There was once a postcard on PostSecret that was a collage of various male celebrities. It included Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Downey Jr, Zac Efron, and many more handsome and recognizable faces. The caption, scrawled in black sharpie, said: "One of these men is the father of my child. He pays me a lot of money to keep it a secret."
Even though for men, there is a lot less societal opprobrium for having a child out of wedlock, it still doesn't look great. It seems gluttonous, childish, and irresponsible. This is even more true if the man is a celebrity, and the baby's mother is a laywoman. At least if the mom is a celebrity, there is an element of boho convention-flouting at play, like in the case of for-a-while unmarried Brad and Angelina's brood of children. But when the mom is just a regular civilian, it immediately takes on these star-f***er, fast-and-dirty connotations that, although fun, injure, for instance, Zac Efron's reputation as both approachable and astronomically unattainable.
The following 20 celebrities have secret babies, somewhere out in the world. These boys and girls grow up watching their fathers' movies, admiring them like we do, but feeling a distant kinship that we could never understand. (Or could we?)
20 Steven Tyler
You may have heard of Steven Tyler's love child... she's a little lady by the name of LIV TYLER. That's right. Believe it or not, for the first many years of her life, Liv Tyler didn't know who her father actually was. It was only when she was a teenager that the information came to light that the Aerosmith frontman was her biological papa. After that, she became closer and closer with him, spending increasing amounts of time with him. He introduced her to industry people, and her good looks and charm landed her smack dab in the middle of the limelight (plus, of course, her controversial and scandalous conception... so Hollywood).
19 Eddie Murphy
Did you know that Eddie Murphy and Mel B. (known to many as Scary Spice) dated for a long time? Did you know that they had a child together? If it had been up to Eddie Murphy, you would never know the latter. For a long time, he denied being the father to his daughter, born in 2007. It was only after a public paternity test proved that she could be no one else's that he had to own up to his off-spring. We wonder if the paternity test was the nurse asking the daughter to voice an animated donkey and she passed by doing a stellar job.
In a Ross-and-Rachel-esque situation, Ludacris slept with someone else while he and his girlfriend Eudoxie were on a break. Unlike Ross and Rachel, however, Eudoxie and Ludacris stayed together and weren't infuriatingly separated for the next like 1,542 seasons. Also unlike Ross and Rachel, Ludacris impregnated the woman that he slept with. Ludacris is now embroiled in legal arguments over custody and child-support for the child. Aah, the perils of being a rich and famous rapper who refuses to wear protection. Christopher Bridges gotta pay the price.
17 Bow Wow
Up until 2011, Bow Wow denied fathering Joie Chavis's daughter Shai Moss (even though his real name is Shad Gregory Moss...). Only in 2011 did the rapper fess up, writing a post on his website confirming that the little girl was actually his. He said in the post that he was afraid of how people would view him, presumably a reference to what he mentioned earlier, about how out of wedlock children come off. But now he finally came out and said it, because at the end of the day does anyone really care about anything in this crazy mixed up muddled up shook up world?
16 Arnold Schwarzenegger
THE GOVERNATOR! In step with a rich tradition in Hollywood, Arnold Schwarzenegger not only cheated on basically a Kennedy (Maria Shriver) with the housekeeper, but he also didn't have the intellectual candlepower to not get her pregnant when he did it. That's right. Arnold had an affair with his housekeeper and, as women are known to do when they have sex, she got pregnant. This led to the end of their marriage in 2011. As Maria Shriver was stepping into the cab idling in front of their idyllic house, she turned to Arnold and said: "I won't be back."
15 Dwayne Wade
Depending on your interest in celebrity culture, you may know Dwayne Wade as Miami Heat basket-baller or as Gabrielle Union's super tall boyfriend. But one person knows him as the father of her child, and that's Aja Metoyer. Shortly after Dwayne and Gabrielle announced they were getting married, Aja Metoyer came out of the woodwork and said that he had fathered her child. He publicly claimed that conception occurred while he and Union were on a break, but Metoyer said that that had sex plenty of times while the two were still together. The two still got married, in the end.
14 Chuck Norris
13 Gavin Rossdale
If ever there were a man who wished he had kept it in his godforsaken pants, it's Gavin Rossdale. Not only did his extramarital ways end his marriage to Gwen Stefani (he cheated on her with the housekeeper), but his philandering also got him a kid way back in the 1980s. Pearl Lowe, an ex-girlfriend, asked Gavin to be the godfather to her daughter Pearl Lowe. He assented. Only in 2004 did a paternity test reveal the British musician to be the girl's actual father, rather than the Italian gangster type.
12 John Edwards
John Edwards' is the tale of the fall of a man. At one point, he was a candidate for president. He was handsome, had a beautiful wife, and a million dollar family just waiting to move into the White House. But, progressively, it came to light that John Edwards was having an affair with one of his staffers. And not only that: his wife was sick with cancer. The story finally climaxed in 2010 when he admitted that he was sleeping with the woman (amid intense media speculation approaching virtual certainty) but also that she had had his child. He and his wife eventually separated (duh).
11 Jesse Jackson
Here again we have another Presidential candidate in the form of Jesse Jackson, although by the time he fathered an illegitimate child, he had more or less given up on that ambition. He ran for President in 1988. His child was born in 2000. By that point, he was back to being a regular politician, albeit an important and well recognized one. In 2001, he had to publicly confess to being the father to RAINBOW/ Push Coalition staffer Karin Stanford's daughter. She was making a huge ruckus and Jackson wanted to do damage control. He and his wife had been married for 38 years. They are still together.
10 Eric Clapton
You probably know Eric Clapton from his megahit song "Layla". "Layla... You got me on my knees! LAYLA! I'm beggin' darlin please... " etc. But did you know that he fathered an illegitimate child with his mistress, as well? In 1985, while cheating on Pattie Boyd, Eric Clapton had a child with Yvonne Kelly. Little Ruth was kept a secret by her parents until 1991, when the truth came out. Imagine being in her shoes, being literally a secret human until finally your parents get their s**t together enough to admit that you belong to them. Must be hard on the ole self-esteem.
9 Beyonce (allegedly)
This one is not as definite as the others, but we thought it was too much fun to omit it. There is a conspiracy theory out there that says that Solange Knowles is not Beyonce's sister. Apparently, she is Beyonce's daughter. Someone in a Texas government office unearthed her "real" birth certificate, claiming that the singer was actually born in 1974. This would make Beyonce 12 or 13 years older than Solange, not merely 5. Also, Gabrielle Union, who's in her forties, once said she and Beyonce were friends as teenagers. This could mean the B got pregnant very young and gave birth to Solange, then the family just pretended they were sisters. Sounds dicey, but it's fun to think about.
8 Matthew Knowles
On the other hand, Beyonce's dad Matthew definitely had a love child. Its mother was Scrubs actress Alexsandra Wright, who he was managing (on top of Beyonce) at the time. The child was born in 2010, after nearly 30 years of marriage to Tina Knowles, B's mother and designer of "Dereon Jeans", which Beyonce is constantly hocking in her music. The year after the child was born, Beyonce dropped Matthew as her manager, fearful perhaps that this little slip up would blight her reputation by association. Ruthless, but responsible?
7 Tom Jones
6 Minnie Driver
While I personally know Minnie Driver as Lionel's pain-in-the-arse daughter from Will and Grace, most people know her as the girl from Good Will Hunting. You might also know her as the tall British chick, her being almost 5'9" and, obviously, British. But for a long time what you didn't know about her was her baby daddy's identity. She refused to reveal it. Although she never named him outrightly, she has in recent years admitted that he was a writer on her former, short-lived television show The Riches (and this is TheRichest... FUN!!!). Unusual to see the script flipped like that, but hey you learn something new every day.
5 Hugh Grant
4 Jude Law
3 Benicio del Toro
Benicio del Toro is a big time Hollywood actor known for his roles in gangster of crime movies like License to Kill or The Usual Suspects. Kimberly Stewart is a model, reality TV star, socialite, model, and fashion designer. From what I can tell, that means that she is some random skank who every so often has her picture taken. But that didn't stop Benicio del Toro from stickin it to her and getting her pregnant with a baby. Although unlike many of the other male celebs on this list, Benicio del Toro was thrilled with the prospect of being a father and was very involved in her life.
2 January Jones
Like Minnie Driver, Janary Jones (Jan Jones, or JaJo for short) refuses to say who the father of her child is. Many people believe that the father of her son, Xander, was a married man with whom she had an affair. Others believe it to be Jason Sudeikis, with whom she was linked just months before declaring that she was with child. The one thing she will confirm is that the father of her son has no place in her life. She knew that she was to raise him on her own, and she is proud and excited about it. More power to her, we guess, although it sounds like an impatient woman on the wrong side of thirty went to the sperm bank and then let public imaginations do all the heavy lifting.
1 P. Diddy
In 2007, P. Diddy had a daughter than ended his relationship. His affair with Atlanta based photographer Sarah Chapman yielded a child. When Kim Porter, his long term girlfriend and the mother of his three children found out, the two of them split up. We're tempted to say it's sad that that had to happen, but at the same time, if you want to keep your family and your home together, perhaps don't sleep with the first person you find interesting. Although, at the same time, if that had never happened, he might never have dated Cassie, which he was probably pretty happy to do.