Rihanna is taking her power back.
On December 17th, the singer-turned-beauty mogul shocked fans when she launched her TikTok account with a video of her baby boy.
The video was filmed by Rihanna in the car as her son grabbed at her phone. The first-time mom can be heard in the background saying, “He’s trying to get mommy’s phone.”
Around the same time, celebrity news multimedia company Hollywood Unlocked published exclusive photos of the baby boy, making his official press debut.
Rihanna announced her pregnancy in January via a staged paparazzi shoot alongside partner A$AP Rocky. The couple’s son turned seven months this week.
Despite fans’ delight at seeing their baby boy, it’s now been revealed that Rihanna was allegedly forced to post her child before the couple was ready to share him with the world.
According to Jason Lee, CEO of Hollywood Unlocked, paparazzi took unauthorized photos of the infant with the intention of releasing them. He advised Rihanna to release her son’s image before the paparazzi had a chance to take that moment away from her.
“Since the new photos of ASAP and Rihanna’s baby is out let me tell you how this happened. Yesterday she FaceTimed me to tell me that paparazzi took unauthorized photos of their baby and planned to release them. So she said if anyone was going to put it out she wanted me to,” he tweeted.
Lee went on to explain that if the images were going to come out, Rihanna and A$AP Rocky wanted Black media to be the ones to get that exclusive.
“She wanted BLACK MEDIA to be the one to do it since she wasn’t going to be given the choice,” he continued. “First, I’m honored they would trust me and kinda sad it had to be that way. I wish they were given the choice. Kids are off limits here at [Hollywood Unlocked]. I guess some folks don’t care.”
“But what’s the most telling is how in the midst of her baby being revealed without her approval she wanted Black media to get it out first. I wish more people thought about Black media like this,” he finished.
This is certainly not the first time a celebrity has involuntarily shared personal information about themselves to get ahead of a story.
Back in 2020, YouTuber NikkieTutorials was forced to come out as transgender after her former cameraman allegedly blackmailed her.
“A couple of weeks ago, I got emails from a certain person. And he was not okay with the fact that I was ‘lying’ and wanted to expose that. He had a very pressuring tone of voice and he was like, if we don’t get an answer by tomorrow, it’s out,” Nikkie told Ellen Degeneres during an appearance on her show.
She said she believed his goal was to ruin her life. “But plot twist,” she told Ellen. “That didn’t happen.”
Though Rihanna and A$AP Rocky seemed to have made the most of a bad situation, it’s sad that the couple couldn’t release the photos of their first child on their own terms.
Rihanna and A$AP Rocky have not confirmed Lee’s claims at the time of writing.