Hugh Grant says he will be a “Lamb Daddy” to his daughter – but won’t give her any money.
The 51-year-old actor became a father for the first time last year, following a “fleeting affair” with 32-year-old Tinglan Hong. Hugh has thought long and hard about how he wants to raise his daughter, who has the English name Tabitha and a Chinese name picked by her mother.
He plans to give Tabitha the kind of childhood he had and wants to be a fun father but also strict.
“There's a lot of over-parenting, to my eye, anyway. Well, it would all be total hypocrisy, of course, but things like good manners and not being selfish. It's just unattractive in a child, I don't like it. And discipline – I do think discipline's important. I'm very glad that I had quite a strict mother who was big on discipline, because you really cannot get anything done in life if there's too much, ‘Oh, well, if you don't feel like it, don't do it, just express yourself,’ I'm not really very big on that. Especially as in the entertainment industry in particular, it really is five per cent inspiration and 95 per cent perspiration – and discipline. You cannot get anything done without it,” he told British newspaper The Guardian.
“I have the Tiger Mom. I'll be Lamb Daddy. But also my other worry is about – and as I say, there are few things in life I believe in 100 per cent – but another one is not giving your children money. I see nothing but f**k-ups among my trust-fund friends. It's like 99 per cent f**k-ups. So I would not want to do that to my children, no.”
Hugh is famously private about his personal life and was one of several stars to give evidence at London’s Leveson Inquiry into phone hacking. He has been open about how deplorable he finds such an invasion of privacy and hopes to keep his child out of the limelight.
He wasn’t at her birth for that reason but did visit her in hospital. After that Tinglan was hounded by the press and eventually got an injunction so she could go about her normal life.
Hugh worries about the impact he has had on Tinglan’s life but hopes things will now improve.
Fatherhood hasn’t altered him much but he expects that to change.
“I did feel a little lumpy when I first met my daughter, yeah,” he said, in what is only his third ever interview to a UK newspaper.
“Lots of people… said, ‘Never let anyone know, but the baby period is not that exciting.’ But I am excited, actually. I thought, well, I'll bluff through – but very little bluffing has been required. I like my daughter very much. Fantastic. Has she changed my life? I'm not sure. Not yet. Not massively, no. But I'm absolutely thrilled to have had her, I really am. And I feel a better person.”
Hugh has been gifted a book on how to learn Chinese, which he plans to start using soon.
“I haven't given it the attention it needs yet. I do know some disgusting Chinese words. They're not entirely appropriate for baby rearing,” he laughed.
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