During Linda Evangalista's recent child support battle with her billionaire baby daddy, her onetime lover Francois-Henri Pinault divulged a major family secret: his wife Salma Hayek was mistakenly told their daughter had Down Syndrome.
Evangalista and Pinault were involved in a brief affair before he married Hayek, during which time the supermodel became pregnant with his son. She's since been fighting with him for an extravagant child support payout (she asked for a jaw-dropping $46,000 per month), and during this week's court battle, Pinault testified that he'd originally asked Evangalista to delay the legal recognition process of their son because of Hayek's stressful pregnancy.
Setting aside the supermodel/billionaire bad behavior (who needs that much money each month? Who doesn't step up to recognize their own child? Douchbaggery all around, I say!), I feel really sorry for Salma Hayek—not only for what she must have gone through, but for having it made public in this way.
According to Pinault, Hayek not only came close to losing the baby, but their daughter Valentina was misdiagnosed while Hayek was still pregnant:
She was having a very difficult pregnancy. In fact, we were told the baby had Down Syndrome until late May 2007. (...) The situation was very, very complicated. She almost lost the baby.
I can only imagine how stressful that must have been, and it makes me wonder what sort of test she had. Amniocentesis reportedly provides a 99 percent accuracy rate in predicting Down Syndrome, but of course there are all sorts of screening options, like chorionic villus sampling, or ultrasounds combined with blood testing. It could be that she was told she had an increased risk, rather than receiving a solid diagnosis.
Every situation is unique and we can't possibly guess how Salma Hayek felt, but she was surely worried about the well-being of her baby, especially since it sounds like there were other complications during her pregnancy. As it turns out, her daughter Valentina was born in September, 2007—perfectly healthy, and without the genetic disorder she'd been predicted to have.
It's a sad story because you know Hayek must have spent a lot of her pregnancy feeling scared about her child's health, and you can't get that time back. It must have been an enormous relief when the child was born, but all those weeks beforehand—well, I'm sure it was hard. Especially since she was also dealing with her husband knocking up a damn supermodel.
A Down Syndome diagnosis certainly doesn't have to be the end of the world, but I know I would have been freaking out. I would have been wondering if I was up to the task of parenting a child with special needs, and I would have been frightened about the possibility that my baby would have life-threatening birth defects. What a scary situation for Hayek to have gone through, and I'm glad for her sake that her story had a happy ending.
Have you ever heard of someone dealing with a major misdiagnosis during pregnancy?
Image via Flickr/poisonli