Although currently moving, Eva LaRue took the time to talk to Celebrity Baby Scoop about life as mom to 8-year-old daughter Kaya. The All My Children alum opens up about her close friendship with fellow soapie, Kelly Ripa, who saved Kaya’s life in the Hamptons one fated summer! She also opens up about her longtime pal Sarah Michelle Gellar who “took to motherhood like a duck to water.”
Eva is newly engaged to businessman Joe Cappuccio and one of the main characters of TV’s popular CSI: Miami. Eva is a dedicated mom who left the huge “career ambitions” aside to be a connected and caring mom, and have the time to go horseback riding and to cheerleading practice with Kaya. Eva opens up about how motherhood has changed her, how co-parenting can be done without stress and the importance of having faith and pride in who you are.
CBS: You and your ex-husband are parents to 8-year-old daughter Kaya. What is the custody agreement between you two?
EL: “We don’t have a custody agreement. We’ve always been really good about making it work. He has her 3 weekends a month and I only have her 1 weekend a month. He lives about a 2 1/2 hour drive from me out in the Palm Springs area. She goes out there on Fridays after school and comes back to me on Sunday nights. Divorces are never fun, but from the very beginning, we knew we weren’t going to put her in the middle.”
EL: “First I don’t even remember what life was life before motherhood! Was there a life before motherhood? I don’t remember! But really, motherhood is the most important thing to me. So all the stressful and silly things that I used to worry about before are gone. Or even the big things like career ambition and being self-driven and my lack of patience – all of those things are no longer there. I’m a completely different person in those ways.
I love to work, but at the same time, I don’t have the same motivation to take every job and propel myself forward the way I used to. Now, I just want to make sure that I have enough time at home. I love my job, but I want to make sure that I’m at home with Kaya and not missing out on anything important that she’s doing. I definitely have more patience for the world around me.”
CBS: What is Kaya into these days?
EL: “She is big into cheerleading, gymnastics and horseback riding. She’s a very good horseback rider and I’m thrilled because that is my hobby. We just started doing trail riding together and it’s been so fun. She was taking horseback riding lessons and then we stopped for a while because cheerleading was taking up the majority of her time. We’re moving close to another stable which will be great. We’ve been going a couple times a month trail riding and she’s just awesome. We ride up into the canyon, it’s really pretty. Once you get on top of the mountain you can see all of Los Angeles. It’s beautiful.”
CBS: We hear you’re engaged. Any plans for more children?
EL: “Well, he has 2 grown kids, an 18-year-old and a 21-year-old. We talked about it, but I think we’re probably good where we are. I’m 43 so I don’t think at this age I want to go back to diapers and waking up and all of that. Kaya has our full attention right now and she’s loving it. I think it’s probably good all around for all of us with just one.”
CBS: Have you set a date yet?
EL: “No we haven’t set a date yet because we’re still working on a place.”
CBS: You were on All My Children for years!
EL: “Ten years on All My Children and CSI: Miami for five years. I like a regular job.”
CBS: What’s the biggest differences between working on a soap opera and a TV series?
EL: “Oh they’re night and day. Working on a soap opera, you have 25-50 pages of storyline a day, which is just mind-numbing and psychologically exhausting. And then on the night-time show, we don’t have the same quantity, but we often have a lot of scientific dialogue which can be equally brain-numbing. It can be really hard to remember.”
CBS: Would you say, as a mom, it’s easier to be on a TV series as opposed to working on a soap?
EL: “Yes definitely because I felt like I was spending most of my time studying if I wasn’t working on the soap. And you’re there pretty much all day. On CSI: Miami, we have seven actors so the workload is really well split up. On a 9-day episode, I, on average, work 4 days out of a 9-day episode. So I have a lot of days off which is fantastic. It’s a 1-hour show, but we don’t take 16 hours to shoot it, like most 1-hour shows. We finish our day in 12 hours. Then we’re off and we have a life.”
CBS: On All My Children you created some lifelong relationships. One of them was with Kelly Ripa. Didn’t we hear that Kelly saved Kaya from drowning?
EL: “She did! Kaya and I were out visiting Kelly and Mark and the kids at their Hamptons home when Kaya was 3. We were not in the ocean water, we were in this pond that was right next to the ocean. It looked to be about 2 feet deep. So the 2 girls, Lola and Kaya, waded out in the water and were playing. Both were standing next to each other about waist-deep. Kelly and I were chitty-chatting and suddenly we noticed that Lola is still standing up and Kaya’s head is going into the water. She seemed to be playing around. We stood there and looked at her for a good 45 seconds thinking ‘is she just playing? she’s standing in the same depth of water as Lola so she can’t be drowning?!’ After questioning it we just started running. She had stepped off an underwater ledge and was in over her head. It was so scary!
Kelly got to her before I did, about a foot before me. We both took off at the same time, but Kelly reached her first. Kelly was joking later that she was trying to get her pants off because she had her pants on over her swim suit. We then both yanked her out of the water.
Thankfully she was OK. She wasn’t unconscious. She was throwing up a lot of water for a while, but we didn’t have to administer any CPR. It was a terrible scare!
It was actually the day I was supposed to drive back into the city to have my audition for CSI. I did not make that audition! But I ended up getting the job in the end.”
CBS: Another good friend you made on All My Children is new mom Sarah Michelle Gellar. How is she adjusting to motherhood? Have you met baby Charlotte?
EL: “Yes, she just had the baby! I’ve met baby Charlotte and she is just beautiful! It’s funny because sometimes she looks exactly like Freddie and other times just like Sarah. I think in person she looks exactly like Freddie, and then I was looking at Sarah’s baby pictures and she looks exactly like Sarah did as a baby. It’s funny how babies can do that!
She took to motherhood like a duck to water. It’s because she’s been helping us with all of our babies all these years. Since they waited a while, she’s been everybody’s babysitter. She has always adored kids, so she’s the first person to literally offer: ‘I will babysit – let me babysit for you!’ So she’s had so much practice that it was only natural that she take to her own so naturally.”
CBS: And Freddie is taking to fatherhood well too?
EL: “He is just the most sweet, loving and doting dad! It’s so cute that he has a little girl because he treats her like a little, tiny, fragile thing.”
CBS: You were a teen beauty queen. Do you want Kaya to be in beauty pageants?
EL: “No. And what’s really cool about Kaya is that she doesn’t want to have anything to do with this industry. It makes her really nervous to be on camera, even though she’s the biggest ham you’ve ever met. And she’s so funny! She’s got a really great sense of humor, but you turn a camera on her and she clams up. I love that!
Of course, everyone thinks that their kid is beautiful, but she is really pretty and the nice thing about her is that she doesn’t really know it. I knew from the beginning that I wasn’t going to tell her she is beautiful all the time or make it about who she is. I always tell her that it’s most important to be smart, courageous, kind, considerate and all those virtues that are so much more important than being pretty. Being pretty is such a fleeting and fading thing.”
CBS: You are a member of the Bahá’í Faith. Please tell us what this faith is about.
EL: “In a nutshell, we believe that everybody’s prophet is equal and came with the same word of god and we’re all governed under one god. We don’t believe what people have taken from the holy books and skewed to their liking. We believe that all of the different prophets have come to teach the same spiritual message. It originates in the Far East. It’s almost 160 years old, it’s in every continent and every country.
I converted as a teenager. My mom became a Bahá’í and my dad was a non-denominational Christian, which is how we grew up. Then my mom became a Bahá’í and about 4 or 5 years later I became a Bahá’í. In the Bahá’í Faith you can’t be born into the faith, you have to choose it because they want you to go out and individually investigate all the religions to make sure it’s one that you’re choosing for yourself and not one that your parents chose for you.”
CBS: Can you give us one confession about being a mom?
EL: “You always feel guilty! You feel guilty when you’re not with them enough, you feel guilty when you’re with them too much because then you start to get grumpy that you haven’t started all the things that you need to get finished or do around the house. Then you feel like they’re under your feet and you feel guilty that they’re under your feet. You can’t win! I wish someone would’ve told me about that before I had her, then maybe I wouldn’t have felt so bad about it!”
CBS: Do you cook?
EL: “Yes, but not as much as I’d like to. Kaya is actually getting to be quite a good cook. She’s not just a pancake maker. She’s really good at doing different kinds of crusts on chicken that we bread together. We’ve done little meatballs together. She likes to bake more though because she gets to lick the bowl.”
CBS: Are you working with any charities?
EL: “I work with the Ovarian Cancer Coalition. My grandmother and my great grandmother both had ovarian cancer so that’s something that I’ve been involved with for a few years now. What I’ve heard from women across the nation time and time again is that they didn’t even know there was such a thing as ovarian cancer until they got it. We hear so much about cervical cancer while ovarian cancer goes unnoticed. It goes undetected unlike any other kind of reproductive cancer so it is often misdiagnosed. The survival rate is so much lower than cervial, uterin or breast cancers.
Some of the signs are abdominal pain or swelling that is persistent for more than 2 weeks. Back pain. Frequent urination. Because there’s no test to test to detect it, you should really ask for a CA 125 which is a blood test, although even that isn’t always accurate. You can also ask for a transvaginal ultrasound in order to see your ovaries. These tests are key and could help save your life. We as women know when something is wrong with our bodies, but we get busy and put if off. The key is listening to your body and getting a second opinion. It could help save your life.”