Ian Somerhalder & Nikki Reed apologize to women ‘affected by reproduction coercion’

Ian Somerhalder, Nikki Reed at the Environmental Media Association's 27th Annual EMA Awards
Late last week, the news came out that Ian Somerhalder and Nikki Reed had done a podcast with their OB/GYN, Dr. Berlin, in which Ian admitted flushing Nikki’s birth control pills down the toilet while they were on a vacation in Spain. He admitted he popped them out individually, that he presented her with a handful of pills, and that their friend taped Nikki hyperventilating and freaking out. Nikki answered the question “when did you decide to have a kid?” with “Oh yeah when you threw out all my birth control pills.” Ian went into a spiel about how it was a mutual decision with their two best friends who were in Barcelona with them at the time. Even if Nikki agreed wholeheartedly, it was still up to her whether and when to stop taking her birth control pills. She also admitted that she didn’t realize she was being taped back then.

It sounded controlling and abusive to me and many of you schooled me on reproductive coercion, which is an abuser tactic where men tamper with birth control to deliberately cause pregnancy. Well Nikki and Ian heard the feedback on Ian’s frankly disturbing story about him unilaterally deciding to get rid of Nikki’s birth control. They’ve issued an apology which makes this whole thing sound mutual. They tweeted and Instagrammed this.

At the end of that exchange they’re defending, Ian even said “Now that I’m thinking about it I guess I kind of decided it. That’s really how it happened.” Only now it’s a mutual decision. Nikki also sent out a bunch of tweets getting outraged at people for “twisting” the interview, which she called “funny.”

We’re seeing a famous woman in denial. This is why we need to have these conversations. This is why women need to understand that it’s not normal, ok or loving for a partner to throw out birth control pills, to refuse to wear condoms, to slip off condoms midway through sex or to tamper with condoms to cause pregnancy. When you’re in an abusive and controlling relationship these things happen to you and you gradually become accustomed to them. You think this is ok, you think he must really love you to care so much and that other people don’t understand. The sooner you realize that this is happening, the sooner you grasp the amount of control he has over you and how often you’re anxious and on edge trying to anticipate how he’ll react, the sooner you can reclaim yourself and your life.

Update: I missed this explanation Nikki posted prior to the tweets above. I did listen to the podcast and she did sound unbothered during the broadcast, but that’s how she ended up in a long term relationship with Ian isn’t it? She admitted she was hyperventilating when it happened to her, and she admitted that it was Ian’s decision. That’s all clear cut to me.

These are photos of Ian and Nikki at the Environmental Media Association’s 27th Annual EMA Awards, where they were presenters, on 9-23. Nikki continues to look gorgeous in retro floral dresses with full length sleeves. Ian continues to look creepy AF.
Ian Somerhalder, Nikki Reed at the Environmental Media Association's 27th Annual EMA Awards

Ian Somerhalder, Nikki Reed at the Environmental Media Association's 27th Annual EMA Awards

Ian Somerhalder, Nikki Reed at the Environmental Media Association's 27th Annual EMA Awards

photos credit: PacificCoastNews

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77 Responses to “Ian Somerhalder & Nikki Reed apologize to women ‘affected by reproduction coercion’”

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  1. ArchieGoodwin says:

    I missed this story the first time around. The explanation is worse than the original story.

    What a creep.

    • Carrie1 says:

      Yeah. Her angry tweet, ahead of the official one, provokes sympathy. It doesn’t sound like it ever occurred to her to question his behaviour.

      One good thing, this is now highly public so if there are any concerning future issues re: her or kids safety or well being, eyes will be on alert. I hope anyway. This is a stretch probably but Nicole Brown Simpson came to mind reading this latest. Ian is good with smarm …. the more witnesses checking in and commenting, the safer she will be. It may even wake him up in future.

  2. Aims says:

    When the story was published last week my immediate feeling was rage. The way they laughed about it was so disturbing too me. I think we all can agree that our reproductive rights are hanging on by a thread . To have someone mess with your birth control to get you pregnant without discussing it, is abuse. It’s a way of control and a deal breaker . This wasn’t a funny, charming story.

    • Margo S. says:

      This girl is in denial. Really sad. Her partner threw out the pills behind her back, then had their “best friends” film it. Geez. Nice friends there Nikki.

  3. D says:

    I don’t believe them, at best he’s ‘just’ a douchebag and at worst he’s an abuser. If she was my friend and she told me this story, I would be very concerned about her.
    And there is also the risk of potential health problems by abruptly stopping with birth control, not to mention doing this while on vacation in a foreign country.

  4. Neelyo says:

    How would he like it if she threw out his wig glue?

    I know they’re not comparable in scope, but I’m sure it means just as much to him as agency over her body should mean to her.

    • Karen says:

      Comparable would have been her punching holes in all the condoms and saying we are trying to get pregnant now!

      She’d be slaughtered in the press for that, and pressuring the sad man into fatherhood.

      But the other way they think is super cute, except for other people in which its reproductive coercion and its real. Just not for them.

    • Bored says:

      I’ve been trying to figure out what’s going on with his hair. So it’s a wig.

  5. minx says:

    Not buying it.

    • Belle Epoch says:

      Also not buying it. The story sounded fishy from the beginning. Maybe they thought it was “cute.” Plus – don’t complain about false narratives if you said it yourself. I doubt anything was “twisted” by the reporter. They twisted it themselves, then made it worse!

      I know a woman whose husband did not want children so she POKED HIS CONDOMS WITH A NEEDLE. She had 2 trick kids that way!

      • Alix says:

        WOW. Parenthood by coercion, that’s some nastiness there.

        L&O: SVU actually did an episode about this a few seasons ago. John Stamos got half of Manhattan pregnant, if I recall. Really twisted.

      • Jag says:

        I have a friend who had sex with a girl and she said that she was going to throw away the condom in the bathroom. Instead, she emptied it and “bastered” herself, getting herself pregnant without his consent. Now, years later, he still hasn’t been allowed to see his child.


        As for Ian and Nikki, I think they doth protest too much. They keep saying married and mutual, and I don’t believe them.

  6. Lynnie says:

    I always knew he was lame af. And as the acting jobs dry up (because let’s be honest TVD is not exactly a springboard for other careers) he’s going to become more controlling to make up for the prestige he’s losing at work. I hope Nikki has friends who are looking out for her.

    • Mia4s says:

      “And as the acting jobs dry up…”

      I don’t really follow them but please tell me he’s not doing something stupid like trying for movies? He’s 38 and in that age range I can name two dozen actors from four different countries who would be on the list before him for films and most high end TV. Aim for network. Maybe grab another CW show.

      Although I guess it must burn that his ex from that show has actually made some in roads with film. But she’s a 28 year old beautiful girl, they have a bit more of a window. At least until she’s thirty.

      • kimbers says:

        I don’t think CW wants him. he’s too old for the “hot guy” role and doubt he wants to play a dad. in the last interviews of TVD it seemed like julie plec was soooooooo done with him.

    • Chaine says:

      What prestige? He was on a few seasons of Lost and a knock-off, second tier vampire show whose name I don’t even remember. Has he BEEN in anything else? He can’t act–his whole career was based on his being preternaturally handsome, but now that the dew of youth has faded, he is starting to look sharp like a used car salesman. Will actively avoid any further of his star vehicles.

  7. Caly says:

    In her last tweet, she’s almost denying it and making it seem someone twisted what was said and that being married makes the whole thing okay. These celebs need to stop talking, tweeting….

    • Wren says:

      To a lot of people, being married *does* make it okay. It’s an old fashioned viewpoint, but still exists. Hell, I believe there’s even a few states that don’t legally recognize spousal rape as a crime because marriage makes it okay.

      The fact that it doesn’t even appear to register with her that her husband making the decision to have a child for her is a problem disturbs me.

  8. Nora says:

    Whatever – the guy is a creep.

  9. Shambles says:

    Why is he not apologizing to NIKKI tho?

    She has nothing to apologize for?

    The uber-defensiveness on her part is very concerning. I’m worried about her now. Stay safe, Nikki.

    • Esmom says:

      I know, as someone said above, this is more worrisome than the original story.

      I used to have a soft spot for him thanks to Lost. No more.

    • Diana B says:

      This. She sounds like an abused woman trying to deny to death she’s being abused.

  10. Jordan says:

    theres another statement that’s missing. Nikki addressed it by herself first. It ended with her saying something that it’s insulting to her and her baby that she decided to have. I read it on DM yesterday. I feel it’s necessary to include since this piece is covering the other responses. I wonder if Elena Gilbert is happy she cut this guy loose. I would be. Pretty face but nutso clinger.

  11. Mia4s says:

    Holy damage control Batman!

    Weren’t these two going to disappear for awhile to enjoy the miracle of life brought forth blah blah blah? How long did that last? Should have lasted longer.

    • Ravensdaughter says:

      Now that they’re going forward with the baby, the best way to deal with this is privately through (intensive) counseling. First, they need it; second, it’s a disservice to the child to air all this questionable laundry in public.
      Maybe this situation wouldn’t be such a funny story to the baby when s/he gets older. My second son was not planned (and not coerced, either); I would never want him to know that we didn’t intend to have him from the beginning.
      Mia4s does a nice job of summarizing what likely happened with these two when they went public. Now it’s time for them to both grow up so they can hopefully become decent parents.

  12. Nicole says:

    Again what happened to that “social media blackout” they were going to do. They need to go back to that

  13. Christine says:

    He’s abusive, she’s in denial and when I first saw the photo I thought “Oh Tom Cruise has a new ‘girlfriend’?”

  14. Karen says:

    “False narrative” and “twisting gossip” hahaha ok

    The entire first article was quotes from their own spoken words with their own doctor.

    The only thing twisted is how they think this is a funny story.

  15. slowsnow says:

    Run, Nikki, run. RUN.

  16. Alix says:

    He’s a creepy, controlling abuser; she’s either scared or clueless. That said, I don’t get the need for apologies from every celeb who say dumbass stuff. Everyone has to publicly apologize for everything; I don’t know that such obvious PR moves are helpful or worth it. How ’bout they just get taken to school on social media and then go hide under a rock? The public need for personal apologies has become a bit bonkers.

  17. littlemissnaughty says:

    Good Lord. You guys, I love this site but the immediate ABUSE screams are/were a bit alarming. I get that people need to stay vigilant and women need support and the reassurance that they have full control over their womb etc. and that it is not okay to be pressured/tricked into pregnancy. However. And I said this last week. These two are super extra, they have a weird understanding of romance and we don’t know their relationship. To say that she is a woman in denial is as disrespectful as saying he is an abuser based on ONE ill-advised interview.

    They probably embellished and exaggerated like crazy because what else are they selling right now? What was that interview even about except the baby and their “crazy romantic” and super extra special relationship?

    All I’m saying is we can’t call someone an abuser based on this.

    • Wren says:

      I too think the abuse allegations are a bit much, but you have to admit that there is something very wrong with this. Maybe it’s not actually abuse, but it sure leans that way. One partner deciding “lol we’re having a baby now, bye bye pills!” while the other one freaks out and very clearly states that they did not agree to this course of action is troubling at best.

      The thing is, many victims of abuse see their partner as romantic, especially in the beginning. They care so much! Look how invested they are! People get into and stay in abusive relationships for often very good reasons, which is why it’s so hard to leave. And if it’s not “Hollywood style” abuse with the guy knocking his wife around while drinking whiskey, many don’t recognize it for what it is.

      I’d have much less of a problem with any of this if there was even a hint that Nikki agreed to any of this, but there isn’t. There’s just damage control and dramatic declarations of love.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        I’m not saying we shouldn’t side-eye this hard. He’s a douche and his idea of romanticism is above and beyond what I would call acceptable. I certainly wouldn’t have accepted this and would’ve told him to keep it in his pants. No baby. Not if I’m already dating one. Seriously, who behaves this way?

        But this is one instance we know about. We know their relationship is super Hollywood and they both sound like they live in a romcom. She may very well have a twisted idea of what’s romantic as opposed to disrespectful.

        I’ve seen some relationships around me where one person (honestly, oftentimes the man) was being a massive assh*le and I said “Uh, why do you let him get away with it?” But unless one partner is actually suffering or unhappy, I’m not calling anyone an abuser. That’s too far imo.

        I recently witnessed something I definitely call emotional manipulation and abuse. This guy has always been an assh*le but I did not see this coming. I know him but I’m not friends with him. My bff is though. I’m debating how to handle this because right now, he’s getting away with it and even my bff is enabling him. I could vomit.

        This might turn into something ugly, it might be a crazy story. But based on one interview, I’m not judging.

      • Wren says:

        I appreciate your point about not being able to truly judge form just one interview/story. What worries me is that it’s so, so hard to know how each person truly feels when you’re on the outside looking in. You only get little vignettes of the relationship, and this one raises all kinds of red flags. She very well may be unhappy and refuses to recognize it or covers it up with the over the top BS. Sadly that’s not uncommon. She might be perfectly happy too, though.

        What concerns me most is the fact that they’re gleefully encouraging the idea that this type of behavior is fine and dandy and oh so romantic.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Oh don’t get me wrong, the fact that they thought this was cute is a problem all on its own.

        In my personal life, I’m not this careful. I see sh*tty behavior, I tell my friends as much because yes, sometimes you don’t realize what’s happening until someone holds up a mirror. That douchebag I mentioned? He is forever on my sh*tlist because I would absolutely label his behavior abuse. I’m not of the “two sides to every story” mindset. But I know these people. I trust my bff’s judgment when she tells me what happened. I’ve known him a long time and when I heard I was shocked but not surprised.

        But these are celebrities. I don’t know the whole story.

    • FHMom says:

      It’s a tough call. I agree they embellished because they thought they had a funny story. However, they inserted their friends into the story, which makes me think it’s mostly true.

      Either way, he’s still creepy and she better look out for herself and her baby.

    • aenflex says:

      She’s a grown woman with her own resources. If she wasn’t creeped out by him tossing her birth control pills, and she agreed to continue to have sex with him after the fact, the pregnancy is certainly not one sided.
      He’s creepy. Making the decision for her, wrong. Still it upsets me when women are painted as competely lacking any ability to think or act for themselves.
      Having someone interfere with condoms, remove them, stop using the pill, etc, without the other party’s knowledge or consent is not the same thing.

    • idontknowyouyoudontknowme says:

      I agree.. unfortunately I get why this is the first reaction, since we see so many tales of abuse and suffering inflicted on women. However I think making such rash judgements and arm-chair psychology is a bit of a stretch, and its obvious that it was just an inside joke, which might not come across well to others, especially those who are triggered by prior negative experiences. I do not think it sets a good precedent that these days nearly any off the cuff remark could be interpreted by people only getting a tid-bit of the background and who have never met you labelling You as an abuser, and painting a woman as victim when she might not be one at all..we should not take away Nikki’s agency and power- we are always saying that we should believe what women say- if she says that she is happy and it was a mutual decision, I believe her unless further facts come up which negate this.

      • idontknowyouyoudontknowme says:

        Additionally, Im not even sure how this could have been managed.
        Removing condoms before climaxing without consent is a clear violation of rights, its very hard to realize in the heat of the moment so its very easy to get tricked.
        However when it comes to pills… ok he throws out the pills. Unless he forces himself on her, she is not obliged to have sex with him until she gets new pills?
        Since you are taking the pills everyday you are quite familiar with the shape/color/marking it would also be hard to pull a switcharoo, though getting to this point would truly be sinister, though I dont think its the case here.

    • Chaine says:

      I mean, I’m from the era where John Cusak raising his boombox outside a girl’s window in “Say Anything” was the pinnacle of romance… but when I look back on it, it’s at the very least creepy, if not downright stalker-ish, and if I had broken up with someone now who did that, I would call the police and have him arrested for trespassing. So, yes, no matter how cutesy this couple is trying to spin this incident, if she was one of my friends, i would be really worried about her with this guy from here on out.

      • Wren says:

        Kinda like how I used to think Han Solo’s behavior in Star Wars was romantic but when I watch it now I’m all kinds of creeped out. “I’m just going to force myself on this hot lady even though she actively and repeatedly tells me to eff off!” And then it works and just… ugh.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Oh there are SO many movies/books that don’t hold up because of this. 10 Things I Hate About You? I was obsessed with that movie and yes yes, it’s even based on Shakespeare etc. But my god, the behavior of the boys in that film is just appalling. I still love it because it’s so 90s and I know what I’m watching. But I think we all grew up watching movies that were at best unhealthy.

      • EmmGee says:

        “Pretty Woman,” anyone??

      • magnoliarose says:

        That movie Something to Talk About is a good example of a movie that doesn’t hold up.

    • canttouchthis says:

      I completely agree with you. Thank you for saying all of this.

    • Rae says:

      I agree. I’ve been rolling my eyes at some of the reactions. I think this is a massive mountain out of a molehill.

    • Ozogirl says:

      Totally agree.

    • Ange says:

      I agree. I think it fits in well with their dynamic which is sparkly and extra and over the top dramatic and I think her ‘freaking out’ is part of it as well. They were probably chewing the scenery together the whole time and loving every minute of it. Do I think he’s creepy and far too dramatic? Yeah I do but I think girlfriend loves all that stuff (see: previous marriage after 10 minutes of dating and this one in a similar timeline). I won’t worry until they stop sharing the stories – then it means things have taken a turn.

  18. Otaku Fairy says:

    No matter how happy they both are about the baby now, it was kind of irresponsible for them to publicly put that out there as a cutesy story. Ian comes across as controlling and creepy for doing this.

    • TQB says:

      Yes, EXACTLY, and I would have hoped an apology from them would have said just this. If your original story is not really what happened, then say so. Instead, sounds still like he pretty much did this, which, I’m sorry, just makes it sound like she’s having to defend an abuser.

  19. Lizzie says:

    this is actually a very very serious issue and i have never had an opinion on these two until now. they are assholes that need to just shut up about it.

    when i was 23 an ex attempted to get me pregnant by taking a condom off without my knowledge and ejaculating inside me against my wishes. i was horrified but luckily was on birth control and also was able to obtain plan b. it was a huge violation and it made me sick when i realized what had happened and how he behaved about it. he was so nonchalant and matter of face in saying “i just want a baby.” we had only been in the relationship about six months, were long distance (he was in the military), were very young and had never discussed a future together. i was just screaming inside. i was not able to have consenual sex with him again and ended the relationship. some people are not able to extricate themselves as easily and end up with children they are not ready to have or are raped by their partners. it is a very real issue.

  20. joanne says:

    when people quote words that she said that is not out of context. it’s what she said.

  21. Sway says:

    This won’t end well for Nikki.

  22. Green Is Good says:

    These two are STILL flapping their gums? So much for their bullshit “media blackout “. T

  23. TQB says:

    I also hated when this was a Mindy Project storyline, where Danny was trying to trick Mindy into getting pregnant. It was rolled into the rest of the demise of their relationship but never given the correct focus as in that case there was no question that he was abusively attempting to knock her up to get her to forget about her career and be his stay at home wife.

    I’m willing to believe Nikki and Ian thought this story was super cute and have learned something here, but that’s not the same as taking words out of context or creating a false narrative. Or maybe it happened just like they said, and Nikki is waking up to the idea that, hey, that really wasn’t cool dude.

  24. Jess says:

    I guess it’s good this type of abuse is getting attention, many women don’t know this is controlling and manipulative. I’m hoping Ian and Nikki had a previous conversation and he wasn’t ready and she said anytime you’re ready I’m ready. Then it would be more understandable but still unacceptable and a little creepy.

  25. emma33 says:

    I listened to most of the 2 part interview. It was hard to listen to, but only because it was so rambling and everyone was talking over the top of each other and because they are so extra.

    I was listening hard for hints of an abusive relationship and really, they were hard to find. She is articulate and spoke more than he did, by a long shot. They both commented a few times about how she is a planner and usually very in control and how he is absent minded and a bit goofy. She seems quite bright, he is more of an emotional person and not that smart (he kept using big words the wrong way!)

    There was nothing in the talk about the planning for the birth that made him seem controlling, or like he had an idea about how the birth should go. (That kind of thing is a red flag for me, for example, when the guy insists it will be a drug-free birth). She seemed very much in the driver’s seat.

    The only red flag I got was that he is very intense, everything was black or white. He is besotted with her now, thinks she is amazing and mature (yes, red flag there, because what happens when life gets tough and she becomes an ordinary human being?)

    I honestly feel that if the relationship goes south he is more likely to turn into a passive-aggressive, grumpy guy rather than an abusive manipulator.

  26. canttouchthis says:

    I think this whole thing is being blown way out of proportion.

  27. Coconut says:

    And please do NOT flush meds down the toilet! Bad for the critters and the environment!

  28. hey-ya says:

    …& this is why its called LaLa land…totally…

  29. Lucy says:

    Welp, now I’m officially worried about her.

  30. Ana says:

    When will celebrities learn that private stories that are understood in the inner context of their lives might not translate so positively to the outside world? Especially now when everyone is judging everyone else for everything. It’s made worse by that unsincere apology. I can’t believe this is a story though, when women are getting raped or forced to do horrible things in the other half of the world you’re all worried because Ian Somerhalder had a douchey way to suggest having a child to his clearly willing wife? (You know there’s more than just not taking the pill to get pregnant, right?) They thought it was funny and cute, it’s not, they’re dumb, but please, this is a none-issue and someone’s being accused of “reproductive coercion” in the wrong context.

  31. Erica_V says:

    So her own spoken words on a podcast were taken out of context? Sure Jan.

    I can’t help but feel like… if he records her without her knowing during times like these… when else does he record her without her knowing?

    You in danger girl.

  32. mary says:

    id be mad if he threw out my BC pills while on vacation in Spain because it would have triggered a sudden period…jerk

    • I Choose Me says:

      Yes! I had to stop taking my bc in favor of other medication for a while and having two periods in a month was not fun, let me tell you.

      I won’t call him abusive since she obviously chose to have consensual sex with him after he threw out her pills but it was definitely a douche move and makes me side-eye him even more than I did before.

  33. Jill says:

    Girl, run! You in danger!

  34. magnoliarose says:

    He may not be an abuser in the traditional sense, but this was an abusive act. It definitely points to something being wrong with him, and I believe she had a rocky upbringing, so maybe her tolerance level is too high.

  35. Tata says:

    I think the jokes we tell say a lot about who we are.
    I also think it says a lot nikki not her joker husband put out a statement.

    I don’t think you can ever really know what is going on with a couple – the fact she seems confident in the interview means nothing to me.

    It is weird to me this decision came about after discussion with friends, and yes, that this joker didn’t realize he was dooming his wife to a sudden period. Love is being respectful and considerate, and the dude was neither of those things. And yes, that is the pathway to abuse. Time will tell, but it just doesn’t look good for them to me.