Richard Gutierrez and Sarah Lahbati. Photo grabbed from Gutierrez's instagram page
MANILA – It took more than a year for Richard Gutierrez and Sarah Lahbati to come out with the news that they have become proud parents of a baby boy Zion.
According to Gutierrez's mother, Annabelle Rama, one of the reasons why they decided not to bring the little boy to the Philippines right after he was born in April last year was because they were afraid he might get dragged into the legal row involving the 20-year-old actress.
In the early months of 2013, Lahbati and GMA-7 executive Annette Abrogar traded court suits against each other, including libel and grave coercion, over Abrogar's alleged mismanagement of Lahbati's career; and Lahbati's negative comments about Abrogar on social media.
It was only early this year when Lahbati and Abrogar settled their row after both parties arrived at an extra judicial settlement.
In an interview with entertainment columnist Ricky Lo as published on The Philippine Star Tuesday, Rama said they were advised by their lawyer at that time to spare the boy from being a subject of intrigue.
“The baby might be dragged into the issue,” Rama said, quoting their legal counsel. “Headline ‘yung kaso ni Sarah at GMA. Kung lumabas ‘yung balita na nanganak siya, kawawa naman ‘yung baby, baka madamay, baka maging circus lang sa media.”
Unknown to many, Rama said both Gutierrez and Lahbati were very eager to bring their first child to the Philippines.
“’Bahala na; itago natin pagdating sa airport,’” Rama narrated, recalling Gutierrez’s words. “I told him, ‘Richard, huwag kang makipagsapalaran.’ Sabi niya, ‘Mommy, gusto ko alagaan ‘yung baby.’ Sabi ko, basta huwag. He was even ready to talk about it.”
Rama said another reason they kept the baby a secret was because of their show on E! Channel.
“That was also the reason why Richard and Sarah were forbidden by the show producers to talk about the baby. Dapat daw sa show nila sabihin. It was the right time, kasi tapos na rin ‘yung kaso ni Sarah with GMA. The producers wanted something ‘explosive’ on the first telecast,” Rama said.
True enough, Gutierrez admitted that he is now a father on the pilot episode of “It Takes Gutz to be a Gutierrez,” which aired last Sunday.
According to Lo’s article, after the baby was born in Switzerland, he was brought to the United States where Rama’s husband Eddie and son Elvis took care of him, along with Lahbati’s mother.
It was only this year when the baby was brought to the Philippines.
Now that everything is out in the open, Lahbati said she feels "relieved" that they are no longer forbidden to talk about Zion.
“Now everybody knows why we waited for the right time to tell everything, that there was a reason why we never talked about the baby,” she said.