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How Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk Changed Celebrity Parenting
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Celebrities

How Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk Changed Celebrity Parenting

Actor Bradley Cooper and supermodel Irina Shayk could have taken the easy way out post-breakup but they managed to put their differences aside and make their daughter priority number one.

Celebrities, in most cases, operate on a different plane from ordinary folk: they work differently, they eat differently, they date differently, and when it doesn’t work out, they also divorce differently. 

However, just because they’re significantly wealthier and more influential doesn’t mean they aren’t facing the same challenges that plague many couples. Take Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk, for example. When they had their daughter, Lea de Seine, in March 2017, they didn’t think they’d have to go through a highly public split a mere two years later. 


RELATED: 5 Daily Habits to Steal From Bradley Cooper, Including Going With His Gut

Splitting up when there is a baby in the mix is always an arduous task: should you stay together for the sake of the child? Should you pursue a contentious custody battle that could rattle the child even more? Should you just abandon the child to spare them the pain of navigating a disrupted upbringing?

No one has all the answers, but Cooper and Shayk managed to say no to all the above and still achieve the optimal outcome. 

Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk’s Breakup and Its Unexpected Consequences

Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk with daughter walking down the street.

Cooper and Shayk, like many before and after them, could not make their relationship work. Though they were regarded as a bonafide power couple by entertainment media, rumors of their split started swirling shortly at the beginning of 2019. Finally, in June 2019, their representatives confirmed the break-up, with many sources citing their demanding schedules as the primary cause. 

An insider told ET that the two had only been “holding on” to each other for the sake of their daughter and that the love had fizzled over time due to a broad range of issues: their hectic workloads, the lack of marital commitment on Bradley’s part, and their incompatibilities.

Apparently, strife had begun quite a while ago, but both Cooper and Shayk mutually decided that they would keep up the pretence throughout Cooper’s A Star Is Born awards run. Regardless of whether this is accurate, it was evident by the summer that the Hangover actor and supermodel were on the rocks. 

RELATED: Lady Gaga Reveals How Bradley Cooper Helped Her Become More Present, Inspires Us to Get Vulnerable

However, both parties knew from the beginning that their daughter was their main priority; no matter what happened, the ‘family unit’ would have to survive. They spared everyone from a drawn-out, sensationalized legal rumpus that only serves to capture the public’s attention and drives tabloid sales. Instead, as per the terms of their arrangement, they agreed to share full custody of their young one but also live in New York to make the transition as seamless as possible for everyone. TMZ reported that the two didn’t bother putting any of this in writing, that’s how “in sync with co-parenting” they are. 

In January 2020, Shayk told Elle she was excited about being single and that life without Cooper was “new ground.” The 36-year-old also told the mag that two “great people” don’t necessarily have to make a good couple.

“I think in all good relationships, you bring your best and your worst -- it’s just the nature of a human being,” she said. She also expressed appreciation for making those memories with Cooper in the first place. 

Why Bradley and Irina’s Mindset Around ‘Co-Parenting’ Is a Game-changer 

Over the next couple of years, Cooper and Shayk truly set the bar for what it’s like to be a powerful co-parenting pair. They have been photographed in public multiple times: sometimes with their child, sometimes without. She has accompanied him to his movie premieres, and they’ve also gone on vacation as a family. The unity has been so pronounced that the media outlets couldn’t help but make up speculation about a supposed reunion. 

Shayk opened up about how her parenting mindset has shifted in the wake of her split from Cooper. In her view, the phrase ‘co-parenting’ doesn’t mean anything. When she spends time with her baby girl, she’s “100%” her mother, and when Lea is with Cooper, “he’s 100% her dad.” She doesn’t understand the fuss over bitter exes and troubling childcare settlements: once you agree to have a child with someone, you know co-parenting is part of the package. “Co-parenting is parenting,” she stated. 

RELATED: The Truth Behind Drake And Sophie Brussaux’s Co-Parenting Will Change The Way You Look At Them

How simple it is to be aligned with the other parent of your child but not see them as a romantic interest. Shayk and Cooper are laying the groundwork for a new type of togetherness: one that’s based on trust, respect, and individual as well as collective peace.

Just because a relationship doesn't work out doesn’t mean you can’t excel as a parenting duo - be on the same page, love your child with equal measure, and support each other’s capabilities when possible. As they say, it takes a village to raise a child; the last thing they wanted to do is alienate a parent, and then risk them missing out on a crucial aspect of growing up. Of course, this doesn’t apply to toxic circumstances that necessitate two people keeping their distance from each other, but if possible, and everyone is willing and amenable and understanding, co-parenting can be a walk in the park. 

Both Shayk and Cooper have been on the record praising each other’s abilities as a parent, with Shayk saying she doesn’t have to worry about Lea even for a second when the latter is with Cooper. “Lea went on holiday with him for almost two weeks — I didn't call them once.”

Even when rumors broke in the summer of 2022 of Cooper’s alleged romance with former political staffer Huma Abedin, it didn’t faze Shayk. Shayk is fully on-board with her ex’s budding romance with Abedin. “They were always better friends than lovers. Seeing each other as parents has made their respect and love for each other grow even more,” they were quoted as saying. The insider added that Shayk and Cooper want to continue spending time together, and their respective significant others will just have to accept. 

What Bradley and Irina Teach Us About Friendship in Parenting

Bradley Cooper in black suit and tie with ex-girlfriend Irina Shayk smiling at each other.

Life doesn’t have to be any more complicated than it is, the path of frustration, holding grudges, and anger isn’t the only one. There is oftentimes a way to adopt the road of empathy, cooperation, and patience, which is exactly what Shayk and Cooper did. They didn’t have to put the bitterness of their breakup aside to take care of Lea, but they did so as it was the best thing for their daughter.

RELATED: William and Kate’s Surprising Decision Is a Bold Lesson in Parenting

In this day and age, a successful co-parenting partnership shouldn’t be so noteworthy or inspiring, but it’s still a rare kind of endeavor: two people, who were not compatible as lovers, agreed that they can still get along and thrive for the sake of their daughter. Friendship after romance is possible, and everyone’s experience is all the better for it. 

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