Famous names from the world of politics, sport and entertainment have rallied around a nine-year-old boy with dwarfism after a video of him in tears about being bullied went viral.
Quaden Bayles, from Brisbane, Australia, rose to international attention on Wednesday after his mother Yarraka filmed him saying he wanted to kill himself after being bullied.
A global outpouring of support followed Ms Bayles’ Facebook post, which started with Quaden being invited to lead the teams out onto the field for Saturday’s Indigenous All Stars rugby league exhibition game on the Gold Coast.
A video of nine-year-old Brisbane boy Quaden Bayles tearfully telling his mother he wanted to kill himself has prompted famous names from around the world to show their support for the youngster
Eric Trump (pictured), the son of US president Donald Trump, has been among those to express their support for Quaden
Eric Trump tweeted his support for Quaden after the video went viral, calling the video ‘heartbreaking’
US president Donald Trump’s son Eric has also spoken out about the video, as an online fundraiser started by US Brad Williams raising more than US$466,000 (AUD$700,000) to take him to Disneyland.
‘This is absolutely heartbreaking. God bless this little boy… Quaden – we are all with you! Stay strong!,’ Eric Trump tweeted on Friday.
Australian world champion boxer Billy Dib meanwhile revealed he had spoken to Quaden by FaceTime and offered to give him some free training sessions.
Dib shared a picture of the youngster wearing a Boston Celtics basketball jersey on Instagram alongside the words ‘we stand with Quaden’.
The nine-year-old’s teary-eyed video has also attracted the attention of NBA player and Celtics star Enes Kanter.
‘This is one of the hardest video I’ve watched,’ he wrote.
Harry Potter actor Warwick Davis said he was ‘deeply saddened’ by Quaden’s heartbreaking reaction to being bullied
The nine-year-old’s teary-eyed video has also attracted the attention of NBA player and Celtics star Enes Kanter
Kanter told his followers the video of Quaden was ‘one of the hardest videos I’ve watched’
Australian world champion boxer Billy Dib (left) shared his support, as well as offering free training sessions for the youngster
Former rugby league player Johnathan Thurston poses with Quaden before the NRL match between the Indigenous All-Stars and the New Zealand Maori Kiwis All-Stars
Australian actor Hugh Jackman released a powerful message to Quaden’s bullies, saying ‘life is hard enough’ without people going out of their way to upset others.
‘Quaden, you are stronger than you know, mate,’ Hugh said in a video shared with his 14 million Twitter followers.
Rapper Cardi B defended Quaden as well after cruel trolls accused of him secretly being an 18-year-old.
Rapper Cardi B defended Quaden as well after cruel trolls accused of him secretly being an 18-year-old
One account retweeted false posts claiming Quaden was actually an 18-year-old man, and not a nine-year-old primary school student
‘Just because there’s videos of him flossing money and acting all gangster, and acting all cool and everything, it doesn’t mean that kids do not pick on him,’ she said.
Comedian Brad Williams and Harry Potter actor Warwick Davis, who both have dwarfism, have also expressed their support.
Williams organised the GoFundMe fundraiser to send Bayles to Disneyland, while Davis said the video was ‘deeply saddening’.
Quaden (pictured far left) was actually attending the 18th birthday celebrations of a friend called Garlen
‘Wow. This is heartbreaking,’ British broadcaster Piers Morgan said. ‘Poor little guy. Hope he gets all the support he needs and deserves.’
The global praise for Quaden has been joined though by hurtful rumours spread online claiming the Brisbane boy is already an adult.
One post circulating on Twitter said his high-profile Instagram page and lucrative modelling career were proof he ‘scammed everybody’.
The accuser also pointed to a photo of Quaden at an 18th birthday party, saying the celebrations were for him.
Yarraka Bayles hit out at the claims as they gathered pace on social media, sharing a post from someone who said they knew Quaden from before his viral video.
‘He’s nine! Dwarfism is not a joke, is he a model or actor?’ the Facebook post read.
‘So are a lot of kids… That doesn’t mean s**t!’
Why Quaden IS a nine-year-old
1. He was at his friend’s 18th birthday – not his own – in January
2. His modelling profile, which may not have been updated, says he is eight-years-old
3. He appeared on TV toothless and playing with toys as a four-year-old
4. A photo of him purportedly drinking alcohol has been cropped to remove the Appletiser beside him
5. A baby photo from 2010 shows him at 16 days old
Others have also jumped to Quaden’s defence over the birthday post, saying he was actually attending the 18th birthday celebrations of a friend.
A photo of Quaden posing with his pals in an Instagram post on January 18, which he captioned ‘happy 18th ma bah’ appears to support this claim.
One Instagram photo of the nine-year-old had meanwhile been subtly cropped by his accusers showing him appearing to drink wine with his mother.
In fact, a bottle of Appletiser was sitting on a table next to him – proving his beverage was sparkling apple juice.
The young boy’s modelling success and strong Instagram following has also raised doubts about his age.
On Saturday, both his and his mother’s profiles on the platform were deleted.
His profile on Star Now says he is eight-years-old though, with beginner modelling experience.
Quaden has also appeared on television as a four-year-old, sitting on his mother’s lap playing with toys in an interview with Studio 10.
Looking further back, Yarraka Bayles shared a picture of her son’s sixth birthday cake in December 2016 and in 2010 celebrated Quaden turning 16 days old.
A fundraiser to send Quaden Bayles to Disneyland has reached $460,000 after being set up by comedian Brad Williams – who also has dwarfism
On Saturday, Quaden’s Instagram account ‘Quadosss’ warned his 226,000 followers that fake social media accounts (left) claiming to be him and trying to take advantage of his situation were being created
Quaden Bayles’ Instagram account ‘Quadosss’ warned his 226,000 followers that fake accounts were being created in a post on Saturday morning
The rumours about his age have been accompanied in recent days by trolls creating social media accounts in an attempt to profit from his bullying.
On Saturday, Quaden’s Instagram account ‘Quadosss’ warned his 226,000 followers fake social media accounts claiming to be him and trying to take advantage of his situation were being created.
‘WARNING!!!! FAKE ACCOUNTS! PLEASE REPORT ASAP!’ Quaden’s account posted to Instagram, along with a screenshot of a fake Twitter account using his name.
One of the fake accounts has pictures of Quaden and urges followers to ‘pay my GoFundMe’ and has a link to donate.
Brad Williams created a fundraiser for Quaden after hearing the upsetting news that he was bullied at school.
Money raised will be used to bring Quaden and his mother for a holiday in Disneyland California, while all the excess will be given to anti-bullying charities.
Joel Thompson, the Indigenous All-Stars captain, leads the team onto the field with nine-year-old Quaden at CBUS stadium on the Gold Coast
Quaden poses with a ball during the Indigenous All-Stars vs Maori Kiwis match
Quaden’s mother Yarraka shared the distressing video which sparked the outpouring of support after picking her son up from school on Wednesday.
The schoolboy, who has achondroplasia – the most common type of dwarfism – told his mother: ‘Give me a rope, I want to kill myself.’
In the video, which has been viewed more than three million times, Quaden also said: ‘I just want to stab myself in the heart… I want someone to kill me.’
Quaden also scratched at his neck and said: ‘I want to die… I want to scratch myself.’