Colin Farrell has thrown his support behind an anti-homophobia campaign in his native Ireland - recalling the horrific bullying his homosexual brother endured during his school years.
The Phone Booth star - who acted as best man at his gay brother Eamon's same-sex wedding last year - has released a statement, backing the anti-bullying drive by gay charity Belong To, and revealing the problems his sibling faced in his youth. And Farrell admits he still can't understand why Eamon was targeted by bullies because of his sexuality.
He says, "I can't remember much about the years of physical and emotional abuse my brother Eamon suffered. I was very small. The thing I do remember though, quite literally, is blood on his school shirt when he came home in the afternoon. The beatings and taunting were very frequent for him and a constant part of his school years."
"People are often afraid of difference. They feel that anything that causes fear should be turned away from. My brother represented fear for so many people, but caused joy in my life. From a very young age he made me laugh with his intelligence and wit, made me aspire to his strength and goodness. He was to be embraced."
"Too many of the students of his school however he was to be feared. He was to be turned away from. I didn't understand it then, and I still don't now."