Moms & Babies

Celebrity Baby Blog
Celebrity Baby Blog

Alex Kingston Struggles With the 'Special Bond' of Mother and Child

05/18/2009 at 01:00 PM ET
Russ Einhorn/Splash News Online

When Alex Kingston signed on to play Elizabeth Corday on the hit show ER, she left her daughter Salome Violetta, now 8, in the capable hands of her husband, Florian. While the arrangement proved ideal and an “obvious choice” as she was able to financially support the family, the actress admits that her decision did not come without consequences.

Telling the Daily Mail that “part of me feels as though I missed out on that special bond mothers get from spending the first few years with their child,” Alex struggled with her role as a mother.

“Florian was amazing. In fact, he did the job so well that when I was finished working on ER and wanted to step into his shoes, it was difficult.”

With the show having wrapped, both Alex and Florian have returned to work with the couple now sharing the parenting responsibilities. The transition, however, has not been an easy one. “I still feel like I am trying to claw my way through all of that loss and establish a strong bond with my daughter — but I will never have the bond that my husband has with her, because he’s never away from home,” she says.

Since the show, the busy mama has taken on several smaller projects, but shares that with each job she was left to weigh her options. While leaving her family for her role in Hope Springs was difficult — both Florian and Salome visited her every six weeks — it led Alex to the realization that the “loss for me is far greater” than the satisfaction she receives from her career.

“I missed so many things with her like Halloween, her first tooth falling out … Those things might sound trivial, but to a mother they’re important.”

That said, the 46-year-old has contemplated moving away from bustling Los Angeles — a decision, she says, she would be happy with if she were a full-time mother to more than one child. However, despite the couple’s efforts, the dream of adding to their family is far from becoming a reality. After struggling to conceive, Alex and Florian turned to adoption only to have one birth mother disappear and a second one change her mind. “I would try again in a heartbeat, but my husband won’t. Maybe he’ll change his mind, but at the moment, he can’t,” she reveals.

“I think people assume that celebrities get babies like this, like Angelina Jolie. But they don’t hear about the ones who aren’t successful because we don’t like talking about it, it’s too painful.”

Source: Daily Mail

– Anya

Filed Under:

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

On Newsstands Now

Lupita Nyong'o: Most Beautiful!
  • Lupita Nyong'o: Most Beautiful!
  • Chelsea Clinton is Pregnant!
  • Exclusive Royal Tour Diary

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

Advertisement

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 37 comments

Jade on

I LOVE Alex! Can’t believe her daughter’s 8 now and she’s so beautiful!

My mother was a working woman, mostly staying away from home,but it got easier with age in my case. For all it’s worth, we’re best of friends now :)

crocodil on

:)

Shaunie on

I really respect her honesty! She’s not pretending like life is perfect, her relationship with her daughter is perfect, and everything always goes according to plan.

However I don’t its a fair assumption to think that any of Angelina’s childrens adoption were easily, or that she didn’t have any setbacks, or heartbreak (wasn’t she at one point going to adoption a Russain boy, but the adoption fell through [if that rumor was even true]?).

It sounds to me like Alex and her husband tried to adopt domestically. Since her husband is weary of adopting b/c of the previous outcomes, maybe she could mention international adoption!
Its still not a guarantee that everything will work out perfectly, but you’re ALOT less likely to have someone change their mind/ take them back.

Cara on

Her daughter is beautiful. I just cannot imagine being parted from my kids for 6 days let alone 6 weeks, I can totally understand why she would feel there is less of a bond with her daughter as a result. It is very honest of her to admit that.

I feel sorry for her the adoption route has failed, two friends of mine also had failed adoptions which were heartbreaking along with being financially devastating.

kai on

woah, I hope that comment about Angelina doesn’t stir up a discussion…

I had no clue about her living situation, but I LOVE her honesty, wow. It’s almost shocking. She was one of my favorites back when I watched ER, she’s so uniquely beautiful.

CTBmom on

I cannot imagine being away from my son for more than a few days days…not that I am judging Alex, it’s just not something I could do. I became a mother through adoption, and while (thankfully) everything went according to plan….the birthmother changing her mind, was my biggest fear. I can so sympathize with Alex. I would love to adopt another child, but due to financial issues and other personal issues, it doesn’t seem meant to be. So, I just concentrate on enjoying the one terrific kid I do have. BTW….Salome, is beautiful.

jaja on

That is one of the major reasons many people do international adoptions, along with availability (waiting 1-2 years instead of 3-5 or longer). It is frustrating to hear people judge others for not adopting from their own country, as if it is so easy and somehow better to adopt ‘your own’. Every story is different!

Emily on

This is the first time I’ve seen a picture of Salome since she was a newborn infant. I was a huge ER fan, and I love celebrity babies, so I followed her pregnancy and birth. Salome is GORGEOUS! I’m so glad we got to see a picture. I wish it were bigger, but I’ll take what I can get. :)

mslewis on

That comment about Angelina’s adoptions being “easy” is so unfair!! How does anybody know how easy or difficult it was for Angelina to adopt? That’s just it, nobody knows. Angelina didn’t just walk into an orphanage, point to a kid and say “I’ll take that one.” She had to go through what every family has to go through to adopt a child from abroad. Alex needs to think before she speaks.

Also, I feel no sympathy for this woman for spending so much time away from her child. She had a choice and she chose to act on a TV series in another country rather than be with her child. Now she doesn’t feel a “bond” with the girl. Well, gee whiz, life is tough, ain’t it??

Natasha on

I’m happy for her but the Angelina comment was weird. She doesn’t know what Angelina went through to know if it was “easy”.

Lulu on

I don’t think she was attacking Angelina Jolie or any celebrity who adopts. All she meant was that often the adoptions ‘appear’ relatively easy and straightforward because we only hear about them after the fact. We’re rarely privy to the difficulties that many celebrities, just like everyone else, experience when they go through the process.

I admire her for being so honest about such a painful subject and I don’t think she was attacking anybody, only talking about the perception of celebrities who adopt vs. the reality of the experience.

Jeanne on

I don’t think what she said about Angelina was meant as a slam, she was just pointing out that there’s a public perception that adoption for a celebrity is always easy. Angelina Jolie is just the most relevant and notable example right now of a celebrity that has adopted multiple children. If this interview was done 10 or 15 years ago, she probably would’ve mentioned Mia Farrow instead.

michelle on

Well said Lulu. I don’t think she was talking about Angelina personally. Just that her adoptions have appeared easy to the public because all we saw was the happy outcome. Not the stress, anxiety and hearache behind the scenes.

lizzielui on

She never once said that Angelina’s adoptions were easy. She just used that as an example of a person who has adopted frequently and how the perception may be that she did so with relative ease. Alex is right, it is very rare that you hear celebs talk about their difficulties with adoption, for whatever reason. Furthermore, Alex never once asked for anyone’s sympathy for her choices and the consequences of the choices she has made in life. She was simply speaking about her experiences as a mother and what she has gone through, nothing more nothing less. I too can relate with her as both a child and a parent. I don’t think any of us kids in our home had a “special bond” with my father because he worked very long hours while we were growing up to put a roof over our heads and send us to the best schools and just provide for his family overall. However, there is not a day that goes by that I am not grateful for the sacrifices he made for all of us. (Now, we are the ones who get to spoil him and he is LOVING IT) As a mother, I sometimes wonder if either myself or my husband should “slow down” in our work schedule, but honestly those expectations are unrealistic for us. We have three chilren all under the age of six (twins, and child with special needs) and we both must work to provide the best education and health options for our children. So at the end of the day we make the most of the time we have with them with constant communication and reinforcement in between. While I have not had to be away from my child for six weeks, my husband had def been away for a couple weeks at a time for his job and he really does miss the kids terribly when he is away. But again, we make it work because we love our family.

C_or_blonde on

Erm, sorry but i do think she’s right about Angelina’s adoptions. At least Pax’s anyway. I remember being shocked at just how fast Pax’s adoption went – and the time kept on getting shorter than they said it would take. I mean, the paperwork may well have been in some months before we heard about it – but remember, Pax actually joined the family in March 2007 which was less than a year after Shiloh was born and i can’t imagine they started the adoption progress immediately after having just had a biological child so that’s less than 10 months between initally filing the papers and the day he actually joined them. The news about Angelina adopting a child came first – there was a statement at that time from either Angelina herself or someone speaking on her behalf – and that said it could be around 6 weeks from then. Then like a week later she was going to Vietnam and then just like 3 days later we saw pictures of her and Pax in the car together. Sorry, but the words “fast-tracked” and special celebrity-treatment springs to mind. Not to mention how Angelina talks about adoption – i have never heard her going on about how hard it is to adopt from other countries.
Anyway, sorry – despite how it sounds – this was not meant as an attack on Angelina. I just mean that i agree with Alex here, since she seems to have gone through the same heartbreaks with adoption that unfortunetly, many normal people do. Besides, it’s not like she said all celebritries have it easy – just Angelina, and sorry but it’s true.

Jamie on

I would really like to read about adoption without hearing about Ms. Jolie and I do think her comment was not called for. No one knows about the details of her adoptions because unlike other celebrities, she does not go on about them until they are finalized.

I feel for the pain she felt about adoptions, but to complain about working and missing out on the childhood of your youngster is a personal decision that she made, no one forced her to do it by working. Adoption is difficult and usually takes a long time. But I will use Cheryl Crow as an example and Sharon Stone. They somehow were able to adopt caucasian babies seemingly without difficulties, so maybe they should have been used as examples of the ease of adoption, when adopting a caucasian child is usually very difficult. But then again, no one knows details of their adoptions either. It is a shame that her spouse is against trying adoption once more, but again, that is a choice that is being made by those involved. Thank you.

just a comment on

I have to agree with her comment about Angelina Jolie. She didn’t see to have a very hard time adopting Pax. In fact, isn’t it her goal to adopt and add to her family as soon as the current ones are six month adjusted into her family. Angelina seems to file for adoption in multiple places at the same time. Then, which every country’s adoption proceeding go through first seems to be how she’s added to her family.

Sam & Freya's Mum on

What a beautiful girl she is and kinda like her name too. Glad to see she’s found happiness (I remember it being well documented about her English actor first hubby leaving her for an older woman) and hopefully they may get another child one day, if not they have their lovely daughter. Wonder if Salome’s bilingual as I’m sure I’ve read several times that her hubby’s German?

Anna on

I can’t believe people are falling over her Angelina comment but not over her being away from her daughter 6 weeks at a time. I’m sorry, but that is a poor parenting choice. 6 weeks is a long time for a child and it should also be for a parent.

fuschia on

Amazing to hear a celeb talk honestly and intelligently about the choices they have made. I agree, Alex does not ask for our sympathy and she has done nothing wrong. Salome had a loving primary caregiver (her father). All choices have consequences We all talk about the downside of staying home (no independent income, careetr down the tubes, boredom, frumpy mummy images, people assume you are stupid etc)…I think its actually refreshing to have someone talk honestly about the downside of choosing to work. I think in many cases these consequences (different type of rel with child) is hidden because both parents work, so working parents feel like they have the same relationship as non-working parents. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. Interesting to think about…

Anita on

Did anyone stop to think that she was trying to adopt a baby? Angelina has adopted children that are older than infant stage and that has got to be an easier adoption than waiting for a mother to give birth. The whole nine months they can change their minds and that is horrible and sad but it happens.

I feel for her that the adoptions didn’t go through but there are so many children out there who could be adopted and need a home but are overlooked because they are not infants anymore.

Sarah M. on

I think she named Angelina because she is most recently noted for adopting many children. She was just commenting that their adoptions “seemed” easy. Sheryl Crow or Sharon Stone have adopted, but neither have adopted 3 children in the same time frame.

As for the being gone so long from her daughter, I feel sorry for her. She feels the need to provide for her family. Nothing wrong with that. And Salome is with her father, not a stranger, when Alex is away. I think that she realizes that ordinary parents feel bad in the same circumstances and is trying to show those parents that even celebrities do at times, too. Just like any other job that requires a parent to travel or work long hours on a regular basis. She is trying to relate to us. Nothing more.

I, too, loved her on ER. Her daughter is georgous!

On a side not, I thought I had heard that she and Florian are divorced. Was this incorrect?

Alex on

Good for Alex for being honest. Maybe she had no choice, but to leave. She supported the family. Maybe staying home wasn’t an option for her. Regardless if they work on their relationship they can be best friends. I’m sad to hear that her adoptions fell through. That must be heartbreaking.

plS on

“I feel for her that the adoptions didn’t go through but there are so many children out there who could be adopted and need a home but are overlooked because they are not infants anymore.”

Adoption officials are highly selective when finding adoptive parents for older American children. It is highly likely that Alex (especially considering she is never home) is inelligible for this type of adoption or that it would not be an easy thing for her to be approved for.

Sanja on

Anita -I agree.
And not only that, Angelina was adopting children from an orphanage and not from a still pregnant woman. Officials in an orphanage aren’t just going to decide that they love the baby to much to give it up.

mia on

No one knows what Angelina AND Brad did or did not due in regards to their adoption process. People love to find a reason to be critical YET they are getting their information from tabloid sources. Their is no way to be sure of anything unless you have actually talked to Angelina and Brad. Yet people still bring their judgements. People should not use the internet or tabloids for credible information, that is all

cassie on

Sarah M, Jolie Pitt adopted kids Maddox 2002,Zahara 7/2005,PAX 3/2007 3 kids in 5 years . Sharon Stone adopted kids Roan 5/2000,Laird 5/2005,Quinn 6/2006 3 kids in 6 years, similar time frame. Sharon’s kids were all adopted as newborns though.Zahara was 6/7 months old and Pax y.o.Has anyone questioned how Sharon at almost 50 y.o adopted 2 babies in 13 months? Just asking

Sarah M. on

Cassie – I didn’t think that Sharon had adopted hers all that close together. Thanks for the clarification.

Maybe Alex used Angelina’s name because she is more well known to more people. Maybe Sharon’s adoptions were more under wraps than Angelina’s. Regardless, we would be having the same debate no matter whose name she chose to say. Who knows.(Just throwing out suggestions.)

zara on

wow. great interview. so many parents (in particular mother) cannot bear to admit that they are not the most central figure in their children’s lives.

also a great comment fuschia… so v interesting.

my husband and i both work (we have a nanny for our 2 kids). anyhoo, we had lunch with old friends the other day and were both SHOCKED at how the children in this family related so very differently to the mother (who is a SAHM) vs the father. We realised that our kids related to both of us very much like the ” dad” … but related to our nanny like the “SAHM mom”.

Felt really strange about that i have to admit!

Sam & Freya's Mum on

Zara, sure the situation works for you, have to work or whatever but we struggle financially, made the choice to stay home and no regrets, not wealthy by any means either, we go without, and I would feel uncomfortable about my kids seeing a nanny as a mum figure, I’d feel guilty missing out and find it heartbreaking personally. Sorry, jst being honest. Kids are only kids a short time, most important job, imagine looking back and they don’t remember having their parents around as much as a nanny say, it’s the years of shaping and moulding them, role models etc, sound like I’m on my high horse probably but don’t think it’s ideal – but will probably get a hard time for saying this, but how I feel. Think that’s sad…

Sam & Freya's Mum on

Zara, sure the situation works for you, have to work or whatever but we struggle financially, made the choice to stay home and no regrets, not wealthy by any means either, we go without, and I would feel uncomfortable about my kids seeing a nanny as a mum figure, I’d feel guilty missing out and find it heartbreaking personally. Sorry, jst being honest. Kids are only kids a short time, most important job, imagine looking back and they don’t remember having their parents around as much as a nanny say, it’s the years of shaping and moulding them, role models etc, sound like I’m on my high horse probably but don’t think it’s ideal – but will probably get a hard time for saying this, but how I feel. Think that’s sad…

Sam & Freya's Mum on

Zara, sure the situation works for you, have to work or whatever but we struggle financially, made the choice to stay home and no regrets, not wealthy by any means either, we go without, and I would feel uncomfortable about my kids seeing a nanny as a mum figure, I’d feel guilty missing out and find it heartbreaking personally. Sorry, jst being honest. Kids are only kids a short time, most important job, imagine looking back and they don’t remember having their parents around as much as a nanny say, it’s the years of shaping and moulding them, role models etc, sound like I’m on my high horse probably but don’t think it’s ideal – but will probably get a hard time for saying this, but how I feel. Think that’s sad…

Sam & Freya's Mum on

Zara, sure the situation works for you, have to work or whatever but we struggle financially, made the choice to stay home and no regrets, not wealthy by any means either, we go without, and I would feel uncomfortable about my kids seeing a nanny as a mum figure, I’d feel guilty missing out and find it heartbreaking personally. Sorry, jst being honest. Kids are only kids a short time, most important job, imagine looking back and they don’t remember having their parents around as much as a nanny say, it’s the years of shaping and moulding them, role models etc, sound like I’m on my high horse probably but don’t think it’s ideal – but will probably get a hard time for saying this, but how I feel. Think that’s sad…

Sam & Freya's Mum on

zara, not saying you don’t have quality time for your kids of course and are cared for and loved etc of course! Don’t know you or your situation, just saying personally I couldn’t do it, unless really had to and if I did would find it difficult, esp didn’t want to work while kids under a year, wouldn’t want a nanny raising our kids that’s all, I’ve worked part-time once son was over 18mths and that worked for us, two half days a week, but could do with more money but he was the reason I left previous job in first place…You never get that time back.

Sam & Freya's Mum on

zara, not saying you don’t have quality time for your kids of course and are cared for and loved etc of course! Don’t know you or your situation, just saying personally I couldn’t do it, unless really had to and if I did would find it difficult, esp didn’t want to work while kids under a year, wouldn’t want a nanny raising our kids that’s all, I’ve worked part-time once son was over 18mths and that worked for us, two half days a week, but could do with more money but he was the reason I left previous job in first place…You never get that time back.

Sam & Freya's Mum on

zara, not saying you don’t have quality time for your kids of course and are cared for and loved etc of course! Don’t know you or your situation, just saying personally I couldn’t do it, unless really had to and if I did would find it difficult, esp didn’t want to work while kids under a year, wouldn’t want a nanny raising our kids that’s all, I’ve worked part-time once son was over 18mths and that worked for us, two half days a week, but could do with more money but he was the reason I left previous job in first place…You never get that time back.

Sam & Freya's Mum on

zara, not saying you don’t have quality time for your kids of course and are cared for and loved etc of course! Don’t know you or your situation, just saying personally I couldn’t do it, unless really had to and if I did would find it difficult, esp didn’t want to work while kids under a year, wouldn’t want a nanny raising our kids that’s all, I’ve worked part-time once son was over 18mths and that worked for us, two half days a week, but could do with more money but he was the reason I left previous job in first place…You never get that time back.

Advertisement

Squeals & Deals

Sign-up for the Mom's &s Babies Free Weekly Newsletter

Free Weekly Newsletter

Mom Said It

"We weren't trying to have kids. We left it up to fate. I knew there was a possibility, but I was really excited. Even if you are trying, just to see a positive result is shocking!"

 

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters