Below Deck's Jean-Luc Cerza-Lanaux Breaks Silence on Dani Soares' Baby: 'If She's Mine, I Want to Be Involved'
In an Instagram post Sunday night, Jean-Luc Cerza-Lanaux tried to "clear the air" regarding rumors about his possible paternity
Jean-Luc "J.L." Cerza-Lanaux is speaking out amid speculation that he may be father of his ex Dani Soares' newborn baby girl.
Rumors have been swirling about the Below Deck Sailing Yacht star's possible paternity, ever since a preview for the Bravo show's season 2 reunion showed Soares saying that her baby's father is keeping a distance from her and his offspring.
In an Instagram post on Saturday, Cerza-Lanaux tried to "clear the air," hitting back at Soares' comments in the process.
"While others are off chasing their 15 minutes of fame, I am working on a yacht in Central America and heartbroken to have to hear about the baby's birth on social media and read headlines like "Dani Soares Says Her Baby's Father Doesn't Want Anything to Do With It," Cerza-Lanaux wrote. "All I can say is if she's mine, I want to be involved 100%."
"As someone who grew up with parents who weren't together, I wouldn't wish that on any child," he added. "Not looking for a pity party. Just want everyone to know how strongly I feel about this, especially the haters who are so sure I am neglecting my responsibility. No one wants to know more than me if this is my baby girl!"
Cerza-Lanaux followed up the post with another on Sunday, answering some questions he said he'd seen his followers asking in his comments section.
"I learned of the baby's birth, not the pregnancy, on IG," he captioned a photo of himself as a baby, adding: "Yes, I know paternity test kits are available at drugstores but the goal is for us to take the tests together instead of shipping saliva samples around the world. But yes, there will be one ASAP."
He also addressed why he hadn't gone to see Soares or her daughter yet, writing: "No, Australia isn't open yet or I would have already gone so those of you saying 'just go' must not know that. We are truly on different continents so easier said than done."
"Why am I sharing on Insta?" he asked. "Because its the only way I have to set the record straight about me not wanting to be involved if the baby is mine. I absolutely do. It's also the same platform she blocked me on 12/31."
He added, "Why did I leave comments on when many of them are negative? Because it's real. Haters gonna hate and everyone is entitled to an opinion no matter how misinformed it may be. Good news is I also received a ton of much needed support."
Cerza-Lanaux concluded the second post by writing that he'd received a message from Soares on Saturday night, though he did not elaborate as to what she said.
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In both posts, Cerza-Lanaux was slammed by his Below Deck Sailing Yacht costars.
"Don't play the innocent victim here JL," Colin MacRae wrote. "Man the f--- up."
He said: "Why do you continue to lie through your teeth? Please keep this disgustingly desperate attempt to save face and blame Dani off of social media. It's pathetic. We in her circle have seen first hand how you have treated her for the last 9 months. So again, man the f--- up and do what's right for this poor little girl, AND KEEP IT OFF SOCIAL MEDIA."
"What is wrong with you?" Sydney Zaruba asked in the comments to the first post, asking in the second, "This is a CHILD no longer a reality tv show. Get it off social...?"
"No one is stopping you from getting a paternity test," Alli Dore - who is pregnant with her first child - said. (Cerza-Lanaux responded to this comment, explaining, "I want to take a paternity test and would like to do it in person. If I get the invitation, I will be on my way").
Said Natasha De Bourg: "No woman deserves to be treated the way you treated Dani."
Other alums from the Below Deck also knocked Cerza-Lanaux.
"Center yourself in the conversation and then throw insults - classic first steps to reconciliation," Courtney Skippon wrote, adding a "🥴" emoji.
"You do realize that when you send a text to someone, that text stays around forever?" said Izzy Wouters. "All of the terrible things you've said to Dani, your self-absorbed behavior and your complete lack of regard for Lilli and her health and well being. They're around. Forever. this pity party is pathetic and is fooling nobody. Grow up. If you're so desperate to know if you're sweet Lilli's sperm donor, get a test. And yes, you'll only ever be a sperm donor regardless of any outcome. You aren't a real father. A real father wouldn't act like you have. Pathetic."
She later opened up about the pregnancy in another candid social post, sharing that her journey to motherhood wasn't how she "dreamed" or "planned" it would be.
"From the moment I knew you were here, I've been making sure I'm doing everything I can to help you grow healthy inside of me and to make sure you'll have what you need when you out," Soares wrote at the time. "This is not how I dreamed, not how I planned, but you are not unwanted."
"Bringing a life to this world is a blessing and you are here to show me I have a reason to keep going and a purpose in this life," she added. "You already so loved."