By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated October 28, 2003 01:00 AM

“Legally Blonde” star Reese Witherspoon is a mom again. The actress and husband Ryan Phillippe welcomed their second child, a son named Deacon Phillippe, last Thursday, TV’s “Access Hollywood” reports.

Witherspoon, 27, and Phillippe, 29, who married in 1999, already have a daughter, Ava Elizabeth Phillippe, 4. “Access” adds that the older sibling, to say nothing of the parents, are “all thrilled and excited” about Deacon.

Last summer in England, Witherspoon was forced to hide her tummy behind furniture while shooting scenes for her movie “Vanity Fair.” But then again, as PEOPLE reported, her character (headstrong heroine Becky Sharp) is pregnant for part of the story.

In other scenes, the star’s belly was hidden by Empire waistlines, said director Mira Nair, who told PEOPLE that “I’m a real believer in full-blown sensuality. So last summer I said to Ryan, ‘Knock her up, won’t you? I want the full babe!’ And then I got my wish.”

In May, Witherspoon told PEOPLE she learned she was pregnant last winter, after she, Ryan and Ava returned from a Caribbean vacation. But it wasn’t entirely a surprise.

“It’s something that I’m always open to,” Witherspoon said of motherhood. “I was just happy if it happened. Ryan’s really excited about having another baby. And I’m really excited. And Ava’s more excited than both of us.”

Of the sibling revelry, Witherspoon added: “She’s dreamy about it. She likes to prepare her room for when her brother or sister comes. I think she’ll be a great older sister.”