MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Bradley Cooper, Irina Shayk in February 2019
The Oscar-nominated actor and the Sports Illustrated model began dating in the spring of 2015 and welcomed a child together in 2017 before calling it quits two years later. During their relationship, they made only a handful of public appearances together, preferring to keep their romance and their daughter out of the spotlight.
"Because my work requires me to be out there, I just decided my personal life will be quiet," Shayk told Glamour UK in 2019. "That's why it's called personal, because it's something for you and your family, and I feel happy with it."
Cooper and Shayk welcomed their first and only child together, daughter Lea De Seine Shayk Cooper, on March 21, 2017. The A Star Is Born director spoke candidly about adjusting to fatherhood in a 2018 NPR interview, saying, "I guess having a child, and having a family of my own — which is a miracle and something I've always dreamt of — has opened me up even more, I guess, to the day, and to be present."
Despite their split, Cooper and Shayk maintained a friendship and have been spotted together on several occasions, from a tropical vacation to his Nightmare Alley premiere. Shayk told ELLE in 2021 that they don't use the term "co-parenting," explaining, "I never understood the term co-parenting. [...] Co-parenting is parenting." In 2022, the pair sparked reconciliation rumors after they were spotted showing PDA while on a walk in N.Y.C.
Although Cooper and Shayk are raising their daughter away from the public eye, they have shared a number of adorable anecdotes about Lea over the years. From skipping over the "terrible twos" to the values they're trying to instill in their child, here's everything Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk have said about raising their daughter Lea De Seine.
Shayk showed off her baby bump at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
Soon after, a source confirmed to PEOPLE that Cooper and Shayk were expecting their first child together.
Lea is an Aries
Lea De Seine was born on March 21, 2017, in Los Angeles. Her parents did not address her birth publicly or on social media, though PEOPLE confirmed that she was born at 7:49 am, according to her birth certificate.
Cooper and Shayk kept a low profile after her birth, keeping out of the spotlight until that July when they took a star-studded vacation to Tahiti with pal Allison Williams and her then-husband Ricky Van Veen, as well as Anderson Cooper and his then-partner Benjamin Maisani, plus Diane von Furstenberg and Andy Cohen.
Shayk deals with mom guilt "every day"
Like so many moms who work outside of the home, Shayk suffers from a nagging sense of mom guilt "every day" whenever she's away from her daughter. Speaking to PEOPLE in November 2018, the Russian model added that she does her best to stay in constant contact with Lea whenever she is working.
"I'm the mom who's always checking in," she explained, adding that when it comes to mom guilt, "I'm really hard on myself."
Reminding herself that she's not alone has been her biggest comfort. "Everyone has it," Shayk said. "Time passes so fast. You just have to try to live in the moment."
"I'm not good, but I'm working on it," she added. "You just have to let it go and not be hard on yourself."
Lea reminds Cooper of his father
Cooper revealed during a 2019 appearance on Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations from Times Square that his daughter often reminds him of his late father, Charles, who died in 2011 from lung cancer.
"[Having a family has] changed everything," he said. "Our daughter, she's incredible. And I see my father in her quite often."
The actor shared that his father's presence is extremely palpable at times when he's alone with Lea — to the degree that he sometimes wonders if he's actually there. "I can't believe I'm gonna admit this, but I had moments when … I was in the room with her, I would say, 'Dad?' There are some moments where she looks just like my father," he said, adding, "I watch too many movies."
She and Cooper watch cartoons together
One of the actor's go-to father-daughter bonding activities? Cartoons! Cooper explained during an April 2019 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that the pair love to watch TV together, an activity which has allowed him to reconnect with his inner child guilt-free.
"It allowed me to embrace my childlike self without any sort of like, fear of judgment," he said. "Like, I could just play with toys all day long and not feel like, 'Is this weird?' Or watch cartoons endlessly and not think I'm wasting my life. I love cartoons."
He added that Lea makes spending time together easy. Despite the stereotype of the toddler years being a period of growing pains, he told host DeGeneres that Lea never went through the "terrible twos."
"You know, I don't subscribe to that," Cooper said. "I don't even know what that means."
She doesn't have a nanny
Cooper and Shayk are raising Lea without a nanny, the mom-of-one revealed in a September 2021 cover story with Highsnobiety's magazine HIGHStyle.
She explained to the outlet that there's "no nanny" in the picture and that the two of them have full charge of Lea whenever she's in their respective care.
"When I'm with my daughter, I'm 100 percent a mother, and when she's with her dad, he's 100 percent her dad," the model told ELLE in 2021.
Cooper is a "hands-on" dad
Shayk praised Cooper for being an active, all-in father in her interview with HIGHStyle.
"He's a full-on, hands-on dad," she told the outlet. She explained that when Cooper took Lea for an extended vacation, she didn't even need to check in — something which she had previously expressed she felt like she needed to do whenever she was away from their daughter.
"Lea went on holiday with him for almost two weeks [and] I didn't call them once," she said.
Cooper himself previously joked to Interview magazine that he was "running a one-man preschool," adding that in the mornings, he tried to make bath time both fun and educational for his daughter.
"We get up, we do swim class in the bathtub," he said.
Shayk is raising her to know women are "strong and powerful"
While being a single mom who works outside the home is difficult at times, Shayk wants to ensure she raises her daughter to understand that she loves and is empowered by her work.
"It's hard to find a balance between being a single mom and being a working woman and provider," Shayk told British Vogue in March 2020. "Trust me, there are days I wake up and I'm like, 'Oh my God, I don't know what to do, I'm falling apart.' "
She added that while she tries to minimize time spent away from her daughter, she also wants Lea to know that paid work and motherhood aren't mutually exclusive. "I always try not to stay away from my daughter for more than a week, but I also don't want to be this woman who's not truthful to herself, because I love my work and I was raised in a woman-run household. I want my daughter to know that momma has a job in her life because I want to raise a strong, powerful woman. Presents and food do not come out of the blue."
She has "so many toys" — but is being taught to understand her privilege
Shayk came from humble beginnings, growing up in "the middle of nowhere in Russia" as the daughter of a coal miner and a pianist, she told Vogue in 2020. She's determined to pass down the same mindfulness and manners she was raised with, particularly as she and Cooper raise their daughter amid the Hollywood milieu.
"Me and her father are very strict. When she finishes eating, she gets up from the table, takes her plate, says 'thank you.' Without 'please' or 'thank you' she's not getting anything," Shayk told HIGHStyle.
"It's hard, because she has so many toys. I had one doll, and I still have this doll. Blonde, blue eyes, big Russian doll. My grandma used to make clothes for her," Shayk said, explaining that she tries hard to help her daughter understand that not everyone grows up with the same privileges.
"I always explain, 'Look, this is my doll. I had only one.' Or sometimes, 'You have this candy. I used to have candy only for Christmas,' " she added.
Despite Shayk's teachings, Lea, like any other kid, isn't immune to the feeling of being disappointed on Christmas morning. During a January 2022 appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Cooper shared that his daughter had asked for a Ghostbusters-themed gift for the holiday, but was ultimately dissatisfied with what her dad came up with.
"For those of you that have kids, they really push that Ghostbusters laser on every commercial in between cartoons, so she wanted that, she had to get that. She got that," Cooper explained, adding that she found it lacking in the end.
"She's like 'Where's the laser, though?' " the Licorice Pizza star said. "It's just a little plastic thing, but you do capture the ghost ... She wanted the real laser."
When teased by host Colbert about not living up to his reputation as a "big star," the actor responded, "I couldn't deliver."
Fatherhood drastically changed Cooper's approach to work and life
Fatherhood has radically shifted Cooper's perspective on life, he shared on the SmartLess podcast in June 2022.
"Fatherhood is … everything changed," Cooper said, adding that overcoming addiction and becoming a dad helped him build a stable sense of self-esteem for the first time. "Every single thing is absolutely shaded by, or brought into glorious colors, by the fact that I get to be a father to a wonderful human being."
He explained that monumental moments that previously moved him to seem comparatively small next to the joy of raising his daughter.
"You have this wonderful thing or breakthrough with a script, or you have a wonderful moment on this set or in an editing room … you have like 40 of those moments every day with your kid, that are that level of joy," he shared. "That's not spinning it, that's just the truth."
She's growing up surrounded by love
Cooper credits his parents with raising him to feel deeply loved and supported, and now he strives to pass that positive environment on to his daughter as she grows up.
Speaking to NPR, he explained that part of what bonded him to his A Star Is Born costar, Lady Gaga, was that they both "were very, very loved as children." He added, "When I meet people that have had that similar upbringing, I can just see it in them."
He works hard to pass that same upbringing on to his daughter, he added. "That's the thing I want my daughter to have — I just always want her to feel loved."