Shortly after announcing the birth of his son, Anderson Cooper revealed that he would be raising him with his ex, Benjamin Maisani. This is despite the fact that they split up back in 2018. On Tuesday, the CNN anchor explained on The Howard Stern Show how tragedy in his own childhood led him to make this decision.
“I don’t really have a family, and so my friends become my family, and this is somebody I was involved with for 10 years; he’s a great guy,” Cooper told Stern of the businessman and nightclub owner.
The truth is, Cooper said he wants Wyatt Morgan Cooper to have a better childhood than his own. His father died during open-heart surgery when Cooper was 10, leaving mother Gloria Vanderbilt to take care of two sons by herself (with, we assume, a lot of paid help, too). Vanderbilt died last year, and Cooper’s brother, Carter, died in 1988 at age 23.
“She was not the most parental person,” Cooper admitted to Stern of his mother. “And I wish some adult, after my dad died, had stepped in and just been like, ‘You know what? I’ll take you to a ball game,’ or ‘Let’s go out to lunch every now and then. Let’s just talk.’ No one ever did that. And so I thought, ‘Well if something happens to me — or even if something doesn’t happen to me — if more people love my son and are in his life, I’m all for that.’”
Maisani was in the delivery room when Wyatt was born via surrogate, so this co-parenting journey has been going on from the beginning. Cooper said Wyatt will likely call him Dad or Daddy, while French-born Maisani will be Papa.
“My ex is a great guy and I think it’s good to have two parents if you can,” Cooper said. “He’s already speaking French to him. I have no idea what he’s saying. He could be turning the kid against me; I don’t know.”
A sense of humor like that will certainly help these new dads in all the trials of raising a kid. It’s also good for Wyatt to have two parents around, considering the fact that Cooper decided not to take paternity leave in order to continue covering the coronavirus.
“This is as serious as it gets,” he told Stephen Colbert last week. “It’s more important than ever before that things be true and accurate. That’s one of the reasons why I’m not taking time off.”
Cooper joins the ranks of these other celebrities who are great examples of co-parenting done right.