Part 2 of the Below Deck Sailing Yachtreunion on Tuesday confirmed that Jean-Luc Cerza Lanaux is indeed the father of Dani Soares’ baby. Dani gave birth to daughter Lilly in May, and told ET that fans would get paternity answers during the special.
“Well, let’s put it this way, this baby was made during the season while we had cameras 24/7 with us and I only slept with one guy,” Dani told Andy Cohen during the special, which was filmed before Lilly’s birth.
However, Dani said J.L. “thinks it’s not his child… And he doesn’t want to have anything to do with it.”
The former stewardess added that J.L. was “supportive in the beginning, and then it just changed.” She said that on New Year’s, she received a text from J.L. reading, “Don’t go around telling people I’m the dad of this child. And I want a DNA test.”
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Dani said that she agreed to a DNA test as long J.L. paid for and organized it, but he hasn’t followed through. J.L. — who wasn’t present with the rest of the cast but filmed an interview for the reunion separately — said he hoped he and Dani could “co-parent together.”
“Dani, what we had on the show for me was real. I don’t care what anybody says, even now that we’re going through what we are going through. What I felt for you, and the time that we had, was genuine. Everything that I ever said to you was true,” he said in an emotional message to Dani.
“I need you to know that I did support your decision and still do,” he continued. “I really hope that we can co-parent together and have respect for one another like we did.”
While J.L. admitted that “most” of what Dani said about the paternity drama was true, and said “for my peace of mind I just wanted to know.”
“There was talk of a DNA test,” he confirmed. “We’ve gone as far as me trying to reach out to her doctor’s office. I don’t think lawyers need to get involved. That is not the avenue I want to go.”
“I understand why she took it poorly because in her mind I might be the only person she’s ever been with,” he added. “If that’s the case, I told her, I really do apologize, but for my peace of mind I just wanted to know.”
After Dani welcomed Lilly in May, J.L. wrote on Instagram that he found out about the baby’s birth on social media.
“There’s a lot of gossip about my social media silence so I think it’s time to clear the air. While others are off chasing their 15 minutes of fame, I am working on a yacht in Central America and heartbroken to have to hear about the baby’s birth on social media and read headlines like ‘Dani Soares Says Her Baby’s Father Doesn’t Want Anything to Do With It.’ All I can say is if she’s mine, I want to be involved 100 percent.”
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“As someone who grew up with parents who weren’t together, I wouldn’t wish that on any child,” he added. “Not looking for a pity party. Just want everyone to know how strongly I feel about this, especially the haters who are so sure I am neglecting my responsibility. No one wants to know more than me if this is my baby girl!”
In an interview with ET just before J.L.’s post, Dani said she “would never” deny her daughter’s father from being in her life.
“I would never deny a father seeing their daughter,” she said. “That’s horrendous. … For Lilly’s sake, I know it would have been much better for her to know that her dad actually wants to meet her and wants to know her, than growing up knowing that he didn’t really do anything about it.”
See more in the video below.
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