Louis and Briana are preparing to fight over their baby in court…

Meeting in the Four Seasons car park in downtown LA, you could cut the atmosphere between Louis Tomlinson and Briana Jungwirth, the mother of his son, with a knife.

‘Louis and Briana barely spoke,’ an eyewitness, who saw the pair meet on 22 May, tells Now. ‘Louis was being really friendly with her mum – but with Briana? He didn’t even say bye.’

It’s not what Briana, 23, had hoped for. Just three months ago, her cousin, Ashley Clark, exclusively told Now how Briana – who conceived Freddie after a six-month relationship that started last January – hoped she and Louis would raise their four-month-old son together.

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Now, tensions are so frayed between the former lovers that 24-year-old Louis and Briana are heading to court to fight for custody.

Briana and her mum Tammi

Briana and her mum Tammi

‘Court is the only way it’s headed between these two,’ a family friend of Briana tells Now. ‘If Louis had his way, he’d be taking Freddie with him at least half the time, not just around America but on trips back to the UK.

‘He adores that kid and finds it difficult balancing his schedule around all these supervisions. Louis would have to go through the official channels to get any kind of additional visitation rights, and Briana is extremely well protected under California law.’

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This isn’t the first awkward exchange between the pair. On 19 May, Louis picked up Freddie from Briana’s mum, Tammi, at a car park in Thousand Oaks, California, while Briana stood by and watched. A family friend, who asked not to be named, adds: ‘Briana and her family have no time for Louis these days. Bowing down to him is the least of their priorities. Nobody is denying that Louis has a right to see his son.

‘Briana’s family is keen for him to play an active part in Freddie’s upbringing and they think Louis is a great dad. But he’s rubbed them up the wrong way.’ Right now, Louis and Briana work on an agreement about how they split their time with Freddie – whose primary home is with Briana. But this could all be about to change.