Actress Tika Sumpter appeared noticeably pregnant at an event in Atlanta this July but only confirmed the news recently.
That was by design.
The 36-year-old star of Southside With You explained why she kept it a secret in the new issue of Fit Pregnancy.
“She’s my first child,” Sumpter, who is due in October told the publication. “And I wanted to experience every moment of this pregnancy for myself and enjoy it without everybody else being in it with me. Until recently, you couldn’t tell if I was pregnant or had a little beer belly!”
The star showed up at the Alpha Kappa Alpa Boulé this summer and became an honorary member of the sorority, according to EurWeb. At that time, Sumpter could more easily pass off her bump as a “little beer belly.”
But now, she confirmed the news to Fit Pregnancy and explained she did not share she was expecting to avoid paternity questions.
“I didn’t want to hear, ‘Who’s the dad? Are you with the dad?’ ” Sumpter said.
She only admitted the father of her little girl is her boyfriend, a fellow actor whom she’s been with for a year-and-a-half. But Bossip reports it is white actor Nick James, her “The Haves and the Have Nots“ co-star.
“Social media can be harsh, and I’m a mama bear, protective of my family. So that’s why I waited to tell people, including some friends. My friends weren’t mad at me. They said, ‘You did it the way you wanted to do it. You’re an inspiration.’ ”
Sumpter’s inspirational qualities extend to embracing her appearance, too. She wrote a personal essay in June about how she grew up comfortable with her dark skin tone.
The same empowerment extends to her changing expectant body.
“My belly feels heavy,” the actress shared with the pregnancy magazine. “My back and thighs ache. I’ve gained 15 pounds so far, and what’s weird is, I feel sexier than ever. There’s power in carrying a human life.”