Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder apologise over “goofy” birth control story

Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder

On Friday we ran a story about Ian Somerhalder gleefully throwing out Nikki Reed’s birth control pills while the loved-up pair were on holiday in Barcelona. Without her permission. So they could have a baby. 

“Pop all those suckers out”

Since this admission, outrage has swirled around the pair, and after a couple of false-starts, they’ve issued an apology in response.

Nikki and Ian are now parents to a baby girl, Bodhi Soleil Reed Somerhalder (who was reportedly born on July 25th). 

The couple realised they wanted to take things next level, family-wise, on a Spanish holiday, so Ian took matters into his own hands. Their interview with Dr. Berlin’s Informed Pregnancy Podcast (which now seems to have been deleted) revealed a lot.

It started when Nikki was asked when she knew it was time to have kids. She replied, “When [Ian] threw out all my birth control pills.”

“We decided that we wanted to have children together and it was just time. But unbeknownst to poor Nikki, she didn’t realize that I was going to go in her purse and take out her birth control,” Somerhalder elaborated.

“It was the beginning of the pack, so I had to pop all those suckers out,” he explained. “Now thinking about it, I guess I kind of decided [to start a family].”

He said he also took a video of him secretly ditching the pills – and later shot vision of Nikki freaking out when she realised what he’d done. 

Reproductive coercion?

As word spread of Ian’s decision-making and pill binning, people began to feel very uncomfortable about his confession and worried about Nikki’s part in all of this. 

Some went so far as to call it “reproductive coercion” and questioned what right Ian had to make decisions about contraception – and babies – on Nikki’s behalf. They also felt Ian’s story normalised controlling behaviour.

“Deciding to have a baby is different than someone throwing your meds away. Regardless if she’s cool about it happening to her, the message he sent out was toxic and dangerous,” one follower on Ian’s Instagram wrote.

“I can’t look at this man anymore without thinking about how he threw away his wife’s medication,” another posted.

In it together

Others responded, defending Ian’s actions and explaining this was a joint decision and the worried response was unwarranted and media manipulation.

“He did [it] after they BOTH decided to have a baby. He respects women since forever. Nikki is disgusted by media [who] twist everything.”

As the backlash gained momentum, an upset Nikki responded on Twitter, defending her husband and implying that the concern for her was “gossip” and a distraction from more important issues (see below).

A misunderstanding?

Two days later, and the couple had reconsidered their conversation and response, issuing an apology instead.

The carefully-worded statement reframes the episode as some “goofy” fun between the pair and asserts that the decision to have a baby was a joint one.

The long paragraph also expresses gratitude at the awareness their controversy has brought to women’s rights issues and laments that they’re neither the appropriate spokespeople against reproductive coercion nor happy that “outlets” have accused Ian of controlling or abusive behaviour.

(Read the statement below).

 

To anyone who has been affected by reproductive coercion, we are deeply sorry. This is an extremely serious issue and womens’ rights is something that is incredibly important to both of us. It is something we have been very vocal about, and something that is very close to our hearts. We never expected a lighthearted interview we did poking fun at EACH OTHER and how WE chose together to get pregnant, a goofy moment in Barcelona with our two best friends and the anticipation of the start of our journey together as we went from two to three, to turn into something representing a very serious matter. However, if this somehow sheds light on a topic that definitely needs mainstream attention then we are grateful for the unintended consequence. It’s a shame that outlets chose this as their way into a very serious discussion, as we are certainly not qualified to be the faces of this topic. We are two happily married people who chose TOGETHER to have a baby. The end.

Love, Nikki and Ian.

Just kidding?

It’s hard to know how to respond to this whole episode, but the hairs did stand up on the back of this writer’s neck when she read the initial story late last week. It made me feel very, very uncomfortable.

Here’s hoping this is just what they say it is – a poorly-told, ill-conceived story about something that was actually a mutual decision – and that everyone is happy and supported in this relationship.

Ian would do well to consider the cavalier way he talks about his relationship in future, especially if it’s not how he truly relates to Nikki.

The couple would also do well to not make light of behaviour that – in genuine cases – is downright abusive. It’s no joking matter, that’s for sure.


How would you feel if your partner threw out your birth control without you knowing it?

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