Entertainment superstar Madonna gave birth to a healthy 6-pound, 9-ounce baby girl--Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon--at Good Samaritan Hospital on Monday.
The infant was born at 4:01 p.m. Madonna and child were reported "resting comfortably" after the birth, as was the infant's father, personal trainer Carlos Manuel Leon, 30.
Liz Rosenberg, a spokeswoman for the 38-year-old star, said no further information would be released about the birth. Whether the delivery was by caesarean section, and whether the mother and child remained at the hospital after the birth, were not revealed.
And in a twist that was quintessential Hollywood, the announcement was made initially by pediatrician Paul Fleiss, the father of convicted Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss.
Dr. Fleiss, who said he will be caring for the child, served nine months of house arrest after pleading guilty to tax evasion in connection with his daughter's activities. Heidi Fleiss currently is undergoing treatment for drug abuse at a rehabilitation facility.
Dr. Fleiss--who has cared for the children of many Hollywood celebrities, including actor Harrison Ford--pushed quickly through a crowd of reporters as he left the hospital, revealing only that Madonna's child had been born. At least 30 members of the news media lingered into the night, hoping--in vain--for anything to report or photograph.
Interviewed later, Fleiss confirmed that both "mother and daughter are doing well."
The pediatrician said Madonna asked him several months ago to care for her baby after the birth. He did not identify the doctor who delivered the child.
Word that Madonna was planning to have a child splashed across the front pages of tabloids around the world last winter, shortly before she began work in the title role of the soon-to-be released film "Evita." Her pregnancy was announced on the set in Budapest, Hungary, in April.
Madonna's relationships with famous men such as actor Warren Beatty and basketball star Dennis Rodman, and her tempestuous marriage to heralded actor Sean Penn, have been the stuff of legend, but she revealed that the father of her only child is a relative unknown--former model, paralegal and bicycle racer Leon--whom she met while jogging in New York's Central Park.
She hasn't said whether she plans to marry Leon--there are persistent rumors of tiffs between the two--but in the November issue of Vanity Fair, she denied that she used him simply as a "stud service."
In the excerpts from her diaries published by the magazine, Madonna talked of the moment she first saw images of her as-yet unborn daughter:
"I was stunned when I saw on the ultrasound a tiny, living creature, spinning around in my womb," she wrote. "Tap-dancing, I think, waving its tiny arms around and trying to suck its thumb. I could have sworn I heard its laughing."
Madonna has homes here and in New York. Dennis Ferrera, an assistant to celebrity columnist Liz Smith, said the star decided to have her child here because "it's easier to get around in Los Angeles. . . ."
"Knowing that she's a hands-on person, I think she'll probably want to take care of this baby very much herself," Ferrara said. "She's now a mother, and she has the responsibility for a tiny human being. That has changed her. . . . She'll always be ambitious and driven," he said. "I don't see her retiring [but] . . . she now has something else in her life."
Times staff Writer Shawn Hubler contributed to this story.