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Heavily pregnant Penelope Cruz meets new niece

15 May 2013
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Heavily pregnant Penelope Cruz has been spotted visiting her sister Monica, who has just given birth to her first child, a baby daughter. Oscar-winning actress Penelope, who is expecting her second child, showed off her baby bump in a grey tshirt and leggings as she headed over to the Madrid hospital with her husband Javier Bardem to meet their new niece. The couple were joined by Penelope's mum Encarna and brother Eduardo.

They announced their second pregnancy a month after model Monica. Their child will be a sibling to two-year-old Leo. The two Cruz sisters are famously close, and no doubt Monica has turned to her big sister for advice while carrying her first child. Monica made headlines when she announced her pregnancy back in January, with the frank admission that she had turned to an anonymous donor. The actress told Spanish newspaper El Pais that she feared that if she waited to meet the perfect partner, it would be "too late for motherhood".

She said that in the first few months of pregnancy, she had "isolated" herself to avoid answering difficult questions. "I wanted to avoid, above all, that they spoke about possible fathers, or the possible candidates to be it." But later, Monica said she felt "uneasy" about hiding the manner of the conception, believing that she was helping make it a taboo subject. "So I have decided to tell all. To become pregnant, I turned to artificial insemination," she said candidly. "I want to tell also so I can have the opportunity to show my thanks to all those anonymous men that give many women like me, the dream of their lives." The Cruz sisters' new arrivals won't be the only reason they're in the headlines this year. The duo have joined forces with British lingerie brand Agent Provocateur to launch a lower-priced, younger collection of saucy underwear entitled L'Agent. The diffusion line will feature 15 styles , including a selection of bras, briefs and corsets. Younger sister Monica has already been involved with the brand, having been cast as the face of their autumn/winter 2012-13 ad campaign. The sisters are said to have been heavily involved with all aspects of the collaboration. They have sourced vintage pieces and fabric swatches for inspiration, as well as designing the labels and hangers. The partnership is expected to last a minimum of five years. The collection's worldwide release will be on August 1, 2013.

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