Priyanka Chopra Responds to Backlash For Having Baby Via Surrogate

When Priyanka Chopra and her husband, Nick Jonas, welcomed their first child, Malti Marie, into the world in January 2022, they, like so many others, announced the news in an Instagram post. "We are overjoyed to confirm that we have welcomed a baby via surrogate," the image text read. "We respectfully ask for privacy during this special time as we focus on our family. Thank you so much."

Unfortunately, amid the congratulatory comments, there was a darker theme. People accused her of "outsourcing" her pregnancy by choosing surrogacy, "renting" a womb due to vanity, and purchasing a "ready-made baby," even implying that she wouldn't have a maternal attachment to her child.

Chopra opened up about what it was like to face these criticisms during such a vulnerable time in an interview with British Vogue. "I've developed a tough hide when people talk about me," she said in the interview. "But it's so painful when they talk about my daughter. . . . I've been really protective of this chapter of my life. Because it's not about my life only. It's hers too."

In the interview, Chopra said she used a surrogate due to "medical complications," calling it a "necessary step" that she was "so grateful" she was able to take. And the actor and producer had some choice words for the people who decided to speculate about why, exactly, she went that route: "You don't know me. . . . You don't know what I've been through. And just because I don't want to make my medical history, or my daughter's, public doesn't give you the right to make up whatever the reasons were," Chopra said in British Vogue.

Adding to her conviction is the fact that Malti was born at 28 weeks, making her "extremely" premature. For the first three months of her life, she was incubated in the neonatal intensive care unit, and Chopra said she wasn't sure if her daughter would survive. After such a fragile entry into this world, Chopra is very protective of her baby girl — both of her physical safety (the actress jokes that she has seven cameras in her room) and her emotional well-being. "I'm like, 'Keep her out of it,'" she said, referring to critics and commenters. "I know what it felt like to hold her little hands when they were trying to find her veins. So no, she's not going to be gossip."

Now, the family of three are happy and healthy in their Los Angeles home. And after decades of "grinding" in Bollywood and Hollywood, the 40-year-old actor and producer has taken the past year off from projects to focus her energy on being a mother.

"It's been 20 years of hustling and working at breakneck speed. I've always been like, 'What's the next thing?'" Chopra said. "But now I feel I have a centre, a sense of calm, because every decision ends up being about her."