Hugh Jackman lends support to bullied 9-year-old with dwarfism who wanted to kill himself: 'You've got a friend in me'
Hugh Jackman has come out in defense of bullied child Quaden Bayles after footage of him telling his mother he wanted to kill himself went viral earlier this week.
The nine-year-old schoolboy, who has the most common type of dwarfism called achondroplasia, was told by the 'Wolverine' star that he'll always be his friend, USA Today reports.
Hugh told Quaden's bullies that "life is hard enough" without people doing their best to upset others.
"Quaden, you are stronger than you know, mate," Hugh said in a video shared on Twitter. "And no matter what, you've got a friend in me."
'The Les Miserables' star, 51, also urged his fans to "be kind to each other." He added, "Bullying is not okay. Period. Life is hard enough. Let's just remember every person in front of us is facing the same kind of battle. So let's just be kind."
Hugh is father to Oscar, 19, and Ava, 14, whom he shares with his wife, Deborra-lee Furness. He has previously spoken about setting a good example for his children.
"My kids have so many advantages. And I want them to know that they have a responsibility to use those advantages to help others," he said in June 2018. "My kids are constantly reminded about how lucky we are in our family. We're ridiculously blessed."
That said, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays villain 'Negan' in The Walking Dead, also extended his support to Quaden on Twitter.
"What I want you to know is that you have friends, me included. I am your buddy. You haven't met me yet, but we'll see if we can change that. Maybe your mom can DM me," he said. "You have a bunch of friends out here, out in the world that you haven't met yet. We're here, we got your back. You need to know that. It'll get better."
The Indigenous All Stars NRL team also reached out to the Bayles family, inviting the embattled child to walk them onto the pitch on Saturday as they take on New Zealand Maori Kiwis at CBUS Super Stadium on the Gold Coast.
Brisbane resident Yarraka Bayles picked up her son Quaden from school on Wednesday and filmed him crying in the car before sharing the video on Facebook.
"Give me a rope, I want to kill myself," Quaden, who has achondroplasia, the most common type of dwarfism, is heard telling his mother. "I just want to stab myself in the heart... I want some-one to kill me," the embattled nine-year-old says in the video, which has over six million views already.
Bayles shared her son's breakdown publicly in a bid to raise awareness about bullying. She said she usually kept distressing moments private but was left with no choice but to go public this time as she'd had enough.
"We try to be as strong as positive as possible and only share the highlights... but this is how bullying affects a nine-year-old kid," she said in the video.