Model and actress Brigitte Nielsen has hit out at criticism from some quarters about her decision to have a baby in her fifties, saying that while she understands where they’re coming from, older fathers don’t receive the same scrutiny.

Nielsen’s daughter Frida – her fifth child, but first with 39 year old husband Mattia Dessi – was born in June this year, making her a mother at the age of 54. She revealed in an exclusive photoshoot with People this week that she began IVF treatment 14 years ago in the hope of having another baby.

“Some women think, ‘Oh my God, I’m too old’,” she reflected. “Well, yeah, I can understand people saying, ‘How dare she?’ But how many men have their first kids in their sixties and seventies and they never doubt it?”

“Do I understand that [people] are a bit sceptical? Yes, I understand. I also totally respect the fact that not everybody likes it and agrees with it, but it is my life.”

The former Beverly Hills Cop II star, who was once married to Sylvester Stallone, married Dessi in 2006. “It’s his first baby and we are very much in love. We are very happy. We have a solid relationship. We are celebrating, or we have already – 14 years together.”

On becoming pregnant later in life, Nielsen had some words of cautious advice, saying it was “such a long road” to becoming a mother again, and she wanted other women to know “everything is possible, but you have to be realistic”.

Nielsen is already a mother to four adult sons from her four previous marriages: Raoul Meyer Jr, 23; Douglas Meyer, 25; Killian Gastineau, 28; and Julian Winding, 34.

She started freezing her eggs aged 40 and was given a 3 to 4% chance of conceiving with her own eggs, but she revealed in May this year that she was a month away from welcoming her fifth baby.

“I totally, totally beat the odds,” she said, adding that the process was often “lonely… because a lot of women don’t talk to each other about it. We should hold hands because there’s nothing wrong with wanting to have a baby whether you’re 20, you’re 30, you’re 40 or, in my case, 50.”

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