Charlie Heaton has doggedly protected his private life since his appearance in Stranger Things catapulted him to global stardom. Heaton is dating Natalie Dyer, who plays the on-screen love interest of his character. 

Heaton had a life and a semi-successful career before Stranger Things, but few really cared about it until he was detained at LAX Airport for possession of traces of cocaine. Authorities didn’t charge Charlie, electing to send him back to London. 

The rather insignificant detention and deportation sparked an investigation into Heaton’s personal life by internet sleuths. The most surprising finding by far was that Charlie Heaton had a secret son named Archie. 

Charlie welcomed his son Archie alongside former bandmate Akiko Matsuura

charlie heaton and akiko matsuura

Heaton’s interest in music started when his father bought him a drum set. Charlie joined the U.K. punk scene after relocating to London with his father. 

Akiko, a drummer and singer, and Charlie met at his uncle’s recording studio. Matsuura’s band, Comanechi, needed a drummer, and Charlie fit the bill. 

Heaton joined the band and started dating Akiko when he was 18. Charlie toured with the band for nearly two years before Archie was born in 2014. The couple split several months after Charlie’s birth but have an amicable relationship. 

Akiko raises Archie in London as Charlie pursues acting projects in Los Angeles. “They share a son, but he lives with Akiko and Charlie visits on occasion,” a source told Us Weekly. The source continued:

“Charlie is in L.A. most of the time auditioning and was filming for Stranger Things, but he jumps across the pond to London to see their son. Akiko and Charlie are amicable coparents.”

Some fans accused Akiko of grooming Charlie Heaton

The news about Charlie’s son went viral partly because of the age difference between Akiko and Heaton: He is 14 years younger than the rockstar. 

Allegations flooded social media claiming that Akiko met Heaton when he was 16 and groomed him. One netizen tweeted:

“Charlie was 16 and Akiko was in her 30s when he started working for her. She got him on ecstasy and loads of other drugs, and 3 years later, she was pregnant with his child and yet people call him an abusive deadbeat for not being with her.”

The grooming allegations are unproven as it’s unclear when Akiko and Heaton met. Akiko is also likely innocent in the law’s eyes as the age of consent in the U.K. is 16.