Patriots Owner Robert Kraft 'Thrilled' Girlfriend Welcomed Baby 'Last Fall' but Denies Paternity
A spokesperson for 76-year-old Robert Kraft tells PEOPLE in a statement, "Last fall, Ricki Noel Lander became the proud mother of a beautiful, healthy baby"
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft‘s girlfriend Ricki Lander is a new mom.
A spokesperson for the 76-year-old tells PEOPLE in a statement, “Last fall, Ricki Noel Lander became the proud mother of a beautiful, healthy baby.”
“While Robert Kraft is not the biological father, he is thrilled with Ricki’s blessing of having a healthy child. With respect to her family’s privacy, we will not be commenting any further.”
The news comes after reports broke that Kraft and Lander, 38, had secretly welcomed a child last year. The couple has been dating for five years, and are still together.
Though he’s not the baby’s father, Kraft is supportive of Lander becoming a mother. Currently, Kraft splits his time between his home in Boston, Massachusetts, and Los Angeles, California, where Lander lives in a house he owns.
Kraft was previously married to Myra Kraft, who died in 2011 at age 68 after a battle with cancer. The businessman has four adult sons with Myra.
A source tells PEOPLE that many in Kraft’s circle were surprised when he moved on after Myra’s death, noting, “He was devoted to his late wife and loved her so much and was devastated by her death so people find his new relationship with this woman who is so much younger to be surprising.”
The insider adds that the baby news was also seemingly kept “secret.”
In a 2013 interview with the Boston Globe, Kraft admitted his loneliness after Myra’s death.
“I sort of feel robbed,” Kraft said of losing his wife after 48 years of marriage. “I try to stay very busy, I basically work seven days a week. I try to do new things, to meet new people.”
Though he didn’t directly address his then-fairly new relationship with Lander, Kraft told the Globe, “I tell you, I would never sit in judgment of anyone, as long as they’re good folks. I would never judge their life because it’s important to know their feelings.”