Prince Albert (search) of Monaco has acknowledged having fathered an illegitimate child with a former flight attendant from Togo (search), his lawyer said Wednesday.

Thierry Lacoste said in a statement that Albert wanted to face up to his responsibilities and hoped his son could live his life away from the media spotlight.

The statement said Albert regretted that the media went public with the story just days after the death of his father, Prince Rainier (search), in April.

French magazine Paris Match ran a cover story in early May alleging that Albert had fathered a son with Nicole Coste, a former Air France flight attendant. The child is nearly 2 years old.

Coste was quoted as saying she met Albert on a flight in July 1997, leading to a relationship and the birth of a child in August 2003. The interview was illustrated with pictures of the prince holding and feeding a young boy with curly hair.

Albert, who is a bachelor, is the only son of Prince Rainier III and film star Grace Kelly (search). He assumed royal powers in the principality shortly before the death of his father.