The Challenge star Cory Wharton shocked everyone on Saturday, December 16, when he revealed on Instagram that he was the father of Are You the One?‘s Cheyenne Floyd‘s 9-month-old daughter, Ryder K. Wharton.
The reality stars competed together on Rivals III in 2016, and now Cory and Cheyenne live in Southern California, just 10 minutes apart from each other. The pair plan to celebrate the holidays together with their daughter and Cory’s family in Michigan. It will be the first time his family meets his daughter.
“Once I found out I had a kid, my whole life changed. It’s a feeling inside of yourself that there’s a bigger purpose,” Cory, 26, told Us Weekly in an exclusive interview. “Now I’m doing everything for my daughter, instead of for myself. I had to put somebody before myself for the first time. I feel like I’ve got my power pack, like I’m untouchable with my kid. I have her and that’s all the love I need in the world. It gave me a sense of purpose. I never thought I could love anybody more than myself and I do!”
I’ve been off of social media for a while now… for many reasons. Most importantly God has given me the biggest blessing in my life, my daughter Ryder K Wharton. I want to say thank you Cheyenne for being such an amazing mother. I look forward to co-parenting with you and giving Ryder all the love in the world. I can’t wait to watch you grow up and be there for you every step of the way, love you Moochie !!! @cheynotshy @thatsryderk Photo by : @toshi_lu
Read Us Weekly‘s full Q&A with Cory below:
Us: Congratulations! What has it been like, becoming a dad?
CW: It has been a blessing. I’ve needed Ryder in my life more than she needed me. She has an amazing family in Cheyenne’s family, and I’m just glad that now we can give her two families and give her all the love that we can. Becoming a dad just means it’s time to grow up a little bit. You have a child in the world, you have to provide for someone else … so buckle in and figure things out!
Us: Your daughter was born with a condition called VLCADD that Cheyenne has spoken a bit about it. Can you discuss that a little?
CW: She can’t process fatty foods into energy. When she was a newborn, Cheyenne would have to wake up every two hours and feed Ryder. With the condition, she has no side effects, but we still monitor it, she has to take medicine, she sees a specialist. Cheyenne talks about it a lot more on her YouTube video.
Us: You said on Instagram you’re coparenting with Cheyenne? How’s that going?
CW: It’s actually great. She’s seeing other people. I’m seeing other people. Our main focus is Ryder. Me and her are best friends now. I fell into the perfect position.
Us: What’s your family’s reaction been like?
CW: Cheyenne, Ryder and I are all flying to Michigan on Wednesday for five days. I can’t wait! Ryder’s going to be meeting my family for the first time. I’ve got a bunch of people meeting us at the airport! I’ll be going live on Instagram so everyone can see. It’s going to be so overwhelming but we’ve gotta do it. Nobody has met her yet, so it’s going to be a lot. My mom’s so excited to have a grandchild. She bugs Cheyenne every day, sending her pictures. I’m just so excited.
Us: How has your life changed since you found out?
CW: Everything changed. At one point, I was just searching to figure out what my next move is. Reality TV’s not forever. I’m gonna milk this cow for as long as I can and I’ve already done that for four years … it’s gonna be dry soon! Now, it’s just figuring out my next move. I’m looking into going into the Fire Academy. It’s something I feel like I would love to do. It’s a career that I think will keep me on my feet. After doing The Challenge, I can’t work a 9 to 5 [job]. I need something to keep my adrenaline flowing and to keep me engaged. As for day-to-day, life has completely changed. My gym time has been moved up to 5 in the morning, then I go over to Cheyenne’s house, and I’m with my daughter from 10 in the morning until 10 at night when she falls asleep. My biggest thing is just being in her life as much as possible and just showing her that I love her.
Us: You mentioned reality TV. You’re on the upcoming Challenge, Vendettas. Will you continue to do them now that you’re a father?
CW: That’s a great question. I do plan on continuing to do The Challenge because I still have to bring money home. If I could get a win, $250,000 would be a nice Christmas! It’s great because Cheyenne fully supports me doing that.
Us: We’ve seen parenthood really change some competitors in the game … others, not so much. How will affect your game play?
CW: For me, it’s the motivation that I needed. It’s bigger than me now. It’s not just about me. It’s about my family, my daughter, Cheyenne’s family, who I represent.
Us: So do you think it’ll change your playboy ways?
CW: That’s definitely got to change somewhat! I don’t want my daughter to see this and be like, “Oh my gosh, my dad’s a man whore!” I’m definitely going to calm down on that end, but I never go on it planning to hook up. If things happen, they happen. I definitely have to watch what I do now.
Us: Once she’s older will you let her watch your season of The Real World and you on The Challenge?
CW: Oh yeah! I fully stand behind my actions. I’m gonna be that dad to let my daughter mess up and be right there to pick her up right after she falls. I’m gonna let her mess up in life and sit there and teach her, “Let’s not make the same mistake twice, let’s learn from this mistake. Your dad wasn’t perfect — watch this clip!” It’s me. It’s what I was doing in my life at the time. I’m not ashamed of it. I definitely will be showing her certain clips — I’m not going to say, “Watch all the clips!”
Us: Will you let her go on The Real World?
CW: I would shed a tear and be proud that I passed on these great genes. No but seriously, I’ll fully support her in whatever she wants to do.
Us: Luckily, if she does ever go on The Challenge, Bananas will still be there to look out for her.
CW: Exactly! By the time my daughter’s on The Challenge, Johnny will still be there or be the host!
The Challenge: Vendettas begins on MTV Tuesday, January 2, at 9 p.m. ET.
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!