New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft's girlfriend Ricki Lander is a new mom — but that's where the connections end, he says. Kraft is reportedly "thrilled" with the birth, but denies paternity.
A spokesperson for Kraft said in a statement, "Last fall, Ricki Noel Lander became the proud mother of a beautiful, healthy baby. While Robert Kraft is not the biological father, he is thrilled with Ricki's blessing of having a healthy child. With respect to her family's privacy, we will not be commenting any further."
The news comes after reports broke that Kraft, 71, and Lander, 38, who have been dating for five years, had secretly welcomed a child last year.
Though he's not the baby's father, Kraft seems to be supportive of Lander's newfound motherhood status. He reportedly splits his time between his home in Boston and Los Angeles, where Lander lives in a house he owns.
According to the New York Post, sources say that Kraft is “taking full care of Ricki and the baby."
The two have been seen publicly together recently at the Grammys and the NBA All-Star Game, both of which they attended together. They're expected to attend Sunday's Academy Awards.
The Patriots owner was previously married to Myra Kraft, who died in 2011 at the age of 68 after a battle with cancer. He has four adult sons with Myra.
PEOPLE reports that many of Kraft's friends and family were surprised when he moved on after Myra's death. A source said, “He was devoted to his late wife and loved her so much and was devastated by her death so people find his new relationship with this woman who is so much younger to be surprising.”
The insider also told the magazine that the baby news was kept "secret."
In a 2013 interview with the Boston Globe, Kraft admitted he was lonely after his wife's death.1comments
“I sort of feel robbed,” Kraft said of losing his wife after 48 years of marriage. “I try to stay very busy, I basically work seven days a week. I try to do new things, to meet new people.”
Though he didn’t directly address his then-fairly new relationship with Lander, Kraft told the Globe, “I tell you, I would never sit in judgment of anyone, as long as they’re good folks. I would never judge their life because it’s important to know their feelings.”