Actress Tilda Swinton’s ex John Byrne reveals he is the child of incest, calls it ‘traditional’

tilda swinton and john byrne

“Artists” Tilda Swinton and John Byrne

That’s an Irish “tradition” I’ve never heard of.

From Fox News: Tilda Swinton’s former partner has revealed that he is the child of an incestuous relationship – and described the union as “traditional.”

Scottish artist John Byrne, 77, found out that his grandfather Patrick McShane was actually his dad after his aunt Helen died in 2002. But after a period of hating his granddad, he has now come to accept his unusual lineage – and revealed that it’s not as uncommon as people might think.

He said: “I think he gave me that wonderful mixture of genes with his own daughter, the eldest of the family. That’s what they do in Ireland. I presume it’s what they do in unlettered places, and lettered places. It’s traditional, and nobody speaks about it.

As a child, John recalls that his mom would regularly walk eight miles from their home in Paisley to his grandparents’ house in Cardonald – and in hindsight it was because she loved him like a partner.

He said: “She was in love with her own father, utterly and totally. She just wanted to be in his company. She couldn’t even confess it. My own father [his mum’s husband Patrick Byrne] didn’t know.”

John, who was the brains behind Scottish TV series “Tutti Frutti,” only discovered the shocking truth about his parentage when his cousin Aileen Kane called his and Tilda‘s remote Scottish home to tell him that her mom had passed away.

Speaking to The UK Times, he said: “Helen told Aileen what my mother had told her, when she was much younger. Aileen asked Tilda, ‘Do you think I should tell [him]?’ Tilda said, ‘You’ve got to tell him.’ She called me in and handed me the phone.”

However, his cousin didn’t deliver the news over the phone, instead meeting in Glasgow to tell him face to face.

John’s mom died in the 1980s after a long battle with mental illness, which in hindsight John thinks stemmed from her incestuous relationship.

The Scotsman, who has two children with “Narnia” star Tilda, admitted that he felt hatred for his grandfather after the truth about his parentage came out – but slowly “everything fell into place”.

He said that his attitude went from “he died of cancer, hell mend him” to realizing that he had only ever felt love for the man.

John, who met Tilda in 1985, added: “It’s because I admitted to myself that I adored my grandfather, beforehand. What did he do to me particularly, that damaged me? I don’t think he did damage me.

John and Tilda split up in 2005 but continued to live together for years, looking after the couple’s 17-year-old twins Xavier and Honor in Scotland while Tilda worked on a string of blockbusters. In 2008 she moved in a younger lover, Sandro Kopp – who is 18 years her junior – and the trio co-habited.

Speaking about the unusual arrangement, Tilda said: “The father of my children and I are good friends and I’m now in a very happy other relationship. And we’re all really good friends. It’s a very happy situation. Life doesn’t have to be complicated. You just have to have compassion with yourself and stop blaming yourself when things do get complicated.”



11 responses to “Actress Tilda Swinton’s ex John Byrne reveals he is the child of incest, calls it ‘traditional’

  1. ironbutterfly1951

    The delusion is heavy duty with those two.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. Here we go again! Attempting to normalize something that is so wrong, and presenting it as “traditional”, and “not as uncommon as people think” These kinds of narratives are becoming increasingly seen in the news now. I wonder if it is true, or is he just doing as ordered,to further the social re-engineering program.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Out of curiosity, I did a search for incest in Ireland and found this:

    (1) According to a study published in 1983 in the journal Personality and Individual Differences: “The prevalence of severe mental subnormality in N. Ireland has increased at a relatively high rate during the last century, and the present level is higher than that in the rest of the U.K. It has been suggested that changes in the population structure have had adverse genetic consequences which, along with an increase in the level of inbreeding in certain areas, have given rise to much of the increased prevalence of subnormality.”

    (2) German writer Antje Joel’s article in Swiss magazine Die Weltwoche [The World Week] caused an international furor by asserting that the Irish’s dental deformities are from incest: “One owner of one of these dental deformities once told me that it was the result of incest. To prove that, he threw back his head, opened his mouth and showed me his rodent-like, narrow upper jaw.”

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Oh. My. God. When I see stories like this, my stomach starts to churn. I could not digest information like this if it were my situation and I certainly wouldn’t condone it. Incest is illegal, thank God, and causes harm to the child of incestuous parents, usually through mental problems and even retardation. How anybody can be happy about coming from an incestuous encounter like that is beyond me.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Good reporting from what I read, but I couldn’t read much of it.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The lament of denial: “But we’re/they’re IN LOOOOVE!” Yeah, okay. Anyone with a clear head (i.e., not “in loooove!”) buy this?

    It may very well be a fake story…I still think the Angelina Jolie story about her double mastectomy and hysterectomy is fake fake fake.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sounds like the mental illness may have been herited. Not uncommon in such cases but with the conditions of incestious relations in rural and remote areas there may be a strong presence of generational issues. I would still insist it is an anomaly and not tradition.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. We had a female client who lived in group home owned by a company I worked for. She came from family with a long multigenerational history of incest. They lived in a “holler” for generations and inbred. Her grandfather was her father and she was severely intellectually challenged along with facial anomalies characteristic of incest. She was self abusive as evidenced by biting her arms until they bled. She had not been taught how to use the bathroom by her family and would “go” anywhere she wanted. The family would sometimes tie her to a tree in the yard in order not to have to deal with her. Social Services finally stepped in and removed her from her family. She was difficult to care for and would say and do the nastiest things. Her verbal communication was extremely limited and bizarre. We had to put special sleeves on her from her wrists to her elbows to keep her from biting herself and picking the scabs. After I left the company, I heard she had been moved to one of the state facilities that dealt with individuals who have extreme needs and very little hope of achieving skills that could help them transition to a more independent living situation. I’m sorry Byrne is the result of incest, but it should not be celebrated as traditional or normal. The potential results are hideous for the child and family and is a financial drain on society which pays for the treatment and care in benevolent countries.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. “Marxist propaganda. It is just another move to normalize it all. I am Irish and I can tell you that it is NOT a “tradition” by any stretch of the imagination. Ireland was corrupted many years ago by the pedals who infiltrated the Catholic church and ruled this country, I know that incest exists but it is in no way promoted or traditional. I think it could also be this man’s way of misinterpreting the facts to help him accept the truth about his origins.”

    Source –

    Liked by 2 people

  10. uh….ok…

    i can understand small places and little travel and yet uh….

    soory but i think i am going to throw up now….

    lord help us all…

    Liked by 2 people

  11. As a fellow human being, I lament the place that he finds himself in, with no way to change events. The best way to overcome adversity is to commit to do everything possible to make sure that ‘adverse history’ does not define who you’ll be. I hope that he can successfully convey this message to his sons who might be the most vulnerable.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s