Former child star Bugoy Carino came to the defense of his girlfriend, volleyball star EJ Laure, who is now being accused of pedophilia and grooming after they recently confirmed that they have a child together.
Bugoy made the announcement on the occasion of his 18th birthday on Thursday, September 3, sharing on Instagram a photo of their daughter Scarlet for the first time.
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! Happy to have a family na mahal na mahal ako. Pagsisikapan ko pong itaguyod ang blessing na ito. Thank you for your unending support and I love you both, Mommy EJ and Baby Scarlet!" wrote Bugoy in the caption.
The announcement drew mixed reactions. Many fans expressed their support for the couple as they trended on Twitter Philippines, while others criticized the age difference between the two, noting that EJ was 19 years old while Bugoy was only 15 when they had Scarlet.
On Twitter on Sunday, September 6, Bugoy broke his silence on the allegations when he responded to a tweet from YouTube vlogger Angel Dei who said, "This is so wrong! I can't believe some people are defending this!"
"O 'wag niyo draw i-defend. G na G si ate," replied Bugoy. "Opo, alam namin na may mali sa ginawa namin, pero para i-judge kami basta basta? Ibang usapan na po 'yun."
"Hindi niyo po alam buong story namin. At least ako kahit bata pa pinanindigan ko lahat ng responsibilidad ko at hindi ko po tinakbuhan," he added.
In 2017, Bugoy joined the all-male group Hashtags on It's Showtime, only to leave a year later, after rumors circulated that he got his girlfriend pregnant.
EJ, for her part, became the subject of pregnancy rumors after she skipped the entire UAAP Season 80. However, the former UST Golden Tigresses captain denied the speculations and insisted that a shoulder injury was the reason for her absence.