The following was published in the Sydney Morning Herald on January 21st:
How Kidman kept Faith a Secret
SHE is undoubtedly one of the biggest fish in the celebrity bowl, but Nicole Kidman managed to pull off the seemingly impossible until this week: keeping one almighty secret.
Apart from Kidman, her husband, Keith Urban, the unidentified woman who carried and delivered their baby, their medical team and lawyers, for the past 10 months only four other people, Kidman’s and Urban’s Australian-based parents, knew about the couple’s plan for a surrogate baby.
Even their most intimate circle, sworn to secrecy, was not told the news until the weeks leading up to Faith Margaret’s arrival on December 28. The couple kept details scant, nervous about jeopardising any aspect of the birth or their chance to bond with Faith away from a hungry media pack. But like all mysteries, so many questions remain unanswered, such as where they kept the surrogate mother – or ‘‘gestational carrier’’, as they preferred to call her – and whether they paid her.
It was only when Kidman discovered midway during the Golden Globes hype that the US gossip website TMZ planned to run a story on the baby that she instructed her Hollywood publicist to hurriedly issue a statement on Tuesday.
Kidman’s parents, psychiatrist Antony Kidman and his wife, retired nurse Janelle, flew out of Sydney more than a week ago to secretly meet their new granddaughter in Los Angeles.
Kidman had originally planned to keep news of Faith’s arrival a secret until well after the Oscars on February 27. She now intends to withdraw from her work schedule for the next six months to spend time with her new baby in Nashville.
Her sister, Antonia, who gave birth to a son, Nicholas, her fifth child, less than a fortnight before Faith’s arrival has also been visiting in the US.
According to reports in the US, the baby’s birth was under tight security, with an entire floor at the Centennial Medical Centre, in Nashville, booked out by the star, who secretly entered the hospital via a staff-only elevator to visit her new baby and the ‘‘gestational carrier’’.
Even the grandest inquisitor of them all, Oprah Winfrey, failed to prise news of the imminent birth out of the couple when she interviewed them in Sydney last month.
When Kidman sat down for a revealing interview with The Australian Women’s Weekly the next day, she again kept schtum, much to Weekly editor Helen McCabe’s frustration. As a result, the latest issue, with Kidman on the cover, which hit the newsstands on Wednesday has a glaring omission.
Kidman sent McCabe an email on Tuesday night explaining her situation.
Ironically, the Weekly’s article tantalisingly raises the ‘‘one subject she won’t talk about’’, referring to her relationship with adopted children Isabella, 18, and Connor, 16, who live with her Scientologist former husband Tom Cruise and are rarely seen in public with Kidman. Clearly there was another.
And on March 1st, just two months after Faith was born, here she is on the set of her HBO movie: