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How Sandra Bullock kept a baby a secret

By Breeanna Hare, Special to CNN
Sandra Bullock kept her adoption of a baby boy a secret despite the massive amounts of media scrutiny she's endured as of late.
Sandra Bullock kept her adoption of a baby boy a secret despite the massive amounts of media scrutiny she's endured as of late.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sandra Bullock managed to keep her adoption of a baby boy a secret for months
  • An editor at People magazine said she used CIA-like tactics to maintain secrecy
  • That way she never gave people the opportunity to say she was using the baby for PR
  • Now that her secret is out, fans are just as supportive as ever

New details are coming out about Sandra Bullock's adoption. How did she manage to keep the news quiet for so long? Tune in to "Showbiz Tonight," today at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET on HLN.

(CNN) -- Sandra Bullock has Oscar-winning talent, but it took more than just being a good actress to keep the adoption of her infant son private for months -- especially when the paparazzi started swarming following allegations of marital discord.

Bullock, fresh from a laudatory awards season, managed to not only keep herself removed from the public eye, but to also shield her son, Louis, from the spotlight as well. It wasn't until People magazine revealed her adoption story Wednesday that anyone outside of Bullock's inner circle knew the big news.

"Sandra really relied on a network of very close friends and very close family members to keep her secret," explained People magazine's senior editor David Caplan. "The baby arrived during the height of the awards season [in January], and she even said that her trusted makeup artist was wondering why [she] needed so much concealer under her eyes, because she was tired."

In order to pull that off, Caplan said Bullock had to employ some CIA-style tactics to maintain her covert operation, using car decoys to take Louis to the doctor, and not letting anyone in her house.

"Regardless of whether or not she was seen with the baby, there wasn't even buzz about the fact that she had the baby," Caplan said. "It was her ability to a) hide [him] from visible sight, and b) the ability to keep this information private, because she had the baby before the scandal broke."

This scenario makes it clear that Bullock's team wasn't swayed by potential lucrative offers, said New York Daily News entertainment reporter Joanna Molloy.

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"The only way Sandra Bullock could have pulled this off is that she obviously has a few very trusted, loyal, close friends -- a rarity in Hollywood where celebrities are often surrounded mostly by people who either work for them, or want something out of them," Molloy said. "All of the folks in Sandra's tight circle obviously love her and are loyal enough to her that, in keeping her secret, they took a pass on the possibility of making at least six figures on a story like this which certain magazines and British publications are willing to pay."

Even with the tough logistics, it makes sense that Bullock would want to keep her adoption under wraps, said Eileen Koch, head of entertainment PR firm Eileen Koch & Company, because Sandra "was never seeking publicity for anything except her work."

Bullock is already widely admired, and her decision to stay mum will only increase the respect fans have for her, Molloy said.

"She wanted to keep the baby a secret after she was nominated for the best actress Oscar because she 'didn't want him to be part of all that,' " Molloy said. "There are plenty of actresses who would have wanted Academy voters to see them with an adopted baby just to get the good PR, and consequently, votes. Everybody knows the voting process isn't just about the performance anymore. But in this case it was."

While some celebrities may be accused of being dishonest when a big secret is revealed, it was entirely different for Bullock, Caplan said. "Everyone completely understands why she kept a secret; they're sympathetic and supportive," he said.

Koch for one isn't surprised. Fans have been so supportive of Bullock because her husband's alleged infidelity has overshadowed her recent career triumph.

"That's why everyone is behind her, because he ruined the two most important things in her life: the baby and the Academy Awards," she explained. "She couldn't have that moment -- she couldn't totally have the happiness of everything."

If the timing seems just too good to be true -- revealing a brand new baby at the same time news of her divorce from Jesse James makes headlines -- remember that Bullock has had to keep a low profile, and telling everyone will give her more freedom, Caplan said.

"She wants everyone to know the secret because she wants to move on," he said. "She wants to live a normal life."