Louis Tomlinson has shared an intimate photograph of himself holding his new-born son. In doing so, One Direction star Louis has written another chapter in what surely must rank as the most bizarre celebrity baby story in history. For those not familiar with the controversy surrounding Tomlinson becoming a dad, the entire affair has been a PR disaster from beginning to end. News that Louis was to become a dad was leaked to U.K. tabloid the Sun in July last year. Since then, both Tomlinson and the child’s mother, Briana Jungwirth, have maintained total silence about the matter.
Many fans were suspicious that the story about Tomlinson’s baby was leaked to the Sun because the tabloid takes an almost universally negative slant on anything to do with One Direction. The original article however was by Pete Samson, the U.S. editor of the Sun who is married to Anne-Marie Samson, Simon Cowell’s PR chief.
Many of Tomlinson’s fans were suspicious about the whole story, especially given that Louis imposed a ban on questions about his baby. Tomlinson’s only comment about baby Tomlinson during the pregnancy was a rather awkward 11-word statement on Good Morning America last August. Oddly Louis has never uttered Briana Jungwirth’s name in public even after the baby arrived last Friday. Louis and Briana have never been seen together since we saw some paparazzi shots last spring.
As time progressed, suspicions rose that the Tomlinson baby story was some kind of PR stunt that had gone horribly wrong. The internet was alive with conspiracy theories, the media trashed Tomlinson’s reputation, and Jungwirth’s family began to act in the strangest of ways. Jungwirth herself took to Twitter in the early stages to deny she was pregnant.
We know that Tomlinson was aware of the controversy, and his sister and mother have both commented on hurtful comments made about Louis. Yet, strangely Louis maintained his silence about the matter until the early hours of Saturday morning, when he tweeted that his son had been born.
I'm pleased to say my baby son was born yesterday :) ???? He is healthy and pretty amazing :) I'm very happy!!— Louis Tomlinson (@Louis_Tomlinson) January 23, 2016
The irony is that Tomlinson could easily have ended the speculation with a simple statement announcing the pregnancy and asking for privacy. Instead, Louis has said virtually nothing, and his messages about his baby’s arrival did not mention his mother; not even a simple “mother and baby are doing well.”
In the days after baby Tomlinson’s arrival, rumors again swept the internet and the media. Fake photographs were published that claimed to show Louis’ son and the Sun showed its reliability as a source by proclaiming that baby Tomlinson was to be named Sydney Rain. There were claims that Tomlinson and Briana’s mother had a huge fight and that Louis was kicked out of the delivery room. Numerous outlets claimed that there was to be a huge fight over child support and that Louis would not believe that the baby was his until after a paternity test had been carried out.
In truth, it is hard to imagine that baby Tomlinson’s arrival could have been handled any worse. Of course, it is entirely possible that Tomlinson kept silence to ensure that he avoided legal complications should a paternity test prove that he was not the baby’s father.
The Mirror reports today that Louis has taken to Instagram to share a beautifully intimate photograph of himself with his baby son. Tomlinson also announced that the little lad is to be named Freddie. At present, it is not clear whether little Freddie will take the Tomlinson surname or not, though a tweet by Tomlinson said “Freddie Tommo” perhaps implying that he will.
The photograph that Louis shared is beautifully lit and appears to have been shot by a professional. Louis will doubtless be hoping that both he and the fans will draw a line under the whole “babygate” drama. It seems unlikely that Louis, who is a renowned lover of children, would allow an innocent baby to become the centrepiece in some sick publicity stunt.
Tomlinson’s fans are known to be fiercely loyal to the 24-year-old star, and most would forgive Louis anything. The Telegraph reports that, within minutes of Louis’ posting his picture, “Freddie” was trending across the world.
It is not clear who has been advising Tomlinson on how to handle the baby issue, but most fans would agree that the entire affair has been a shambles that could have been so easily avoided. Fans are upset, confused, and disoriented by the way the matter has been dealt with; they may forgive Louis Tomlinson, but their hatred for his advisors and PR team is sure to step up another notch.
[Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP]