When celebrities choose to enter the spotlight, pursue a career in Hollywood and get in front of the camera, they do so knowing full well what that may entail. If they make it big, they run the risk of having their privacy invaded, photographers chasing them down on their morning coffee run and the internet dissecting their every move and relationship. Obviously, stars are people too, and limits should be put in place for their safety and privacy but, as adults, they at least have some awareness of what they’re putting at risk when they want to see their name in lights.
Their children? Not so much.
More and more celebrities are seeking ways to protect their kids from the prying eyes of the paparazzi, who want to snap photos of unsuspecting infants and toddlers to sell to the highest bidder. No wonder so many stars have opted to keep their kids out of the limelight, off of social media and discussed only rarely in interviews!
These 20 celebrity moms would rather their kids have as normal a life as possible than run the risk of them being put in danger. Whether it be keeping their child’s paternity a secret or keeping photos to a minimum, these women are staying mum when it comes to their kids.
20 Nicole Richie: Harlow & Sparrow
There have obviously been pictures circulating since the birth of Nicole Richie’s children, daughter Harlow and son Sparrow, probably owing to the fact that the kids are the spitting image of their famous parents! (Dad is Good Charlotte frontman Joel Madden.) However, while Richie and Madden have lived a life in the spotlight, they do what they can to keep their kids out of the media’s harsh glare.
At ages 11 and 9, Harlow and Sparrow are rarely snapped for their parents’ social media pics, and if they are, their faces are usually obscured by sunglasses or emojis to keep their privacy. Now old enough to understand the internet and what it means for their personal life, it’s entirely possible that it’s the way the kids prefer things, anyway!
19 Jessica Biel: Silas
Considering how public his parents are – and the fact that they sold photos of their wedding to People magazine – it might come as a surprise that Jessica Biel and longtime love Justin Timberlake prefer to keep their family life private when it concerns their only child, son Silas.
The social media-savvy couple aren’t opposed to sharing their own photos of the three-year-old boy when he watches his dad perform or dresses up for Halloween, but both Biel and Timberlake are careful to either obscure the tot’s face, have him turn away or give him a mask to wear (when the occasion calls for it) so that the public never gets a good look.
18 Blake Lively: James & Inez
While it seems that we know everything about Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds’s daughters James and Inez, everything we do know was released by the couple themselves! For example, Lively’s reveal of her own baby bump came from her lifestyle website Preserve, and the names of both children weren’t made public until months after both were born!
While both children did attend their father’s ceremony for his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Lively insists on raising them to have a normal life, telling Marie Claire,
“Ryan had a nice, normal upbringing, and we want our kids to have the same normal life that we had. We don’t ever want to rob them of what we had because then we’d feel really selfish.”
17 Emily Blunt: Hazel & Violet
Emily Blunt and John Krasinksi seem like one of the most perfect, down-to-earth couples in show business, with a deep love for one another and their family. This is probably why they have been so insistent on keeping the lives of their daughters, Hazel and Violet, so private. Indeed, the first and only photo shared by Krasinski of Hazel was after her birth in 2014, when he tweeted, “Pics of kids should only come direct from parents. So I’m thrilled to introduce you guys to Hazel!!! #NoKidsPolicy,” as Cafe Mom reports.
Having worked together on A Quiet Place, where they play a married couple with children, naturally interviewers asked them questions about their own offspring, to which both share cute stories but no more photos.
16 Zoe Saldana: Bowie, Zen & Cy
Zoe Saldana is thinking about the future when it comes to her kids and, while becoming an actress and famous was her decision, she knows that it’s not fair to put the same pressure on them.
The Avatar actress is mom of three, twins Bowie and Zen, and son Cy, whom she unexpectedly welcomed by surrogate in 2017. As People reports, in 2015, Saldana explained,
“I just don’t want 16 years form now to get, ‘You are so disrespectful. You invaded, you exposed me, and I wasn’t ready.’ Even though they’re babies and they’re under our care, it’s still their face.”
15 Tyra Banks: York
Tyra Banks has got one adorable son, and she has only graced us with one photo of the photogenic tot who clearly takes after his mom in the looks department. And the reason for keeping her child so secret is a good one! Not only is the model and TV host looking to protect her kid, but she clearly understands how precious his entry into the world is.
After a year of failed attempts, Banks became pregnant through a successful round of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) with then-boyfriend Erik Asla (the two have since split). While Banks isn’t shy about discussing some of the more trying aspects of motherhood – and how her son amazes her every day – she still keeps photos of him on the DL.
14 Natalie Portman: Aleph & Amalia
Despite making it big in Hollywood when she was a young teenager, Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman has kept relatively quiet about her personal life, including her two children, son Aleph and daughter Amalia.
Married to choreographer Benjamin Millepied, who she met on the set of the film Black Swan, Portman gave birth to both kids in 2011 and 2017, respectively. Part of the reason they were able to keep the lives of their children under wraps was because they moved to France, where Millepied was working, and their lives have been downright normal!
In a series of letters to Jonathan Safran Foer published in The New York Times Style Magazine, Portman described weekends where she did laundry, made playdates, went out on walks with her kids and cooked.
13 Leighton Meester: Arlo
A match made in teen soap heaven, Leighton Meester of Gossip Girl and Adam Brody of The O.C. found one another, got married and had a baby, daughter Arlo. The two kept their relationship and wedding a secret, and Arlo’s birth wasn’t even announced until two months after her arrival!
Speaking to Refinery29, Meester explained her own approach to motherhood and career, saying,
“I don’t talk about Arlo very much. I am very proud of that area of my life. But I’m also really proud of the show, and of the work I do. I think the perception is: You’re an ingénue, or an icon, or you’re a mom. There’s no in-between.”
12 Scarlett Johansson: Rose
When Scarlett Johansson was married to Ryan Reynolds, their relationship was incredibly public. Two gorgeous twentysomethings? You can bet the tabloids were all over the short-lived romance! For marriage number two, though, the actress was much more quiet when she wed French artist Romain Dauriac, with whom she has a daughter, Rose.
Speaking to E! News, Johansson explained that her desire to keep her relationship and family life private informs all her decisions: “As a devoted mother and private person, and with a complete awareness that my daughter will one day be old enough to read the news about herself, I would like to say that I will never, ever be commenting on the dissolution of my marriage.”
11 Diane Kruger: Unknown
Diane Kruger has been so hush-hush about the birth of her child with The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus that we don’t even know the little girl’s name! Almost immediately after it had been announced that the actress had given birth, paparazzi began hounding the new mother as she took her daughter out in a stroller or carrier, in hopes of catching a glimpse (and a nice payday) for the infant’s face.
Kruger ended up turning to social media to call the photographers out, saying, as Cafe Mom reports, “While we understand that some people would like to see a picture of our daughter, we as parents want nothing more than to allow her to grow up in privacy and safety.”
10 Adele: Angelo
Rather than wait for paparazzi to follow her to catch a glimpse of her baby bump, singer Adele took it upon herself to announce the news that she was expecting in a blog post in June 2012. However, since then, she’s tried to keep the identity and life of her son, Angelo, a secret. In fact, as a result of some intrusive photographers, legal action was taken!
In 2014, the then-two-year-old was the recipient of a five-figure sum as a result of his parents filing a lawsuit over his image! “It is a matter of profound sadness that many of [Angelo’s] milestone moments…were photographed and published worldwide expressly against his family’s wishes,” the lawsuit stated, as Nicki Swift reports. The money was placed in a trust.
9 Mila Kunis: Wyatt & Dimitri
Their relationship has been pretty public, since it seemed like a long time coming when former That '70s Show co-stars Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher finally found their way back to one another and tied the knot. However, when it comes to their kids, these two try to keep them under wraps.
As Harper's Bazaar reports, Kutcher tweeted, “Why is it so hard for publications to respect that I would like the identity of my child kept private for safety reasons. Pls honor that.” Another time, the dad explained that neither parent shares photos of their children because they feel that being public is a personal choice.
8 America Ferrera: Sebastian
One of the newest mamas on our list, Superstore star America Ferrara gave birth to son Sebastian this past May. While she took to IG to announce her pregnancy and share the occasional baby bump photo, Ferrara has chosen to keep actual images of her son private.
Any photos shared of little Sebastian on her social media have been limited to the top of his head, a tiny foot or hand or an image of the actress breastfeeding, with the infant’s head covered by a cartoon.
However, in a recent interview with People, Ferrara did gush about her son’s latest milestones: The 8-month-old is now “army crawling” and even comes to work with her sometimes!
7 Kristen Bell: Delta & Lincoln
Kristen Bell and husband Dax Shepard have been incredibly vocal about protecting the privacy of their children, even spearheading a campaign that led to several publications to stop publishing images of children taken without their parents’ consent!
As Cafe Mom reports, Bell has said, “I’m telling you right now, we don’t want our daughter’s face anywhere ever until she decides because I have the utmost respect for her.” In another instance, Harper's Bazaar reports the actress asking people to put themselves in her kids’ shoes, to understand how scary it would be to be mobbed by adults clamouring for a photo.
6 Alexis Bledel: Unknown
Another actress who has kept so quiet about her pregnancy and birth that we don’t even know her child’s name, we have Gilmore Girls’s Alexis Bledel! Her and husband Vincent Kartheiser, who she met on the set of Mad Men, are parents to a baby boy, but, if they’d had it their way, that wouldn’t be public knowledge at all!
It wasn’t either parent who spilled the beans, but Bledel’s Gilmore Girls co-star Scott Patterson, who let slip that the actress had recently become a “proud new mother.” The couple then awkwardly confirmed the news to People, admitting that they’d welcomed a son in the fall of 2016.
5 Eva Mendes: Esmeralda & Amada
Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling have kept notoriously private since being publicly introduced as a couple, and that super secretiveness extends to their family, with daughters Esmeralda and Amada. In our social media-saturated world, these two have refrained from posting any gushy social media photos, birth announcements or red carpet appearances at awards shows.
Speaking to Violet Grey, Mendes said, “Ryan and I decided to give her [Esmeralda] as much privacy as we could. …It’s such [a personal] time for the mother, too. …I find the media’s ‘bump watch’ obsession to be both intrusive and stressful. So I made a decision to eject myself from it completely.”
4 Kerry Washington: Caleb & Isabelle
When Kerry Washington walked the red carpet in all her pregnant glory, paparazzi were probably excited to finally get the reveal of the little bundle of joy. No such luck for them, though, as the actress’s two children with husband Nnamdi Asomugha have been kept carefully hidden from the media’s prying eyes and no images have ever been shared!
Essence reports that Washington said of her daughter, “I want her to be able to make those decisions in her time. …She should be able to enter this world when it feels right for her, and not [have me] make that decision for her.”
3 Sandra Bullock: Laila & Louis
Sandra Bullock’s fallout from her marriage to Jesse James became tabloid fodder for months, so it’s understandable that she wanted to keep things quiet ever since, especially where her children and romantic life are concerned. In 2010, Bullock quietly adopted a son, Louis, and in 2015, she adopted a daughter, Laila – but Laila almost wasn’t hers, thanks to prying paps!
As Nicki Swift reports, Bullock admitted that she almost lost the chance to adopt Laila, because paparazzi photos snapped of the little girl when she was a foster child violated the confidentiality agreement of the agency! The actress had previously declared to Glamour (via People), “You come after my son, I’m gonna go postal.”
2 Mindy Kaling: Katherine
Unlike a couple of mamas on this list, Mindy Kaling did allow us to learn the name of her daughter, Katherine. However, she has kept the child’s face and paternity a total secret – although it hasn’t stopped fans and tabloids from speculating on the latter!
The actress, who is pretty active on social media, has kept images of her little one to a minimum, sharing images of the tot that are just of her feet or her back, dressed in an adorable Halloween costume or matching pajamas at Christmas. Fans are still clamouring for more images and info about the little girl, but so far Kaling has been quite successful at keeping things private.
1 January Jones: Xander
The second actress on our list who has stayed mum about the father of her child, Mad Men actress January Jones has been adamant about keeping her son Xander out of the spotlight. In fact, while she’s regularly on her IG account (and sharing some of the most hilarious TBTs ever), it’s easy to forget that she’s a mom – there’s zero evidence of Xander at all!
Jones does talk about motherhood on occasions, such as her sleeping habits or how it affects her personal life, but refuses to discuss her son’s paternity and we doubt we’ll ever see him show up to join his mom on the red carpet.