Journalist and news anchor Anderson Cooper graces the latest cover of People magazine with his son, Wyatt. The magazine, out this Friday, is People’s first-ever Pride issue.
Cooper, 53, revealed on his 360° show on CNN at the end of April that he had become a father via the use of a surrogate. He posted images of him and his son to his Instagram. For People, he has posed with his son for a beautiful portrait shot by photographer Melanie Acevedo and spoken about the experience of becoming a parent. He describes his son’s birth as, “A dream come true.”
“When I was 12 years old and knew I was gay and thought about my life, it always upset me because I thought, ‘I will never be able to have a kid’,” says Cooper.
“It feels like my life has actually begun,” he continued. “And I sort of wonder, what was I waiting for? This is a new level of love. It’s unlike anything I’ve experienced, and yet it’s also very familiar and incredibly special and intimate. It’s really extraordinary.”
Following the news of the arrival of his son, there was speculation that Cooper was back together with his ex, nightclub owner Benjamin Maisani, 47. However, Cooper later clarified that although not back together as partners, they are co-parents to Wyatt.
He says that Wyatt means he and Maisani get less sleep, and the boy’s arrival has made them both more expressive with their emotions.
“I’m more tired than I’ve ever been, but I wouldn’t change it for the world,” said Cooper.
“I cry at things I never cried at before. And Benjamin, I’ve never seen him cry, but I couldn’t believe how weepy he gets with Wyatt. I find myself being overwhelmed with emotion, and it’s a lovely thing.”
In May, in an interview with Howard Stern, Cooper elaborated on why he’d chosen his ex as a co-parent: “I don’t really have a family, and so my friends become my family,” he said. “And this is somebody I was involved with for 10 years. He’s a great guy.
“When I was a little kid, it was just my mom [Gloria Vanderbilt] and my brother,” Cooper explained. He lost his father at the age of ten. His brother took his own life in 1988 at the age of 23. His mother died last year.
“She was not the most parental person 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, and let’s just talk.’ You know, like, 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.
“My ex is a great guy and I think it’s good to have two parents, if you can.”