Colin Farrell Opens Up About His Son's Struggle

Colin Farrell 

Colin Farrell

Colin Farrell has revealed that his 4-year-old son James suffers from a rare neuro-genetic disorder called Angelman Syndrome – but that he’s a brave and happy child.

“The only time I’m reminded that there is something different about him – that he has some deviation of what is perceived to be normal – is when I see him with other 4-year-olds. Then I go, ‘Oh yeah,’ and it comes back to me,” Farrell tells the Irish Independent. “But from day one I felt that he’s the way he’s meant to be.”

Colin, 31, says James shows “amazing courage,” and adds: “I’m incredibly blessed to have him in my life.”

Colin shares custody of James with ex-girlfriend Kim Bordenave, the boy’s mother – whom Colin credits with helping James get the help he needs. Their son’s early years have been a struggle, Colin says, but recently the family enjoyed a major breakthrough.

“He took his first steps about six weeks ago, and it was four years in the making,” Colin says. “It was incredibly emotional. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.”

Angelman Syndrome is characterized by developmental delay, speech impairment, movement or balance disorder, excessive laughter and even seizures, according to the Angelman Syndrome Foundation. Children who have the disorder are often not diagnosed until they are between 3 and 7 years old.

But Colin refuses to characterize the condition as a disability.

“I have never thought of my son as being someone with a disability,” he says. “It goes back to special needs and what is a disability and what isn’t.”

Coincidentally, Colin helped promote the Special Olympics before his son’s diagnosis. “I experienced the overwhelming effect of being around those athletes pretty much just before my son was born,” says Colin. “It’s mad the way the world works.”

I admit that I had never heard of Angelman Sydrome. Here is a link to The Angelman Sydrome Foundation.

Best wishes to Colin and his family.



  1. says

    Thats awesome, support special olympics. I do. And there is no difference. My foster sister can kick anyones ass in a few sports!!

  2. squeekysue says

    heh, Shut up. I said earlier that I had a realtive with Angelmans, so while you are right that I no hardly anything about the Syndrome I feel I may have half inch more knowledge about the syndrome than others.
    If my points 1 through to 3 seem unhelpful and unknowing, well I don’t care, they were my opinions about Colin Farrell and if you don’t like them ,no skin of my nose, but I will stand by my number 20 post because I feel what Ansam said was silly.

  3. Shut up! says

    #20 – Why do you have to always be so rude and a know it all? Every comment you make is either rude or you act like you know everything telling us how something is with you 1, 2 ,and 3 points. You dont know everything and so far have not made a point that seems to even be true so please shut up already.

  4. Jenna M. (UK) says

    Wow Analise what a productive comment. And I always knew I was a comedian so thanks sweetheart!

  5. squeeky sue says

    Ansam, what the heck do you mean admitting to the problem is half the soloution, there is no soloution he has a genetic disorder, he will always have a genetic disorder he is not an addict for gods sake. In future read the whole blog before posting please.

  6. eminencegrise says

    there is nothing WRONG with Colin’s son. he’s a person with Angelman Syndrome.

    one of the author ian rankin’s sons also has Angelman’s Syndrome.

  7. Lauren says

    Wow, how sad. I think it’s soo cool that Colin and his ex managed to stay cordial for the sake of their son. If he’s pictured partying, he doesn’t have his son. Unlike Britney! I hope everything goes well! 🙂

  8. yummy says

    Yes, Colin has settled down quite a bit in the recent years. I would say it has a lot to do with his son. He is rarely in the headlines at all anymore. The past 2 stories before this that we have heard about him have been when he was helping with the Special Olympics, and when he helped the homeless man. Good for him and his family. But I miss hearing escapades about the wild drunken Irish man (for my own selfish reasons =p)

  9. DMITZ says

    IMO, Colin has come along way. Last I heard, he is pretty serious with someone, but that may have changed… Also, I heard about his recent generosity to a homeless man. Didn’t he give him like 10K for a shopping spree or something like that?

  10. says

    Its the first time I hear about this syndrome. Its sad but I admire Colin for coming out about it. Admiting to have a problem is half the solution. Right?

  11. Tia :) says

    #6- I wouldnt say that about all Irish men. My husband is Irish Italian and he has never been like that!!

  12. oriana says

    I think Colin is cute, but he has a nasty mouth and a smartass personality. His son is cute but looks like he could use a few pounds on him. Never heard of this disability before. I hate to hear this news!

  13. 2teens3beans says

    Aw, he is an adorable little boy. I hope that he gets all the therapy he needs to function to the best of his abilities.
    #7 Gina you are a TROLL and just trying to cause trouble… this thread has nothing to do with Shiloh.

  14. Gina says

    I always suspected something was wrong with him and I did mention it to someone. Next Angelina will be opening up about Shi’s special needs. An dam not being mean.

  15. squeeky sue says

    Nice thought but I doubt it Dori! Three reasons why not, 1) He’s Irish and believe me they don’t slow down with anything, especially men of his generation. 2) And most importantly, believe me, they might not have had a Dx of James before now, but they would of known something was up especially if he hadn’t walked until a few weeks ago. The Doctors wouldn’t of given a Dx before now to protect them selves, believe me Docs hold out on a Dx for as long as possible. 3) He’s Colin Farrell, wether he was from Ireland or Outer Mongolia he will always think with his D..k. 😉

  16. dori says

    I never realised this …I am really sorry. Good luck to them. Maybe this will settle Colin down a bit and he’ll realize theres more to life than partying and picking up girls.

  17. squeeky sue says

    I have always enjoyed Colin Farrell’s work from ballykissangel onwards. I am sorry to hear that young James has Angelman’s, one very small comfort is a least Colin will earn enough to keep James in a good lifestyle for ever, and he and Kim will have the oppurtunities to get James every therapy avaliable. My friends son has Angelman’s he is very young looking and able to cope well enough to leave in sheltered accomodation with just a warden tohelp him and his housemates.My best wishes for now and the future to Colin, Kim and James.

  18. DMITZ says

    Wow, my best wishes to this family too.

    I’m glad Collin and his ex are doing everything they can to see that their son lives a normal life – as he should!

  19. Jenna M. (UK) says

    That is a sweet story. I hadn’t heard of Angelman Syndrome. James is a gorgeous kid, even better looking than his daddy!

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