NEW YORK. — Idris Elba has hit out at accusations that he was paid to announce that he had 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.
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 counter-productive. 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.
“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.
“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.”
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 instant death-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.”
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. 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.
“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. — dailymailuk.