Tilda Swinton's ex, John Byrne, reveals he's the product of incest


Tilda Swinton and John Byrne

In celebrity news that’s weirdly fascinating but also WTF at the same time, John Byrne, a Scottish writer and artist, who happens to be the ex-husband of Tilda Swinton, dropped a bombshell in a recent interview: he is the product of an incestuous relationship.

In an interview with The Times, John revealed, in a manner that makes it sound like it’s NBD, that his grandfather was also his biological father.

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“My mother was constantly voyaging out to Cardonald [where his grandparents lived],” he said. “I once thought she wanted him to go down on his bended knee and beg forgiveness. No. 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 [Patrick Byrne, his mother’s husband] didn’t know.”

John, 77, thinks the mix of genes was ultimately a good thing for him, adding, “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.”

Umm… really? Is that actually what they do in Ireland?

(By the way, if you’re still trying to get your head around it, his grandfather being his dad also means his mum is his sister. Yeah.)

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John said he found out in 2002 when his cousin, Aileen Kane, had called him to tell him her mother, Helen, had passed away. Helen had told Aileen, who then rang Tilda, who said John definitely needed to know the truth about his lineage. When John and Aileen later met up in person so she could tell him the truth, he said “everything fell into place.”

At first, John felt hatred for his grandfather/real father, but then came to the conclusion, “What did he do to me particularly, that damaged me? I don’t think he did damage me.”

As long as he’s okaaaaaaay…

John and Tilda separated in 2005, and she’s now in a relationship with Sandro Kopp. But John still lives with them, and his kids with Tilda, Xavier and Honor, in the Scottish Highlands.

Hey, if they’re all cool with it.

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