Anderson Cooper reveals his mother offered to be his surrogate when she was 85

Cooper tried to convince his mother not to be a surrogate by joking that the process was ‘labour intensive’

Brittany Miller
New York
Thursday 28 September 2023 00:49 BST
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Related: Anderson Cooper gives moving tribute to mother Gloria Vanderbilt

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Anderson Cooper has opened up about the one conversation he didn’t think he’d ever have with his late mother, Gloria Vanderbilt.

On Tuesday 26 September’s episode of Sirius XM’s The Howard Stern Show, the CNN journalist admitted that his mother offered to be his surrogate after he expressed interest in wanting a family - long before his two sons, Wyatt and Sebastian, entered the scene.

“This is, like, eight years before I decided to have a child,” Cooper began the story. “But my mom really wanted me to have a kid, and she called me up one time and she was like, ‘Honey, there’s something I really need to talk to you about it.’”

The broadcaster explained how talks with his mother always began with her saying she “really needed to talk about it”. He joked that these conversations were often about redecorating her apartment or needing help to “hide a body”, which is why Cooper wasn’t expecting his mother to say what she did.

“She was like, ‘Well the most amazing thing happened,’” he recalled. “‘I went to the gynecologist the other day,’ - preface this, is that my mom was 85 at the time - ‘and she said the most amazing thing. She told me I could still bear children.’”

“And with my mom, you couldn’t have a reaction. You had to be supportive,” Cooper said, explaining that living with his mother is the reason why he can be “stone-faced” during bizarre interviews. “I’ve spent my life not reacting to my mom’s crazy statements, so I said, ‘Yes mom, I think that is amazing that a gynecologist told you, that at age 85, you could still bear a child. I think that’s amazing.’”

However, the CNN anchor was instantly concerned that his 85-year-old mother wanted another child of her own. “She says to me, ‘Honey, I’m not talking about having a child of my own. I mean, that’s crazy, I’m 85. I was thinking, you get an egg and fertilise it with a sperm, and I’ll carry your child,’” he recalled.

He quipped: “And then I’m immediately thinking, ‘How do I stop my mom from bearing a child?’ which is a thought I’m sure we’ve all had.”

Cooper recalled using every excuse he could think of, including telling his mother that “it’s very labour intensive, pun intended”. He also reminded her that if she did carry the child, she would be 105 years old by the time they reached 20. “The math on that just doesn’t seem good, mom,” he recalled telling her.

“I said, ‘Mom, I love you. But even for you this is bats**t crazy,’” Cooper added.

Vanderbilt died in 2019 at the age of 95. Anderson and his former partner, Benjamin Maisani went on to welcome two children via surrogate. Their eldest son, Wyatt, was born in 2020. They welcomed their second baby boy - Sebastian, 19 months - in 2022.

Most recently, Cooper shared a birthday tribute post on Instagram for Wyatt’s third birthday.

“This little peanut turned three today!” he captioned the post, which featured images of himself and Wyatt, as well as a picture of Cooper alongside Maisani and both their children. “Wyatt Morgan Maisani-Cooper. He and his brother Sebastian are the greatest blessings I could ever have hoped for.”

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