Irina Shayk and Bradley Cooper are no longer together, but they’re on the same page when it comes to their daughter Lea, who is 3. She talks parenting, life and food insecurity in a revealing chat with Elle for its March cover story.


The 35-year-old says that Cooper, 46, is “the most amazing dad.” But she has no time for newfangled labels like “co-parenting.”

“I never understood the term co-parenting,” she says. “When I’m with my daughter, I’m 100 percent a mother, and when she’s with her dad, he’s 100 percent her dad. Co-parenting is parenting.”


Shayk says she remembers “having no food at home” growing up in the obscure Russian town of Yemanzhelinsk, where her dad was a coal miner and her mother taught kindergarten music. “Sometimes there was no salary, or my mom and dad’s salary was delayed.”

As she saw food insecurity on the rise in NYC, she began doing regular shifts at a food bank in Manhattan.


When her dad died when she was 14, she learned first-hand how to be a strong and independent woman. Her mom “learned how to survive, without a man,” she says. It also prepared her to be strong. When her agent told her, “‘You have to lose weight.’ I always said no, because I know who I am.”