Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara have publicly spoken about their new bundle of joy for the first time. The Hollywood stars, who have been together since 2016, quietly welcomed a little boy two months ago.
In an impassioned op-ed with People, the new parents made a heartfelt comment about the 545 children who have yet to be reunited with their parents after being separated at the US-Mexico border. Joaquin, 46, and Rooney, 35, described the thought of being separated from their own child as "unbearable".
"As new parents, it's unbearable to imagine what it would feel like to have our child taken away from us for a day, let alone years," they wrote. "But that's the very situation those 545 children and their parents have been living through.
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"As Americans, it's our responsibility to continue paying attention to the plight of these families and get answers for why they still have not been located."
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The engaged couple went on to claim that children separated from their parents will have "lifelong" damage, including "irreparable emotional harm". They added: "We have to ask ourselves: Is this the country that we want?
"Are these our values? How will it feel to explain to our son, when he asks us about this time and how we treated scared, defenceless children, some of whom may never see their parents again?"
This is the first child for the Hollywood couple
It is thought the actors have named their newborn son River after Joaquin's late brother River Phoenix, who tragically died in 1993 from a drug overdose.
Speaking at the 2020 Zurich Film Festival after a screening of the film Gunda in September, director Victor Kossakovsky was asked about Joaquin's involvement on the project after he served as executive producer. "He just got a baby, by the way, his name was… a beautiful son called River, so he cannot promote it now," the Russian filmmaker revealed.
The two stars met when they worked together on the 2013 film Her; however, they didn't start dating until three years later when they reunited on the set of Mary Magdalene. They confirmed their engagement in May last year.
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