer Night's Wet Dream?!"
- (To JT): "You dont even know what words like that mean, Manchild"
- "We share a love of cheese." to Manny, referring to herself and J.T.
- "What did the doctor say? TELL ME!"
- "Dad doesn't know who I am anymore, so let's really mess with his mind."
- "Get out! I mean it! I don't care if you were adopted, dropped by a stork, or abducted by aliens! Get out!!" to Derek
- "No, Emma. Go back to rain forests and whales. Because when it comes to people, you suck!"
- "No Spinner this is your funeral." (Relax sesason 2 episode)
- "Are you really going to let two prepubescent boys dictate your amusement?"
- "I'm stunned. J.T. spelled a word."
- "Manny, a true champion doesn't let a silly little monthly visitor stand between her and victory."
- "Radishes, radishes, not so sweet. Red and round and gross to eat. They have mean and cruel little voices."
- "You're breaking up with me now?" Liberty to J.T.
- "We did, last summer, remember? When we decided to use the king size condom, the one that slipped off... I'm pregnant."
- "You could mangle your male parts in a tragic industrial accident." to J.T.
- Emma: "I'm just having a hard time letting Chris go."
Liberty: "Well I won't have a hard time letting you go... Straight to hell."
- "You're dead to me." to Emma
- "No Emma likes to rip your heart out and step on them with her pointy, ballerina feet." to Manny.
- "It was a momentary lapse of reason." to Manny
- Lucas: "You know that kid who died?"
Liberty: "J.T. Yorke. His name was J.T. Yorke."
Lucas: "Well i heard he asked for it."
Liberty:"... HOW DARE YOU!"
- "Do you have so little confidence that you have to show your entire body?" to Manny
- "Manny, are you aware I can see your underpants?"
- "Oh I'm edgy, I'm on fire!"
- "Why i'd otta!" to J.T.
- "To the future, for growing up, and leaving childish things behind."
- "JT, did you try to kill yourself?"
- "Rebels who sing."
- Main article: Liberty-Towerz Relationship
- Main article: J.T.-Liberty Relationship
- J.T. Yorke
- Main article: Toby-Liberty Friendship
- Toby Isaacs
- Main article: Damian-Liberty Friendship