It’s safe to say that Lea Michele’s baby name meaning makes so much sense for her family. The 33-year-old Glee alum welcomed a baby boy on Thursday, August 20, 2020, with her husband, businessman Zandy Reich, who she has been married to since March of 2019. The pair chose the name “Ever Leo” for their newborn.
“Everyone’s happy and healthy, and they’re extremely grateful,” a source told People on Monday, August 24, adding that baby Ever has been “an easy baby so far.” Michele’s pregnancy was first announced in May, when the actress took to Instagram to post a photo of her baby bump. “So grateful,” she captioned the post at the time. The singer and her husband have been socially distancing at their home in recent months, and have been married for just over a year before welcoming their son. Michele has made the most of her time at home, chronicling her growing bump for social media. “The best Mother’s Day with the best mother in the world,” she wrote on Mother’s Day 2020 for a photo of herself and her mother, adding, “I love you mom.”
Speaking of Michele’s mom: Her heritage might just have something to do with baby Ever’s name! Michele has spoken out in the past about her mother’s Italian-Catholic side, along with having a Jewish father. Her husband, Reich, is also Jewish—and this confluence of cultures definitely had an influence on their wedding: “I’m Italian and my fiancé is Jewish, so I think it’s going to be about blending our cultures and making sure that we do things that really honour both of our heritages,” she told Best Products in 2018 about her wedding plans. It’s possible that the same consideration has been made when it came to deciding on their son’s name, which appears to include influences from both sides of the family.
While neither Michele nor Reich have shared a photo or details about little Ever Leo, a search of his first and middle name reveals some promising answers. According to SheKnows, the name Ever can mean “strong as a boar,” while other sites reveal that the name is Hebrew with roots in the name Eber, which means “to cross over” or “beyond.” Meanwhile, Leo sure sounds familiar enough to Michele’s own first name—and while it could certainly be a nod to that, it’s also possible that it was inspired by her Italian upbringing.
Before welcoming her baby boy in August, Michele was at the center of a Glee controversy that saw her accused of multiple instances of bullying and racist micro-aggressions by fellow castmates while filming the famed Fox series that ran from 2009 to 2015. Included in these accusations was a startling statement by co-star Samantha Ware, who said Michele made her life a “living hell,” while working on the show. “Remember when you made my first television gig a living hell?!?! Cause I’ll never forget. I believe you told everyone that if you had the opportunity you would ‘s— in my wig!’ amongst other traumatic microaggressions that made me question a career in Hollywood,” Ware tweeted at Michele.
Michele lost a brand partnership with HelloFresh as a result of Ware’s claims, and shortly attempted an apology with a statement, which read, in part: “While I don’t remember ever making this specific statement and I have never judged others by their background or color of their skin, that’s not really the point, what matters is that I clearly acted in ways which hurt other people. Whether it was my privileged position and perspective that caused me to be perceived as insensitive or inappropriate at times or whether it was just my immaturity and me just being unnecessarily difficult, I apologize for my behavior and for any pain which I have caused. We all can grow and change and I have definitely used these past several months to reflect on my own shortcomings.”