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Who is Rebecca Soteros? What to know about Meadow Walker’s mom

The former girlfriend of 'Fast and Furious' Paul Walker prefers a life out of the limelight.

Image via Instagram

While fans grieved the unexpected and untimely death of Paul Walker, who successfully won the hearts of millions of people, less attention was given to the more controversial aspect of his personal life concerning his former girlfriend, Rebecca Soteros, and daughter, Meadow Walker.

The former girlfriend of the Fast and Furious star was born in 1974 to Mark and Julie Ann Soteros. Despite managing to avoid the spotlight, Soteros received a substantial portion of media coverage for her rocky relationship with Walker and her role as a single mother in her daughter Meadow’s life.

Soteros dated Walker in her early 20s in 1998 before he made his mark as an established actor in the industry. They never married, but Soteros became pregnant, reportedly leading to their break-up as well as enhancing the complications in their relationship.

She had a messy break-up with Paul Walker

Young Rebecca Soteros and Paul Walker
Image via Instagram

Soteros and Walker had a short-lived relationship mired in numerous complications leading to their separation. The reasons for their break-up are unclear and there have been numerous speculations regarding the same.

The pair attended the same school as children. Some believe that they separated in 1999 due to the constant arguments and fights related to Soteros’ drinking problem, an issue that cropped up later in her struggle to attain Meadow’s custody. The pair were not a couple anymore during his stardom.

In the last interview he did with Associated Press for his movie Hours, which was released posthumously, Walker admitted that he wasn’t prepared for Soteros to become pregnant: “It wasn’t planned. My baby wasn’t planned. I wasn’t married. Out of wedlock, the whole bit.” He continued on to say, with visible sincerity, that, even then, he was still learning and growing into his role as a father. “You’re kinda finding your step with it. I’m still finding my step. I think you always are.” But ultimately, he was seemingly positive and willing to do his best and keep improving in his role as a parent.

In another interview, Walker also admitted to a philandering lifestyle and how he refused to marry Rebecca following the discovery of her pregnancy — factors that undoubtedly made matters worse. The Hours star confessed how he had not been husband material, which prevented him from tying the knot with Soteros. The late actor very succinctly mentioned his lifestyle in an interview with WENN where he said, “I knew where I was at with chicks and having fun. I mean, I was sleeping with her (Rebecca’s) friends, for crying out loud. You know what I mean? I was an animal, and so I want to be there and my heart wants to be in it, but the mind just isn’t following it.”

She was a teacher and a single mother

Meadow and her father Paul
Image via Facebook

Following their break-up and Walker’s lack of commitment, Soteros moved with Meadow to Hawaii where she continued to pursue teaching. Meadow, who was born on November 4, 1998, stayed with her mother until the age of 13, after which she moved to California to reside with her father.

The reason for this shift is unknown but speculation has pointed toward Soteros’ alcohol addiction. Others state that it was an attempt on Meadow’s part to strengthen her relationship with her dad. However, she continued to keep her daughter away from the celebrity limelight during their stay together. Walker told People in 2011, that his tween daughter “[is] a bit more like her mother, but she’s also how I am innately.”

She was a victim of the custody battle

Even as a single mother, life was not easy for Soteros as her supposed alcoholism became an ongoing problem, especially when she was involved in a tricky custody battle. This happened after Walker’s death when his mother Cheryl Walker appealed for sole guardianship of her granddaughter Meadow.

Cheryl allegedly accused Soteros of being an alcoholic, making her unable to properly care for her daughter. Reports on this subject said that both Soteros and Meadow were living with Cheryl when Soteros was undergoing severe drinking problems and dealing with her alcoholism. However, Cheryl’s claims were criticized when an insider spoke out on the issue, saying, “It’s just crazy how people blow things out of proportion. She doesn’t have a problem or a serious drinking problem. From what I know, she has never once been incapable of not taking care of her children… Rebecca is a great mother and Meadow is a very happy child. Their relationship is excellent. They are good friends and very close just like any mother and daughter. Rebecca was the only parent raising Meadow for the first 12 years of her life. Rebecca is a former schoolteacher and good with children.”

Cheryl’s demand for legal guardianship also conforms to the will left by Walker, in which he clearly stated his preference for his mother to take custody of Meadow. Overall, Soteros had two DUIs against her in 2003 and 2013. This highly publicized custody battle reached its culmination when Soteros decided to proceed with the rehabilitation program, as demanded by Cheryl.

She is living a quiet, peaceful life

Unlike her daughter, Soteros is not active on social media. Not much information has been gathered about her love life or who she’s dating at present, as she has managed to maintain a life away from the spotlight and without publicity following the much-talked-about custody battle. However, she is reportedly helping Meadow with philanthropic work.

When she was still at the tender age of 16, Meadow launched The Paul Walker Foundation which focuses on marine conservation, something her father was passionate about even featuring at one point in National Geographic Channel’s Expedition Great White. The foundation provides marine science scholarships to students, aged 16 to 19, who can make such a positive impact. A statement by Meadow on the website concerning the foundation’s goals reads: “Reflecting on my father, I found myself reflecting on his passions: his passion for helping people, and his passion for spontaneous goodwill.”

Jayasmita Dutta Roy
About the author

Jayasmita Dutta Roy

A keen lover of cinema, Jayasmita harbors an utmost interest in staying updated about everything ranging from the classics to contemporary blockbusters. When she is not glued to the computer gleaning information about intriguing pop culture gossips, you will see her in a random coffee shop immersed in the surreal world of Murakami.