Why Tika Sumpter Kept Her Pregnancy a Secret for Seven Months: ‘I Didn’t Want to Hear, “Who’s the Dad?” ‘

09/09/2016 at 04:45 PM ET

Tika Sumpter Fit Pregnancy - Main
Courtesy Fit Pregnancy

Tika Sumpter is expecting her first child, a little girl, in early October. But while most couples gearing up to welcome a baby this fall likely made it known earlier this year, Sumpter waited until August to do so — and for good reason.

“She’s my first child, and I wanted to experience every moment of this pregnancy for myself and enjoy it without everybody else being in it with me,” Sumpter, who currently stars in OWN’s The Haves and Have Notstold Fit Pregnancy and Baby for their October issue’s cover story.

“I didn’t want to hear, ‘Who’s the dad? Are you with the dad?’ Social media can be harsh, and I’m a mama bear, protective of my family,” Sumpter, 36, explains. “So that’s why I waited to tell people, including some friends.”

“My friends weren’t mad at me,” she adds. “They said, ‘You did it the way you wanted to do it. You’re an inspiration.’ ”

Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Babies newsletter.

Tika Sumpter Fit Pregnancy - 1
Courtesy Fit Pregnancy

The actress — who also recently appeared in the film Southside with You as Michelle Robinson, later Obama — added that hiding her baby bump wasn’t difficult during the first two trimesters.

“Until recently, you couldn’t tell if I was pregnant or had a little beer belly!” she says.

Sumpter shares that although she’s excited for her daughter’s arrival, the pregnancy wasn’t planned. But the story about how she learned she was expecting is one for the books.

“I found out around Valentine’s Day, when my boyfriend took me on a surprise trip to San Diego. I never want McDonald’s, but I was like, ‘I need a Big Mac, fries and a Coke now,’ ” she recalls. “They were still only serving breakfast, so I insisted we wait there until they started serving lunch.

“Afterward, I immediately fell asleep,” she continues. “When I woke up, my boyfriend was like, ‘Ha-ha! Are you pregnant?‘ I said, ‘Maybe. Go get a test!’ He brought back a generic-brand test, and right away it said positive. I could not comprehend it. So I said, ‘Go get a name-brand test!’ He did, and that one said yes too.

“I still have the stick,” Sumpter adds. “I had to show it to my mom because she didn’t even believe me when I told her.”

Tika Sumpter Fit Pregnancy - 2
Courtesy Fit Pregnancy

Social media isn’t the only culprit behind the pregnancy questions the private star gets, though. Some of the curiosity can’t be avoided.

“One of the first questions my mother asked when she found out I was pregnant was, ‘Are you going to get married?’ ” Sumpter says. “I’d love to, but maybe in a year or so. I’ve been with my boyfriend for more than a year and a half.”

“Our relationship is not dependent on a ring,” adds the One Life to Live alum. “I love him to death, and he loves me to death, and that’s all that matters to me.”

Tika Sumpter Fit Pregnancy - Cover
Courtesy Fit Pregnancy

The mom-to-be plans on practicing mental flexibility when it comes to the birth of her daughter, but she can’t help thinking of what her ideal situation would be like.

“In my dream birth, I’d maybe have some contractions and then my baby would come out with Bach playing in the background, my boyfriend holding my hand and my doula rubbing my back,” Sumpter says.  “In reality, I realize it may turn out differently.”

“Giving birth naturally would be great, but my boyfriend knows that if I say I need drugs, then I need them,” she explains. “I have a high threshold for pain, but it’s not like I win anything for putting myself through that. Plans are just plans. I know everything can change.”

Jen Juneau

FILED UNDER: Maternity , News , Tika Sumpter

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment

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

Showing 36 comments

Callie on

She’s weird. If she’s in a loving relationship than why would people ask her “who the father was”? Idiot!

g2 on

Probably because of individuals on the internet who tends to judge others and call them idiots…..

Jenn on

Sounds like she wants to keep her relationship private.

sally on

Wait, did I miss something? She didn’t want to tell anyone due to them asking, “who’s the father?” Then she says she is with a boyfriend for over a year. Does that mean she is known to screw around behind his back?!! Very strange & probably her just being selfish & acting like a diva!!!

susan on

This article makes no sense, but whatever. A D-lister spawning a new child isn’t really news or interesting anyway, even if I wasted the time to read it.

ccmikeroberts2016 on

Does anyone who are making these comments know who her boyfriend is? I don’t! I Googled it. So her saying my boyfriend means nothing since she is keeping that to herself, which is her right. If she wants to keep her pregnancy to herself that is her right as well. So calling her an idiot because she wants to keep her private life private makes anyone saying that the actual idiot. I say good for her!

Dana on

She looks absolutely gorgeous.

KT on

She is gorgeous. And, I hope she totally does the natural childbirth with Bach and a doula. It’s so worth it!

Carrow on

Oh Tika you look positively divine MN Pregnancy really really agrees with her and her style is spectacular.

mer on

Her choices are none of our business. I don’t know this lady but she seems pretty normal and reasonable.

sally on

What a dimwit diva! No one would ask that if you’ve been with a boyfriend for over a year! Unless your a sleaze bag!

sally on

Once again- pregnant before marriage. Seems this is becoming the norm. Is this the only way young women today can get a man to give them a ring?? How sad.

sally on

If more young women would keep their legs closed- they may get a ring & a marriage proposal before having to be pregnant and unwed. Show some respect for yourselves women!!! You know the saying, “Why buy the cow when you can have the milk for free?”

DiverNiki on

That is the most beautiful pregnant woman I have ever seen. Just stunning.
Also: don’t be rude, who does that serve? She’s gorgeous and doing her own thing, good for her!

DiverNiki on

I love you judgmental people. Y’all need to read the bible. You shouldn’t judge anyone unless you want to put your ‘perfect’ life on display and let us dissect it. I especially love the comments about having to be married to get pregnant. 1) This is not the 1900’s and 2) It’s for sure none of your business what anyone else does with their life. MYOB

Carrow on

I think that it’s the same person posting the majority of these negative comments. Just under different accounts.

Deanna on

Well, a certain forum has already figured out who the dad is, and they provided receipts. It makes sense why she wants to keep it a secret. A black actress, on a black show, and in a movie portraying a strong BLACK woman, yet pregnant and unmarried by someone of a different persuasion? Some people in the community that supports her career may frown upon it. But, whatever works for her. She’s a beautiful woman and I wish her all the best.

thedesigngirl on

I think she’s talking about the random gossip columnist, Wendy Williams type when she says she didn’t want to answer the father question. The general public doesn’t need to know who her boyfriend/daughters father is. I’m sure her mother didn’t ask that question. Think people, she’s a celebrity, maybe a minor one, but since when was mega stardom necessary for people to talk about you…like we’re doing right now. I don’t believe she’s being a diva, I think she just wants to keep certain aspects of her life private like her pregnancy and her relationship. What’s wrong with that?

thedesigngirl on

Marriage is NOT the end all and be all to happiness. People should stop perpetuating that myth. If it were, the divorce rate would be much lower.

Donna on

Maybe she doesn’t know.

Michelle on

An unmarried black woman having a baby. How rare is that?

Anonymous on

Nicola- being married before becoming pregnant isn’t ‘old fashioned’ every single psychological study proves the benefit of a stable two parent home. No, not every married couple fits that description but it is much more likely to happen when two people decide they love each other enough to spend their lives together simply because of their love rather than because they have a child. I swear women now really DO think they must get pregnant to get a guy to marry them.
No, I’m not perfect, and I’m not judging. I just think it’s a sad state we live in where single parents and split custody are the norm. Kids don’t win in those situations and it should be about the kids. There is a difference between judging and realizing we must change something in our society so that we stop the downhill spiral we are headed toward (or in).
She seems happy, I hope that she can give her daughter a loving, stable life and wish them the best.

KingCetshwayo on

Bed wench.

JLM on

She is 36…not 16. She’s a grown woman and has an established career. I have no issues with this. And she looks stunning. Talk about glowing!

Nicole Carter on

36 huh? She’s a little too old for this behavior. This is something I’d expect from a kid.

And if you guys really love each other “to death”, then why not get married? People give the silliest reasons for not doing the right thing. Even her mother was asking her! smh…

Mrs. B on

I heard that she’s pregnant by the man who’s playing the gay cop on her show on OWN. Is she being secretive because he’s white and she doesn’t want the backlash? I bet she’ll never show her baby (not that I blame her), but it will be interesting to see if her baby is bi-racial.

Mrs X on

A lot of nasty opinions here. I thought her IMDb said she was married, maybe I’m wrong. Ok. I’m sure she’s made enough money to take care of her daughter even if she didn’t have a partner. No one has time for judgements here. She’s a grown woman and certainly not on welfare.

BmorMomma on

She was married to her Game costar who actually played her bf on the show. Clearly she isn’t in a rush to get married because she’s already been divorced before. That is her right and a lot of people who have been married before opt out of doing it a second time

Glia on

The blogs were talking about this months ago. It wasn’t a big secret.

desiree on

I didn’t even read the article and i have no idea who she is, but she beautiful!

Lacey on

I love you enough to have a baby with you, but not to marry you. Doesn’t matter, either way you are stuck with the guy for the next 20’years or so. Whether you still love each other or not.

Just Me on

Based on some of these comments, I’d say THIS IS EXACTLY why she kept it secret. She literally says here that internet can be harsh, and “ta-da”. Look at what some of you people are saying. She’s an “idiot” for not wanting her personal business out there? She’s “weird” because she didn’t want total strangers judging her. For some reason, people like the readers here at CBB think they are owed sometimes. These people (yes, they are more than just “celebrities”) do NOT owe you anything. They aren’t obligated to tell you anything about their personal lives. She could have been in a loving relationship for a hundred years and still doesn’t have to talk about it to the public. All the comments on this site do is prove her point ten fold. Even on the most innocuous story, there is ALWAYS someone (or a few someones) who has somethings nasty and judgmental to say.

Just Me on

You people and your “marriage” argument. Get over it already. I know married couples who hate each other and couples who’ve been together for decades, never married, who have better relationships than you’ll ever dream of. Being married isn’t a guarantee for anything. Not only that, but when it comes to celebrities, it’s not like being a single mother is a hardship for them. They can afford help. They can take care of their children better than most two parent households can and guess what, these kids are just fine. My BFF was raised by a single mother and she’s the most well adjusted woman I know. I think it’s better to be raised by two parent that love you, or even one that loves you, then be stuck in a house with two parents that hate each other and are just “saying together for the kids”. That’s a hostile home. Also, for those that use their religion as an argument for marriage… um… no where in the bible does it say that getting married before you have kids is a promise that you’re relationship is going to work out. YOU wanna get married first, do it up. Do what YOU think is best for you, but my goodness…. stop judging others for not doing things the same way you choose to do them. So many times I’ve seen that the same women who are demanding to NOT be judged by other mothers when it come to how they raise their kids are the same ones who judge other people for not following the same set of arbitrary religious rules they think are right.

Maria on

I have never heard of her but she looks beautiful. And yes, there is a mystery about her decision. Because what is the difference if people had asked you about the father a few months ago and now? And now, at the end of the pregnancy she does talk about him, without even anybody asking her. So what was all this about? A few months of secret pregnancy? A PR?

Anom on

I totally agree with everything you said Just Me.
Why is it weird that she kept it secret?
People are so quick to judge.
I know a lot of married couples, who can’t stand each other and argue all the time. This harms children much more than, we can imagine.
Further more if you are in church and claiming to be religious, but judge other people, in this case people you don’t even know.
and want to force your lifestyle upon others,
You should really rethink what you’re doing there.
What, or who Tika has a baby with is nobody’s business but hers.

Briana.c on

You stupid hoes are so miserable just becuase she’s not married you act like its the end of the world your mother should have aborted some of you judgmental pricks I see why she keeps things a secret becuase of annoying judgmental bitches like you all at the end of the day she is a grown woman with more money then all of us combined you all act like you have done no wrong before get the sticks out your ass and go thank your mothers for not swallowing you sorry pecies of shit human beings smh

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