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Lucy's Baby Joy
At last Lucy Lawless has it all. As Xena:Warrior Princess, she has become an international star with more success than she ever dreamed of. And in her private life, she's blissfully married to producer Rob Tapert - and has just announced she's expecting a baby!
Aged 31, Lucy is alreadya doting mum to daughter Daisy, 10, from her previous marriage, bu she had always promised herself that one day she would extend the family.
Just recently, Lucy admitted she felt that something was missing from her life, and had even turned to motivational gurus Tony Robbins and Deepak Chopra to give her some inspiration.
Now Lucy is over the moon with her pregnancy, for which she had even adopted a special health regime beforehand. The stunning star had every reason to take such precautions, after her Tonight Show horse-riding stunt turned to a scary accident in October 1996.
Back then, as Lucy writhed in agony on the ground after being thrown from a horse, the first thought that flashed through her mind was: "Will I be able to have another baby?"
The action syar was filming a comedy skit with Jay Leno for his show when her horse slipped and sent her crashing to the pavement. As they waited for an ambulance to arrive Lucy whispered to Leno:"Am I going to be okay? I want to be able to have another baby."
A broken pelvis, many bumps and bruises and two and a half years later, Lucy got her answer.
There's a little warrior prince or princess on the way for Lucy and husband Rob,44.
"I can't tell you how thrilled Lucy is that she is to have a baby brother or sister for Daisy," said a close friend of the tough-talking, leather-clad star of American television's most popular syndicated show. "It was something she always wanted and very much so after she met and fell in love with Rob. The when she had the accident and learned she had broken her pelvis she feared the worst. Doctors told her that her injuries should not affetc her chances of becoming pregnant, but until she did she was never really sure. They are both thrilled to bits and Diasy is too."
The baby is due is October and Lucy's pregnancy will be written into the show, which begins shooting in NZ this week.
But how will the pregnant princess deal with the most physically demanding show for any woman on television?
Lucy has vowed to be extra careful when riding and doing stunts for the TV series. She may use stand-ins for some scenes and she has promised her husband that she will not put her pregnancy at risk.
Tapert has not been married before but he left a relationship with another woman, screenwriter Jane Goe, leaving her heartbroken.
"Robert and I were very happy until Lucy Lawless disrupted out life together," said Jane. "He was the only man in my life and the best man in the world. What they did hurt me a great deal."
The fifth of seven children in a close-knit Catholic family, Lucy was raised in Mt Roskill, Auckland, where she performed in school plays and trained as an opera singer. At 18 she left home for Europe, followed by her high school sweetheart, Garth Lawless. In 1987 she discovered she was pregnant and the couple married.
She became a working mum by taking acting classes, and in 1994 was cast as a renegade Amazon lieutenant in H:TLJ.
A few episodes later she had high-kicked her way into her own series. But none of Lucy's recent success can compare to the magic of family.
Protecting her baby is paramount, but Lucy still plans to play Xena throughout her pregnancy as far as she can. We used computer wizardry to give you a sneak peek of Xena: Pregnant Princess!