'Women’s rights is something that is incredibly important to both of us,' they said in a joint statement

By Nick Romano
September 23, 2017 at 05:16 PM EDT
Credit: John Sciulli/Getty Images

Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder released an apology to their fans on Saturday after their comments on pregnancy and birth control inadvertently sparked a controversy.

“To anyone who has been affected by reproductive coercion, we are deeply sorry. That is an extremely serious issue, and women’s rights is something that is incredibly important to both of us,” their joint statement, released across their social media pages, read. “It is something we’ve been very vocal about, and something that is very close to our hearts.”

The celebrity couple, who welcomed their first child, Bodhi Soleil Reed Somerhalder, in July, spoke about their experience on Dr. Berlin’s Informed Pregnancy Podcast. “We decided that we wanted to have children together, and it was just time,” Somerhalder, 38, had said. “But unbeknownst to poor Nikki, she didn’t realize that I was going to go in her purse and take out her birth control.”

These comments sparked questions about whether or not Reed’s pregnancy jeopardized her consent, including an article on Cosmopolitan that the actress found particularly distressing.

On Friday, Reed, 29, tweeted a response to the writer in question that read in part, “‘Unconsented’ bullsh– is you speaking on my behalf in a story admittedly taken out of context for the purpose of stirring up drama WITHOUT my approval. Don’t talk about consent to me. And lastly, how dare you try to cast a dark shadow over one of the happiest most memorable days of my life — you’re not only disrespecting me but my baby.”

In the apology, they clarified, “We never expected a lighthearted interview we did poking fun at EACH OTHER and how WE chose together to get pregnant, a goofy moment in Barcelona with our two best friends and the anticipation of the start of our journey together as we went from two to three, to turn into something representing a very serious matter.”

“However,” they added, “if this somehow sheds light on a topic that definitely needs mainstream attention, then we are grateful for the unintended consequence. It’s a shame that outlets chose this as their way into a very serious discussion, as we are certainly not qualified to be the faces of this topic. We are two happily married people who chose TOGETHER to have a baby. The end. Love, Nikki and Ian.”

Read their full statement above.