Judging by LaKeith Stanfield’s latest Instagram post, it’s safe to say he’s trying his best to ensure 2023 starts off a bit calmer than the way 2022 ended.
The “climate” he’s referring to is the drama that unfolded just hours after he and model Kasmere Trice announced their engagement on social media last Friday.
Shortly after that, an artist named Tylor Hurd posted a now-deleted Instagram reel showing a montage of her infant daughter with LaKeith appearing intermittently, alleging he was the father.
The reel was captioned, "Decided to leave being someone's secret family in 2022 ❤️ meet Apollo Stanfield."
Screenshots shared to a blog captured now-deleted comments from LaKeith saying "Thanks for respecting my not wanting to blast my child out to the internet. Very considerate of you,” and, "I never once in my life said she wasn't my baby. I hope this does whatever it was supposed to do for you.” But since then, he’s remained tight-lipped about the baby mama drama.
In the comments, Tylor challenges his request for “privacy”, questioning how important it could possibly be to him when Kasmere constantly posts what the couple is up to. It’s a valid point. But also valid is his rebuttal that when it comes to privacy, an adult relationship and his children are two different things.
The details of Tylor and LaKeith’s relationship haven’t been confirmed. She alleges he refers to her as “a random” and denies Apollo is his child, a claim he clearly refutes. As a celebrity, I can absolutely see the value in maintaining the privacy of everything from what your child’s name might be to the fact that you have a child to begin with. But Apollo isn’t his only child. LaKeith was previously married to Xosha Roquemore and the two share a daughter. You wouldn’t know it based on his social media, though. His Instagram is bare, save for a few photos of him and…scenery? And in interviews, he rarely speaks about his personal life. Up until recently he’s been a fairly private person.
By his account, LaKeith and Tylor must have come to some sort of understanding as to what their sexual arrangement would be, and furthermore, what their parenting arrangement would be. It’s something LaKeith alluded to in one of those now-deleted comments, suggesting the pair had discussed these things in “earnest”.
The comment sections remain divided, with some people slamming him for going public with his relationship but failing to go public with his child, while others suggest that by the looks of the montage, which by no means encapsulates the full scope of the situation, he seems to be fairly present. Tylor, though, says the clips are all she has of them together because “he barely sees her” in a now-expired story of her clearing up her intentions.
“Just to clear a few things up I’m not jealous that he’s engaged to a woman he’s known for 5 months,” her story read. She went on to say she attempted to meet LaKeith’s fiancée and was “ignored”. “What I’m upset about is that he made more time to spend with this woman than he’s spent with Apollo her whole life and has been actively ignoring me when I’m trying to figure things out for our child.”
If she said she was okay with laying low, his relationship with Kasmere and their ultimate engagement seems to have pushed her in the direction of having a change of heart. The question is – why?
I can speak from firsthand experience and attest to the fact that there have been certain men in my life I liked so much, that I tried to play it super cool and pretend I was okay with either just being friends or just being casual if it meant having them around at all. It’s kind of like those cliché scenes in movies right before the heartthrob appears on screen. The person with the crush always says something to the extent of “Just act cool!” Granted, this was when I was a bit younger. But considering Tylor is in her early 20s, she, too, could still be in her "just act cool" phase.
Things change after you give birth. Your physical, emotional and hormonal makeup endures a massive transformation. And the changes continue as you start raising your kid. You want more for them. You want more for yourself. So perhaps her change of heart came from her growing comfortable with the scenes you see in the montage.
As much as we all love to pretend we have full control of our emotions all the time, it takes a lot of work, a lot of discipline, and a lot of self-control to suppress our deepest desires. And perhaps what started out as a fling turned into a genuine hope and desire that the three of them would become a family. She didn’t say she’s his secret baby mama, she’s alleging she and her daughter are his secret family.
As we know, family can look a million different ways. Take Nick Cannon’s family, for example. He currently parents 12 kids with six different women. And like LaKeith, his involvement has been questioned. The situations are different in that unlike LaKeith, Nick is very open about fatherhood, but the situations are also different because the concern in Nick’s situation really stems from the question of how many places someone can be at any given time, especially with the mothers of his children living scattered throughout the U.S.
But one other key differentiating factor is that Nick has very clear arrangements with the mothers of his children. In fact, many of them willfully get pregnant a second and third time for him despite overlapping pregnancies and births. I’m not suggesting this is the road that LaKeith is heading down, but I am mindful of the fact that he’s 31 and has one daughter with his ex-wife, one daughter with Tylor, allegedly, and is now marrying Kasmere.
The idea of having a child with a celebrity may sound like a fantasy. Perhaps you’re attracted to the alleviation of financial stress that can come with it. Maybe it’s the idea that your child will be the namesake of some legendary actor or musician. But Tylor’s situation is a cautionary tale about not getting swept up – because things can and do get very messy.
Most people are in agreement that the least messy “celebrity baby mama” there could ever be is Sophie Brussaux, the mother of Drake’s son, Adonis. Until Pusha T went public with the accusation that Drake had a son he wasn’t acknowledging, no one really knew he was a father. Sophie could have gone public like Tylor did, but she stuck to whatever arrangement they had, earning her lots of praise from hip-hop blogs.
Being praised by a hip-hop blog is by no means a measurement for success as a parent, especially when you consider the amount of inherent misogyny within rap and hip-hop. Of course the quiet woman who keeps to herself in exchange for whatever astronomical amount Drake must be paying her in child support is going to get the seal of approval from outlets managed mostly by men who understand the value of having a “quiet” baby mama. But perhaps besides the money, Sophie genuinely cares about keeping her son shielded from whatever potential drama is lying in wait. Therefore, the more important measure is not praise from hip-hop blogs, but the fact that Sophie and Drake appear to have a decent co-parenting relationship.
It’s not to say Tylor doesn’t have the right to feel her feelings. But part of the learning curve for her is going to be accepting that sometimes the men we choose to become the fathers of our children don’t become our romantic life partners which sadly, is most often a lesson learned too late. Babies do not turn casual hookups into husbands – so it must be extra painful to see that he is becoming a husband, just not to her, and instead to a woman he’s known for five months.
My hope for Tylor is that she stays off social media – at least when it comes to this situation. It’s obvious she’s keeping tabs on the couple and there is nothing more depressing than being cooped up at home with a baby while everyone else is out there having fun and getting engaged (trust me, I know this). Second, I hope she finds out what she is looking for and goes after that. And lastly, I hope that she channels her frustration into getting every penny in child support that she’s entitled to and uses it to build a beautiful life for herself and Apollo.