The event planner tells PEOPLE about dealing with a difficult divorce while raising his daughter as a single dad

By peoplestaff225
Updated September 13, 2013 01:00 PM
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Following a messy split from his ex-husband, event planner David Tutera — famous for producing Cinderella-worthy parties for celebrity clients like Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey — is raising his biological daughter Cielo.

Meanwhile, his ex, Ryan Jurica, will raise his own biological son and Cielo’s fraternal twin, Cedric.

Tutera, whose breakup occurred while a surrogate was carrying the twins, says the situation was far from ideal.

“It was a very confusing time,” Tutera, 47, tells PEOPLE exclusively, adding that he and Jurica never discussed keeping the twins together. “The divorce happened so quickly after the [embryo] transfer was successful that there wasn’t time to mourn the loss of raising a second child — I was mourning the loss of my relationship.”

David Tutera Ryan Jurica Twins Raised Separately


David and Cielo – Michael Lewis


Nonetheless, Tutera, who is based in Los Angeles, says his priority is for his daughter to have a relationship with her brother, who is currently living across the country with Jurica, 35, in Connecticut.

David Tutera Ryan Jurica Raise Twins Separately


Ryan and Cedric – Courtesy Ryan Jurica

“We can’t pretend like this doesn’t exist for them — that’s completely selfish. It is our responsibility to do the right thing for our children,” Tutera says.

“We’ve exchanged photos. The mudslinging has ended. And I hope that one day, Ryan and I will be friends.”

When it comes to Cielo, who was born June 19, Tutera is walking on air.

“I think we all envision ourselves married and in a relationship. But I’m an older dad and there is something very enlightening about being a single father,” he says.

“I’ll make mistakes, but my job for the rest of her life is to protect her and support her. We’re a team.”

For much more on Tutera and fatherhood, pick up the current issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.

—Aili Nahas