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What happened to Pierce Brosnan's estranged son Christopher? - all we know about star's adopted child

The James Bond actor is a dad to five children


Pierce Brosnan with son Christopher and his late daughter Charlotte© Getty Images
Hannah Hargrave
US Deputy Editor
June 24, 2024
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Pierce Brosnan has made no secret of the importance of family and is a proud dad to four adult sons, Christopher, Sean, Paris and Dylan and his late daughter, Charlotte.

He's been vocal about the "precious" time he has with his kids after Charlotte and his wife, Cassandra, both died from ovarian cancer. 

But sadly, his bond with his oldest son was broken two decades ago and they're said to still be estranged. 

Here's everything we know about Pierce and Christopher's relationship and their personal tragedy and struggles.

Adoption

Christopher was born on November 11, 1972, to Cassandra and Dermot Harris. The couple divorced in 1978 and she married Pierce a year later. 

After Dermot died in 1986, the 007 actor adopted Christopher and his older sister, Charlotte.

Pierce Brosnan with his late wife Cassandra and their son Christopher and late daughter Charlotte© Getty Images
Pierce Brosnan with his late wife Cassandra and their son Christopher and late daughter Charlotte

Pierce and Cassandra went on to have a son together, Sean, who was born in 1983. The family appeared close-knit and often stepped out looking happy at public events together in the early years. 

However, their life took a devastating turn when Cassandra was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She battled the disease for four years before passing away in 1991, leaving Pierce to raise their children as a single dad. This heartbreaking loss affected the entire family, but it had a particularly significant impact on Christopher.

Struggles and estrangement

Pierce Brosnan and his son Christopher are estranged© Getty Images
Pierce and Christopher are estranged

Following his mother's death, Christopher struggled with substance abuse. Despite Pierce's efforts to support him, his addiction escalated over the years.

Pierce spoke about his son's troubles in an interview with Playboy Magazine in 2005 when he said: "Christopher is still very lost. Shockingly so. I pray for him. I think of him. He has tested everybody in this family, but none more so than himself."

Despite multiple attempts at rehabilitation and interventions, Christopher struggled to stay sober and his relationship with his dad was tested to the limits. 

Cut off 

Pierce Brosnan, his late wife Cassandra, their sons Sean and Christopher© Getty Images
Losing his mom was devastating to Christopher - pictured hugging his brother Sean

Pierce made the very difficult decision to cut Christopher off in the hopes it would spur him on to recovery. 

At the time, he said he believed his son "knows how to get out," but that "he doesn't want to."

"You never completely cut them off," he noted. "But I have cut Christopher off. I had to say, 'Go. Get busy living, or get busy dying.' He has my prayers."

Pierce remains hopeful

Irish actor Pierce Brosnan, his wife Australian actress Cassandra Harris (1948-1991) and Harris's children, Charlotte Harris and Christopher Harris, attend the Opening Night performance of 'Cats,' held at the Shubert Theatre in Los Angeles, California, 11th January 1985.  (Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images)© Getty Images
Pierce adopted Christopher and Charlotte

Despite the estrangement, Pierce has never given up hope for his son's recovery. He has consistently expressed his love for him and on Father's Day in 2022, he mentioned Christopher in an Instagram post. 

"My love forever to you dear sons, Paris, Dylan, Sean and Christopher," he wrote. "Thank you deeply for your love on this Father's Day."

Pierce Brosnan with his sons at his Malibu home© Instagram/Keely Shaye Brosnan
Pierce with sons, Dylan, Paris and Sean at his Malibu home

Pierce’s other children have also supported their brother.

In a poignant interview with The Mirror, Pierce reflected on his role as a parent, stating, "You can only take the horse to the water, you can't make it drink. I have reached out to him, and I've done my best. But it's down to him, and I hope he can make it through."

The heartbreaking loss

Pierce Brosnan was married to his late wife Cassandra from 1980 until her death in 1991© Getty
Pierce was married to his late wife Cassandra from 1980 until her death in 1991

Pierce and his family faced further tragedy when Christopher's sister, Charlotte, passed away from ovarian cancer in 2013, the same illness that took their mom.

The loss was another devastating blow for Christopher and his loved ones.

Moving forward

Christopher was photographed in London in 2024© Backgrid
Christopher was photographed in London in 2024

The relationship between Pierce and Christopher is reportedly still strained. Christopher made a rare appearance in London in June when he was photographed running errands in London, but looked downcast as he shopped in the city. 

Pierce continues to focus on his acting career and his other children, including Sean and his two sons, Dylan and Paris, who he shares with his wife, Keely.

They split their time between California and Hawaii.

Pierce's upbringing

Pierce Brosnan and his sons Dylan and Paris pose for a photo shared on Father's Day on Instagram© Instagram
Pierce with sons Dylan and Paris

Pierce has been vocal about his approach to parenthood, given he didn't know his own dad. 

He was raised by his maternal grandparents after his father left when he was a baby and his mom moved to London to for work when Pierce was only four years old.

In an interview with Esquire in 2017, she said: "My fatherly instincts are purely my own.

"They relate back to no one, because there was no one. I only met [my dad] the once. I had a Sunday afternoon with him."

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