Nicole Kidman had a baby. How nice.

That was all there was to the story really. Oh, and it was a girl too. But newspapers had column inches to fill. So Nic’s daughter’s supposedly unusual name, Sunday Rose, became the point of discussion.

In fact, it was a “mystery” that needed solving:

  • Was it inspired by the WhitSundays where Nicole spent her 40th birthday?
  • Was it paying homage to African tribal tradition where babies are named after days and months?
  • Was it because she was almost born on a Sunday?
  • Was it after a Keith Urban song?
  • Was it a play on “Sunday Roast”, you know the meal Naomi Watts once chose over a date with Tom Cruise in that lamb ad?

Or … was it in fact a dig at Tom and his scientological beliefs? “Nicole is a Catholic, and Sunday was an important religious day for her until she was involved in Scientology,” a source told MSNBC (which was leading the charge on dubious theories). “She’s still bitter about her experience with Scientology and the fact her baby’s name could be perceived as one last jab doesn’t exactly upset her.”

Bruce Lansky, author of Five-Star Baby Name Advisor (because having a child results in such irreparable brain damage that parents can’t even choose one word without “expert” guidance) got a good run to air his thoughts on CBS News online. He reckoned it was “a silly name” that wouldn’t catch on, preferring film star Matthew McConaughey’s choice for his son: Levi. “It’s a brand of jeans, but it’s associated with building the West. It’s associated with the Gold Rush. It’s very cool. It is very masculine. I would like him riding shotgun on a really fast horse behind me covering my back.”

Can journalism recover from such airings?

Mercifully, Kidman’s father stepped in before things could get more outlandish. The news was trumpeted in all the best papers.

“Kidman’s baby name mystery solved” — BBC News

“Nicole Kidman’s baby name mystery solved” —

“Secret of Nicole Kidman baby Sunday Rose revealed,” The Daily Telegraph

Seems Sunday Rose was named after arts patron Sunday Reed. If only Dr Kidman could have elaborated on the Loch Ness monster and Bermuda Triangle while he was at it.  

With the mystery resolved, there wasn’t much else to say. But Alexander Chancellor in The Guardian was unburdened:

Reed got gonorrhoea from her first husband, which left her infertile and then proceeded, in Bloomsbury Group fashion, to have affairs with most of the painters she patronised. She did this with the complaisance of her second husband, upon whose death she killed herself.

Kidman and her husband, Keith Urban, are known to be fans of Sidney Nolan’s work, which may be why they chose the name of his patron for their daughter. But I hope they don’t regard Sunday Reed as a suitable role model for their little girl.

A Wankley to Chancellor for worrying about the future name-induced hussiness of a 4-day-old child.