Idris Elba has hit out at accusations he was paid to announce that he’d contracted the potentially deadly coronavirus.
The 47-year-old actor, who was diagnosed two weeks ago, has been in isolation with his wife Sabrina, 29, who revealed she’d contracted the virus in recent days.
And as he faced questions as to how he was able to acquire a COVID-19 test when so many others showing symptoms were denied access to one, the Luther star took to Instagram Live on to set the record straight.
Denied: Idris Elba has hit out at accusations he was paid to announce that he’d contracted the potentially deadly coronavirus. Pictured with wife Sabrina during an Instagram Live session
On testing, he said: ‘It shouldn’t be about whether the rich or poor gets it. Everyone should be able to get a test, for sure. I think the negativity around test-shaming is counterproductive. I don’t see what people get out of that.’
Addressing the bizarre accusations levelled at him, the British screen hunk continued: ‘And the idea that someone like myself is going to be paid to say I have coronavirus. That’s absolute bulls***! Such stupidness.
‘And people want to spread that like it’s news. It’s stupid. It’s the quickest way to get people sick. It’s no benefit to me and Sabrina saying that we got it and we ain’t got it. I don’t understand the logic of that.’
Isolation: The 47-year-old actor, who was diagnosed two weeks ago, has been in isolation with his wife Sabrina, 29, who revealed she’d contracted the virus in recent days.
‘Or to say that we’re stuck inside,’ model Sabrina passionately chimed in, as Idris added: ‘There are a lot of people who conjure up these stories.’
The star’s recently admitted that quarantining with his wife Sabrina has tested their relationship, after the married couple revealed they had both contracted the coronavirus.
Taking to Instagram live on day 13 of his quarantine on Sunday, Idris answered questions from fans, as Sabrina cosied up next to him on the couch.
‘So far I am feeling okay. It’s about keeping my mental health…’ he said. ‘I am just trying to keep my mind clear. We have just been peaceful.’
Questions: As he faced questions as to how he was able to acquire a COVID-19 test when many showing symptoms were denied access to one, the Luther star took set the record straight
He then added: ‘Although we did have one fight yesterday. I had to go into another room. This is a definite test of your relationship and your humanity.’
Sabrina had not contracted the virus originally, but refused to not stay with her husband during his quarantine – effectively catching it too.
Musing on the virus, Idris went on: ‘Corona was set up as an instadeath-threat – everyone just thought oh my God I’m gonna die. But it’s helped me to understand that COVID-19 is just one strand of corona and that made me feel better.
‘I am lucky that I am not really showing any symptoms. Part of it is a lot of people don’t understand it. But I’m not discrediting that people are dying…’
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS?
Like other coronaviruses, including those that cause the common cold and that triggered SARS, COVID-19 is a respiratory illness.
- The most common symptoms are:
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
Although having a runny nose doesn’t rule out coronavirus, it doesn’t thus far appear to be a primary symptom.
Most people only become mildly ill, but the infection can turn serious and even deadly, especially for those who are older or have underlying health conditions.
In these cases, patients develop pneumonia, which can cause:
- Potentially with yellow, green or bloody mucus
- Fever, sweating and shaking chills
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid or shallow breathing
- Pain when breathing, especially when breathing deeply or coughing
- Low appetite, energy and fatigue
- Nausea and vomiting (more common in children)
- Confusion (more common in elderly people)
- Some patients have also reported diarrhea and kidney failure has occasionally been a complication.
Avoid people with these symptoms. If you develop them, call your health care provider before going to the hospital or doctor, so they and you can prepare to minimize possible exposure if they suspect you have coronavirus.
One fan changed the subject and asked him about the possibility of him playing James Bond, to which he replied: ‘It’ s a rumour. I am not going to get it definitely. It is just the biggest rumour in the world!’
Another asked him about more episodes of his TV show Luther, to which he said: ‘I don’t know about that…’
Defending their decision to isolate together following The Wire star’s diagnosis, Sabrina told Oprah Winfrey ‘I wanted to be with him’ and claimed she felt ‘the instinct of a wife’ to take care of him.
In an interview on Winfrey’s new Apple TV+ series Oprah Talks, the couple opened up about being quarantined together in New Mexico, where Elba’s latest film was in production.
‘Actually, I found out this morning, Oprah, that I tested positive,’ Sabrina told the host on Facetime on Saturday.
Idris told Oprah, he ‘hasn’t witnessed any major symptoms’ and is ‘feeling okay.’
‘It’s interesting and worrying that people are possibly carrying this disease and are seemingly okay, but can spread it easily,’ he said of not being symptomatic.
Sabrina, who also feels healthy, said: ‘I don’t feel anything that would come to what people would now expect to be a symptom of coronavirus, which is really strange. It might change in the coming weeks, and we’ll keep everyone updated.’
To stay entertained in isolation, the pair are focusing on the ‘silver lining’ of spending quality time together and playing video games, chess and ‘staying creative.’
Sabrina also revealed her man has started learning the guitar and has been serenading her.
‘You know what? He’s not bad. I don’t mind him playing it. It’s kind of romantic,’ she gushed.
Idris also said it is ‘really obvious’ to him that the outbreak is the world crying out.
Elba said: ‘One of the upsides of this whole drama is that we are forced to think together as a race.
Interesting: ‘It’s interesting and worrying that people are possibly carrying this disease and are seemingly okay, but can spread it easily,’ Idris said of not being symptomatic
‘Our world has been taking a kicking. We have damaged our world and it’s no surprise that our world is reacting to the human race.
‘It is no surprise that a virus has been created that is going to slow us down, and ultimately make us think differently about our world and ourselves.
‘For me, that’s a stand-out thing that is really obvious. This is almost like the world’s cry out.
‘Like: ‘Hey, hey, hey – you are kicking me and what you’re doing is not good, so we will get rid of you.’
Inseparable: Despite facing backlash for staying by her husband’s side, she told the television producer, ‘I wanted to be with him’ and felt ‘the instinct of a wife’ to take care of him
‘As any organism would do, (the world) is trying to get rid of an infection, and maybe this is it for the world.’
While Idris is thought to have been exposed to the virus on March 4, the actor spent the next several days on set of the upcoming Netflix film The Harder They Fall in Sante Fe, New Mexico.
According to TMZ, Idris had direct contact with members of the stunt team on set who are now angered at the way the situation has been handled as none of them knew he had COVID-19 until he revealed it himself on March 16.
The site reports that as of last Friday, no one else working on the film set has been tested for the virus and they feel more should be done to protect them or give them peace of mind.
After the Luther star posted a video on Monday night confirming he has tested positive with Sabrina next to him, the pair faced criticism for not keeping their distance.
Coronavirus UK: New lockdown measures in full
Boris Johnson tonight announced a lockdown plan to stem the spread of the coronavirus in the UK as he told the nation to stay at home.
People will only be allowed to leave their home for the following ‘very limited’ purposes:
Shopping for basic necessities as infrequently as possible.
One form of exercise a day.
Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
Travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary.
Meanwhile, the PM has announced a ban on:
Meeting with friends.
Meeting with family members you do not live with.
All weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies but excluding funerals.
All gatherings of more than two people in public.
The PM said the police will have the powers to enforce the lockdown measures through fines and dispersing gatherings.
To ensure people comply the government is also:
Closing all shops selling non-essential goods.
Closing all libraries, playground, outdoor gyms and places of worship.
Parks will remain open for exercise, but will be patrolled.
Just four days ago, he posted a video addressing the ‘negative’ comments about choosing not to isolate himself from his wife, explaining they had ‘calculated the risk.’
‘As much as we talked about her not coming to where I am, she did and wanted to and I love her even more for it and I would do the same for her,’ he said. ‘As much as I wanted her to keep safe, we presumed if I had it, the likelihood she would have it too, we calculated that risk,’ he went on.
‘When something like this is going on in the world, love is all you can get, who am I to turn down my wife’s support?’
The British actor, who wed his wife in 2019, urged his followers to spread love and advised families to follow guidelines but do what works best for them.
Elsewhere in the Tuesday night video, the father-of-two appeared to confirm he had contracted the virus from Canadian Prime Minister’s wife Justin Trudeau Sophie, 44, after the two met shortly before they both tested positive for COVID-19.
The actor revealed that he was exposed to the deadly disease on March 4, the same day he posed with Sophie at the We Day UK charity event, in Wembley.
Idris said: ‘It’s hard to say when I got the disease or when I contracted COVID-19, it’s hard to say when. I will say that I know I’ve been exposed to it from March 4.
‘That’s when the person that came up positive, that was the time I got in contact with that person.
‘So essentially, I could have been positive from March 4, but it’s hard to say when I contracted someone with corona, you can contract it at anytime but my known exposure was March 4.’
Idris then addressed backlash as to why he was tested for COVID-19 after he had ‘no symptoms’ and ‘felt ok’.
Celebrity interview: In an interview on Oprah Winfrey’s new Apple TV+ series Oprah Talks, the couple opened up about being quarantined together in New Mexico
Idris said he was on location and about to start filming, he added: ‘It was definitely something I had to do as I was about to start filming and be around a lot of people.’
‘My job made me test immediately, I had to test anyway, as it meant I was putting a lot of people at risk if I had been exposed. We were lucky to get a test very quickly because of the shortages of the test.
Although the star admitted that he is worried as he suffers from asthma, he added: ‘I have asthma, so I sort of fit into the high category of most at risk.
‘I have a respiratory issue and I have had asthma all my life. Catching corona was definitely not on my bucket list at all but even my asthma is OK.
Opening up: Idris said he was on location and about to start filming, he added, ‘It was definitely something I had to do as I was about to start filming and be around a lot of people’
‘Of course I’m worried. I’m worried about having the virus, I’m worried about having asthma and how that could make things really complicated for me really quickly.’
He reassured his followers that at present he is feeling fine, explaining: ‘Right now though, I am feeling okay. Woke up this morning, didn’t have any symptoms. My voice is a little tired…checking my fever twice a day. Feel good, feel okay. Been doing a lot of reading about it. You know, asymptomatic is what comes up,’ Idris explained about his status.
Idris revealed he was inspired to share his coronavirus story after fellow actor Tom Hanks revealed that he tested positive for COVID-19.