“I basically ran away,” De La Hoya, 50, said on the Thursday, July 20, episode of the “Allison Interviews” podcast. “I was scared. I was fearful.”
De La Hoya welcomed Atiana, now 24, in 1999 with ex Shanna Moakler. One year after their daughter’s birth, the former boxer and Moakler, 48, called it quits in 2000 after four years together. In 2004, Moakler moved on and tied the knot with Barker, 47. As Moakler and Barker began their family, the Blink 182 drummer stepped up to act as a father figure to Atiana.
“I did try to be a father full-time for a few years, and it was beautiful,” De La Hoya admitted. “It was amazing to raise a little girl, but there came a point where you ask yourself, ‘Wait a minute, you’re not worthy of this.’ You try to convince yourself that you’re not worthy of this, that love is not possible in your life because of what I lived — of not receiving that love when I was a kid.”
De La Hoya revealed his anxieties about parenthood stemmed from his difficult relationship with his own parents. The retired athlete claimed that his mom and dad never told him they loved or hugged him and would “get hit” whenever he would cry.
“I know I am this nice guy and I know I can be a father but then there comes a point where it’s like you try to convince yourself … this is not you this is scary,” he recalled. “You’re not worthy of giving love.”
During the time Atiana was under the care of Moakler and Barker, De La Hoya put his focus on boxing, which he credits with keeping him “in line.” However, De La Hoya confessed he did check on his little girl every so often.
“I was always there, but not there, you know? It wasn’t your typical relationship with the father and the mother there 24/7,” he said on Thursday. “It wasn’t like that, but obviously, she is my daughter and I love her.”
In the course of their romance, Moakler and Barker welcomed two children together: son Landon, 19, and daughter Alabama, 17. The duo were together for four years before they called it quits for good in 2008. Despite their breakup, Barker remained close with his stepdaughter. The musician later moved on with wife Kourtney Kardashian with whom Atiana also has a strong bond.
Earlier this month, De La Hoya gave Barker props for being a good father figure to his daughter over the years.
“Look, I didn’t raise my kids, you know? Their moms did. And I have to give credit where credit is due,” he said to Entertainment Tonight in July. “I’m grateful that Barker was there, you know, as a father figure for my daughter. I have to be grateful that Shanna was a mother to Atiana, and just know my place, basically, you know? My place — I’m obviously a father, and I’m proud of it. But, again, I’m grateful for what they’ve done. Especially with Barker. He’s obviously stepped up to the plate.”