How Idris Elba Discovered His Child Wasn’t His: ‘Was Like Taking a Full-On Punch in The Face’

Idris Elba has been many things. Apart from being one of the world’s most talented actors, Elba has been a DJ, a boxer, a bouncer, and a tire fitter. With the birth of his children, he was able to add father to his long resume.

Although he’s the proud parent of two children now, at an earlier time there was another child in his life he believed was his biological son. But immediately Elba noticed things weren’t what they appeared to be, which led to the realization that one of his children wasn’t his.

Who are Idris Elba’s children?

Idris Elba smiling
Idris Elba | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Idris Elba’s first born is Isan Elba. Born in 2002, Isan is the child of Elba’s first wife, Kim Norgaard. The two married in 1999, but separated shortly after Kim’s pregnancy. Their divorce was finalized in 2003. His eldest daughter has already made her mark in the world. She was 2019’s Golden Globe Ambassador, and developed aspirations of becoming a filmmaker after seeing her father direct the film Yardie.

“I really got to see all of the behind-the-scenes, like what the sound department does, the lighting department, the best boy,” Isan said in a 2019 interview with Glamour. “And then getting to hang out with the producers, that was really cool.”

His only son, Winston, was born in 2014. His mother is Elba’s ex-girlfriend, Naiyana Garth, whom he dated for two and a half years before their split in 2016. Elba has spoken candidly about loving his children. In a 2018 interview with People Magazine, after being crowned The Sexiest Man Alive, Elba was asked what his happiest moment was. His answer was one that most parents can relate to.

“Being witness to the birth of my children is the biggest and best thing ever,” Elba told People. “I’m super doting, big hugs, kisses, lots of love-yous. I’m sure my daughter’s like, ‘All right Dad, chill out.’ My son is still at that age where he loves a cuddle.”

But earlier in Elba’s newfound role as a parent, and shortly after Isan was born, Elba thought he was a father to another son. A child that didn’t turn out to be his, which Elba describes as a humiliating experience.

How Idris Elba discovered his child wasn’t his

In a resurfaced 2013 interview with GQ, Elba confided to the magazine how he was dating a woman in Florida he’d become in love with. When she became pregnant and gave birth to her son, Elba initially celebrated what he thought was his second born. He’d already told friends and family and briefly name-dropped his second son by name in a New York Times article.

“The celebration of having a son – from a man’s perspective, it’s massive,”

But an undisclosed source suggested to Elba that things may not have been what they seem. Upon closer inspection of the situation, Elba began to believe that the source was right.

“It wasn’t immediately obvious – well, it was, because he didn’t look like me. But it wasn’t immediately obvious what had gone down.”

The paternity test Elba would later go on to take confirmed that the child wasn’t his.

“To be given that and then have it taken away so harshly was like taking a full-on punch in the face: POW,” Elba further opened up to GQ. “You know, the truth is – like, even admitting it, I’ll probably get laughed at for the rest of my life. But it is just tragic, and it happened.”

But Elba didn’t dwell on the circumstances. The Wire star asserts that he stood right back up and moved on.

“I’ve not been an angel in my life, either – do you know what I’m saying? So to a certain extent, what goes around comes around. But for me in the future, I’m about being comfortable. That’s it.”

Idris Elba sees his fatherhood as very important

Idris Elba bounced back from the incident and is now living a comfortable life with two children he spends as much time with as possible.

“More than anything you have to make time to be with your children,” Elba said in an interview with Cosmopolitan. “You’ve got to be there to help them and guide them through it. That’s one thing I try my very best to do.”

Elba was also close to his own father, Winston Elba, who he named his second son after. Sadly, Winston died from lung cancer at the age of 71. His father’s passing gave Elba a perspective on both his life and parenting.

“My dad was here one minute and now he’s gone,” Elba later told Cosmopolitan. “You realize…that’s it. All of the things you work hard for and stress about, you don’t take them with you. Then, when you see your child for the first time, you’re like…’WOW,’ and you realize that it’s a cycle.”

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