Jeff Lewis & Gage Edward’s Daughter, 2, Is ‘Totally Unaware of Any Tension’ Amid Separation
Jeff Lewis and Gage Edward welcomed daughter Monroe Christine Lewis via surrogate on Oct. 25, 2016
“Monroe’s happiness is Jeff and Gage’s top priority,” the insider says of the couple, who are currently living in separate residences after Gage moved out of their shared Los Angeles home on Wednesday. “She’s their world.”
The source went on to explain that while Lewis, 48, and Edward, 33, have had a tough year in their relationship, the two have worked to keep their tension from affecting Monroe.
“They’ve always kept any of the trouble that was going on between them away from her, making it a point not to argue in front of her or around her,” the source said. “She’s totally unaware of any tension. They’re great parents.”
Maintaining a sense of normalcy for Monroe is part of the reason Edward is living elsewhere, according to the source. “They both want to keep Monroe in the home that she’s used to, around the friends that she’s used to, and with the routine that she’s used to. That’s why she’s staying with Jeff,” says the source.
Another source tells PEOPLE that Lewis and Edward are still figuring out their next steps with Monroe.
“Jeff and Gage aren’t talking about long term custody plans just yet,” the source says. “This is just a temporary break — they’re still trying to work on their relationship, and Gage will still come and see Monroe.”
“Everyone in their lives are hoping they come back together,” adds the insider. “They’ve been together for a long time and there’s a lot of history there. Unfortunately, they’ve just fallen into a pattern. Hopefully this time apart will help them both realize why they were together for so long.”
Lewis announced on Thursday’s episode of his Sirius XM radio show Jeff Lewis Live that he and Edward were taking a break from their 10 year relationship, and Edward had moved into a hotel.
“This has been a long time coming. We were in separate rooms a significant portion of last year, so it was kind of like a roommate situation,” Lewis, said, adding that he and Edward had been intimate recently but only as “friends with benefits.”
Monroe had been one of the reasons the two had stayed together for so long, Lewis said. Asked by a caller what would happen with her, Lewis said, “I don’t even want to go there” — though he did admit earlier in the program, “I’m now a single dad ’cause the baby is with me.”
Edward did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
It’s been a hard year for the couple, with the two facing challenges including the death of Lewis’s grandmother and a massive feud between Lewis and Flipping Out costar Jenni Pulos, which may lead to the end of their Bravo series after 11 seasons.
Their news also follows nearly 8 months after the couple’s surrogate, who carried their daughter, filed a lawsuit against them.
Alexandra Trent is suing the couple as well as Bravo and the show’s production company, Authentic Entertainment. She claims that the show filmed her vagina without permission during her delivery and that Edward and Lewis made “disgusting” remarks about her.
She is seeking damages for unlawful recording, invasion of privacy and fraud. Lewis has strongly refuted these claims. “This is like a blow to the head. We are completely blindsided by this,” he said to PEOPLE at the time. He maintains that Trent signed away her right to privacy in a contract when she agreed to appear on the show.
The legal action is ongoing and will likely go to trial.
Elsewhere on Jeff Lewis Live, Lewis express regret that he hadn’t fought harder for his relationship with Edward throughout the past year. “For many, many, many months I was like, ‘F— it. It’s happening. We’re breaking up. It’s a matter of time.’ And I didn’t help matters any at all,” Lewis said. “I didn’t fight for the relationship. I didn’t work for the relationship. ”
All that changed in the last two months, when Lewis says he started to see Edward looking for apartments.
“I reacted very negatively for everything that was happening last year. I didn’t respond well and I didn’t handle myself well. But then in January I was like, ‘Wait a minute,’ ” Lewis said. “Had I [checked in] 6 months ago, it would have been better… I didn’t think he hated me as much as he does.”
That’s something Lewis appeared hopeful would happen.
“I hope he gets the clarity and perspective he needs,” Lewis said on Jeff Lewis Live. “There’s so much anger that he has lost sight of the good things. Every time we have one of these discussions, it’s so overwhelmingly negative. I have a very different perspective. Last year was hell, but I remember nine pretty solid years. We had some fun. So I said to him [when he moved out], ‘I encourage you to work through that resentment and focus on the positive things because there could be more to come.’ ”
Lewis added: “I’m hoping that the guy wakes up. I’m hoping that he sits in his hotel room, misses his family, starts focusing on the positive, and stops focusing on the negative. That’s what I’m really hoping.”
Jeff Lewis Live airs Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (11 a.m. ET) on SiriusXM Radio Andy (Ch. 102)