Pauly D is trying to be the best father possible for his daughter, Amabella, the baby girl he unknowingly fathered with Amanda Markert in the fall of 2012, a source tells E! News exclusively.
"His main priority is his daughter and sorting out the visitation issues," the source said on Thursday, Oct. 31. "There are various rumors out there that Pauly leaked the story and this is simply untrue. Pauly was forced to confirm the news because someone else on the mother's side gave the story to the press."
It wasn't until earlier this month that the Jersey Shore alum learned the former Hooters waitress gave birth on May 15, 2013—and now, the 33-year-old DJ is seeking full custody.
"When he acknowledged the news, he never once released the name of the mother of his child or his daughter," the source explains. "This was a tactical decision. He wants his daughter to have anonymity in the press. He wanted her to not be followed by photographers and to be able to live a normal life and not be hounded."
And while the reality star feels his baby's mother has other goals, he remains "focused and dedicated" on gaining visitation.
"He'd like to be able to do this in private," the source reveals. "This whole situation has been incredibly heartbreaking for all involved."
"I cannot wait to meet her," Pauly D told In Touch in their Nov. 11 issue. "I've never been so excited in my entire life. I'm proud to be a father, and I'm ready for it."
Markert responded to the tabloid interview via Twitter on Wednesday, Oct. 30. She directed several messages at her baby daddy, writing, "This is getting out of hand, you've had my number since day 1. Come bond with her any day, any time you and your family want."
"It could all be so simple," Markert added, who resides in New Jersey. "Call now."
A rep for Pauly D tells E! News: "Paul was trying to handle his custody case privately without exposing his child to a media frenzy. When Ms. Markert requested money for confidentiality, it became clear then what her intentions were."