Richard Gutierrez 'proud father' to baby with Sarah Lahbati

MANILA, Philippines – Richard Gutierrez has finally confirmed that he and girlfriend Sarah Lahbati are parents to a baby boy name Zion, born last year.

"A lot of people think that Sarah left the country because we are having a baby and she's pregnant. I just want to set the record straight and tell everyone that I'm a proud father of baby Zion," the actor said in the first episode of It Takes Gutz to be A Gutierrez which aired on E!Sunday, June 1. (READ: The Gutierrez family: United they stand)

According to Richard, they found out about Sarah’s pregnancy while on vacation in Paris. The two starred in the GMA 7 drama Makapiling Ka Muli in 2012.  

"We didn't want to make Sarah's pregnancy a tabloid circus. We get to share baby Zion to everyone with our own terms."

Sarah, who left the country last year, initially said via social media that she was going back to Switzerland to study. According to a report by Pep.ph, Sarah gave birth to Zion in April 2013. 

At the time of her temporary leave, the actress was involved in a controversy when she posted a series of tweets that there was “under the table" negotiations between GMA Network and Icons, a talent management company.

The accusations led to trading of charges between the actress and GMA Films president Annette Gozon-Abrogar. She returned in August to face the charges and has since been traveling in and out of the country.

Last February, the two finally reconciled, with Sarah returning to GMA.

Following Richard's revelation, Sarah posted a photo of a baby’s hand on her Instagram account.

“Extremely happy to announce the new member of our family, baby Zion,” she wrote followed by three heart emoticons.

On Monday, June 2, Sarah took again to Instagram to clarify that she and Richard did not intend to hide Zion from the public. She also thanked her followers who stood by her side.

"Once and for all, I do not care about the hate tweets and all the "poor baby bakit ganito, ganyan."

"I just want to make it clear to you that from DAY ONE, we took care of him, loved him, protected him and gave him everything, until now. WE NEVER DENIED HIM. We just wanted to keep our privacy.

"Oh well, I love my family and I'm extremely happy and blessed that we were able to finally share our life with everyone. Spread the love," she wrote. 

Richard’s twin brother Raymond said that the newest member will be introduced in next week’s episode.

Meet the newest member of the Gutierrez family next Sunday on #ItTakesGutzToBeAGutierrez #GutzOnE! — Raymond Gutierrez (@mondgutierrez) June 1, 2014 – Rappler.com