For high-profile celebrities, privacy is often a foreign concept. While some A-listers may feel this is a trade-off — privacy for fame and wealth — they don’t always think it’s fair to their kids who had no say in their parents’ careers. In 2013, Jennifer Garner spoke at the California Legislature to support a law that would make it illegal to photograph a celebrity’s child in any way that "seriously alarms, annoys, torments, or terrorizes" them. The law, which carries a hefty fine and the potential for jail time, went into effect in 2014.
While we can certainly all understand — and support — not wanting hoards of paparazzi surrounding little ones, some famous ladies have gone even further in protecting the privacy of their children. By not revealing the identity of their child’s father, some celebs have been able to keep huge secrets from the media and fans alike. Here are some celebs who succeeded — and others who tried their best.
A rep for January Jones confirmed the birth of the star’s first child, Xander Dane Jones, in September 2011. "Mom and baby are doing great," the rep revealed to Entertainment Tonight. When Jones publicized her pregnancy the preceding April, speculation about the father began. That speculation only continued after Xander’s birth.
In 2013, Jones opened up to The Edit (via TV Guide) about single-parenting. "I knew I would be raising my son alone. It was something I went in to knowingly, I was prepared mentally — and I was excited about it," said the actress. But when asked about Xander’s father, she replied, "It’s just not something the public needs to know."
On her son’s first day of first grade in 2018, Jones shared a rare photo of him to Instagram. Xander was pictured doing "the dab" — thus covering his face. As of this writing, the super secretive mom continues to remain mum about Xander’s dad.
Investigative reporter Ronan Farrow was long believed to be the son of Woody Allen and Mia Farrow. In 2012, Ronan acknowledged his, let’s say, complicated relationship with his father on Twitter by referencing Allen’s relationship with Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn. He wrote, "Happy father’s day — or as they call it in my family, happy brother-in-law’s day." As it turns out, though, Allen may not be his father.
In a Vanity Fair interview with Mia, she was asked if her son could’ve actually been fathered by Frank Sinatra, the "great love of her life." Mia responded, saying it was possible. Ronan responded to his mother’s interview on Twitter, quipping, "Listen, we’re all possibly Frank Sinatra’s son."
In 2018, Allen told Vulture, "In my opinion, he’s my child." He continued, saying, "I think he is, but I wouldn’t bet my life on it." Had Mia kept Ronan’s true father a secret all these years? Perhaps only a DNA test will set matters straight.
When Padma Lakshmi’s rep confirmed to People the birth of her first child, Krishna Thea Lakshmi, in 2010, the little girl’s father was not identified. A little less than a year later, venture capitalist Adam Dell filed a lawsuit against his "intermittent" girlfriend Padma. The Associated Press (via Forbes) reported that he sought to have the child’s surname changed to his in addition to having full custody. The suit stated that a paternity test confirmed Dell to be the father. Eventually, Dell won the right to have Krishna’s last name changed to include his, Lakshmi-Dell. He was not awarded full custody, but he was granted more visits with his daughter.
In 2016, Padma broke her silence about the situation in her memoir, Love, Loss and What We Ate. At the time she became pregnant, she wrote, she was suffering from severe endometriosis and thought pregnancy was off the table. She had recently broken up with Dell and began dating billionaire IMG CEO Teddy Forstmann, and also briefly rekindled her relationship with Dell. The paternity test confirmed the biological father to be Dell, but Forstmann and Padma remained together.
In 2006, former spice girl Geri Halliwell welcomed her first child, whom she named after a favorite flower and a favorite singer: Bluebell Madonna. After Halliwell’s interview about her little one in Hello! Magazine hit newsstands, People pointed out that the singer didn’t reveal the identity of the child’s father. Nevertheless, based on reports of the time, People speculated Bluebell’s dad to be screenwriter Sacha Gervasi.
The Observer (via NZ Herald), who interviewed Halliwell the following year, removed everyone’s speculation about the child’s paternity by definitively naming Gervasi as the father. The two, who had a brief six-week fling, also came to an agreement within that year to allow Gervasi visitation while Halliwell remained a single parent — a situation that was A-okay with her. "There’s so many of us. It’s so common," she said. "For me, as long as the child has support and love and feels safe, that’s enough."
In 2018, actress Camryn Manheim, star of the since-cancelled CBS series Living Biblically, sat down with Yahoo and finally revealed why she didn’t name the father of her child, Milo, back in the early 2000s.
The former The Practice star explained, "The big fascination was who the father of Milo was, and I decided I wasn’t going to tell." She continued, saying, "I thought Milo would get his chance to tell his story as he chose to tell it. Since I raised him, and his dad wasn’t in the picture a lot, I felt it was really his story."
Milo eventually told his story to Parade and revealed his dad to be Jeffrey Brezovar. "He and my mom are great friends," the Disney star explained. He also revealed on Dancing With the Stars (via Parade) that his parents were always close friends who never dated, and that Brezovar had helped Camryn have a baby. Milo told Parade that he’s very happy to have Brezovar in his life.
On The Tonight Show (via Reuters) back in 2008, Minnie Driver confirmed that she was expecting a child. However, she kept the child’s father a secret.
When her son, Henry, was 3 years old, the actress sat down with The Observer (via The Guardian) and explained why she made the decision to keep the father’s identity a secret. "We weren’t together and he wasn’t directly in the business so I chose to protect him and not have a rain of publicity." By the end of the interview, the star ended up revealing that he was an episode writer for the television show The Riches. When asked if she meant to make the big reveal, the star shrugged and replied, "I don’t need to protect him any more. He can fend for himself. He’s a grown-up."
Although she didn’t give away his name at that time, it didn’t take long to put two and two together and realize she was talking about Timothy Lea.
"I’m happy to confirm that I’m having my second child this summer," Game of Thrones star Lena Headey told People (via E! News) in February 2015. The star withheld the identity of the father and it wasn’t until her daughter, Teddy, was 2 years old, that she allowed his identity to be revealed in a profile by The New York Times. Teddy’s dad turned out to be Dan Cadan, a filmmaker and childhood friend of Headey’s.
Cadan and Headey started dating some time after the actress’ divorce from her first husband, Peter Loughran, the father of her first child, Wylie. The couple then got engaged in 2017 despite Headey’s initial reservations about remarrying. "I always said to him, ‘Don’t ever ask me to marry you, it’s a disaster,’" she told the Times. "But it actually feels really wonderful."
According to Bustle, the two wed in spring 2018. They live together in the United Kingdom with their daughter and Headey’s son.
Sarah Palin’s daughter and abstinence advocate Bristol Palin announced the shocking news that she was expecting a child with her second unplanned pregnancy. In an emotional blog post, the 24-year-old wrote, "Honestly, I’ve been trying my hardest to keep my chin up on this one." Palin, who called off her engagement to Dakota Meyer the preceding May, neglected to reveal the identity of the baby’s father.
According to court documents obtained by Radar Online in January 2016, just a few weeks after Palin gave birth to daughter Sailor Grace, Meyer filed legal documents claiming to be the biological father and requested joint custody as well as child support.
The following month, Radar Online obtained Anchorage District Court documents revealing the truth as stated by Palin’s attorneys: Palin "admit[s] that Meyer is the biological father of the minor child, and that paternity has been established via DNA testing dated February 10, 2015 at 99.9957% certainty."
Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green’s relationship has been quite a whirlwind. The pair dated for a couple years before getting engaged in November 2006. By 2009, they decided to end their relationship. But, fast-forward one year and they’re engaged and then, shortly afterward, married. Are you keeping up?
In 2015, after five years of marriage and two children together, Fox filed for divorce from Green, citing "irreconcilable differences," according to People. While in the process of getting divorced, however, Fox became pregnant. And, of course, with that came a whole lot of speculation about the father. The actress decided to make the most of it, posting pictures of herself alongside former male costars with the caption: "#notthefather."
By April 2016, Green confirmed to People (via Metro) that he was indeed the father, saying, "At my age, to be having three babies, is crazy. I’ll be 43 this year." The following year, the lovebirds reconciled and, as of this writing, are still together.
In July 2011, singer Lauryn Hill, welcomed her sixth child. She chose not to reveal the identity of the father, but many became convinced that Bob Marley’s son, Rohan Marley, just had to be the dad. Since he fathered Hill’s previous five children, this wasn’t exactly a far-fetched assumption. Nevertheless, it turned out not to be the truth.
"Mr. Marley and I have a long and complex history about which MANY inaccuracies have been reported since the beginning," Hill wrote on her official site. The singer clarified further, saying, "We have had long periods of separation over the years but our 5 children together remain a joy to both of us." Marley also put to rest all the rumors on Twitter (via HuffPost) by congratulating Hill on "the birth of her new son" — not their new son.
As of December 2018, Hill’s sixth child’s father is not known publicly.
Mindy Kaling officially confirmed her pregnancy in an interview with Today in August 2017. Four months later, Kaling welcomed her daughter, Katherine. Throughout the duration of her pregnancy, Kaling didn’t make any mention of a father. And, after giving birth, Entertainment Tonight revealed that Katherine’s birth certificate did not list a father.
Kaling has, however, been open about motherhood and even shared the first photo of her daughter — albeit the back of her daughter’s costume — to Instagram on Halloween 2018. Of course, all of this secrecy has people hyped to find out who Katherine’s father could be.
If you’re holding out hope that it’s BJ Novak, Kaling’s former boyfriend and costar from The Office, you’re not alone. "No one but God and Mindy Kaling herself can convince me that BJ Novak is not the father of her child," one Twitter user wrote. Another tweeted, "Not to be dramatic but if BJ Novak isn’t the father of Mindy Kaling’s baby I will shatter a window." We get it.