A Poet from Hollywood: Love, Insanity, Stephen Gyllenhaal, and the Creative Process // Chapter 8
[IN WHICH STEPHEN, GOADED BY NAOMI HIS OSCAR-NOMINATED WIFE, EMOTIONALLY ABUSES SOME SINCERE YOUNG WOMEN AND KILLS SALES OF HIS OWN BOOK]
“You Are Kings and Queens of Your Own Lives!”
Like everyone else in the world, I expected to read about the birth of Maggie Gyllenhaal’s child in the newspaper. So it was a surprise to get the following email from Stephen, via his Blackberry, a little after eight o’clock on the evening of October 3: “I’m a grandfather! Her name is Ramona Bell. All else pales.” That last cryptic statement aside, I thought that Stephen couldn’t have been any clearer about what had just occurred, and I was deeply touched that he wanted to share it with me. I replied with my congratulations then promptly emailed Becky and Susie, the administrators of the Jake fan site, JakeWatch, with news of the birth.
I thought they deserved to be one of the first to know because they’d been such faithful fans of Stephen. They were the ones, remember, who had organized Stephen’s first online interview. As Susie was a student who lived in the north of England where it was after two in the morning, it was Becky, who lived and worked in Memphis, who responded to me first. She of course was thrilled, and asked me if she could share the news with the readers of JakeWatch. I said of course. In no way had Stephen asked me to keep it a secret. As I later learned from him, he had emailed me within a few minutes of the delivery, informing me before contacting his own brothers and sisters.
I have to explain that it wasn’t just news of the birth which was such a coup. For several weeks Maggie had been playing cat-and-mouse with the press over what she and Peter intended to name their new child. In the past she had freely given interviews on almost any subject to almost any newspaper or magazine, but when it came to answering questions about the details surrounding her pregnancy she played coy. Page Six, the gossip page of the New York Post, had asked her only a few days earlier what she intended to name the baby. “You don’t think I’m going to tell you, do you?” she’d slyly answered.