Traumatic pregnancy... Salma Hayek with husband Francois-Henri Pinault. Photo: Getty
Actress Salma Hayek endured a "difficult pregnancy" during which she nearly lost her baby and was then told her little girl would be born with Down syndrome, her husband has told a New York court.
Hayek's partner, French businessman Francois-Henri Pinault, made the revelation while testifying in his child support battle with supermodel Linda Evangelista on Friday.
Evangelista conceived her son, five-year-old Augustin James, while Pinault was briefly separated from Hayek and has filed legal papers demanding $US46,000 ($A44,954.80)-a-month in support payments.
During a heated exchange with Evangelista's lawyer, an exasperated Pinault said that Hayek had suffered through a traumatic pregnancy in which she almost lost their child, Valentina, who was born healthy in 2007 - a year after Augustin.
"What prevented me from ... legally recognising (Augustine) ... was that my wife was pregnant, and it was a very difficult pregnancy," Pinault said.
"To be very clear - for five months we were told that the baby had Down syndrome. I asked Linda to delay recognition of Augie until the birth of Valentina," he said.
Evangelista also testified on Friday. She told the court her career had slowed down in recent years and she no longer earns as much as she used to.
"There's not a lot of demand for me... I'm active. I would like to work," she said.