Published On: Wed, Jul 28th, 2021

Joe Bell Discusses Son’s Tragic Death After The Release Of Mark Wahlberg Film

Mark Wahlberg wears a gray suit and matching striped tie.

Mark Wahlberg’s recently-released film, Joe Bell, follows the story of a man fighting against bullying after tragically losing his son, Jadin, to injuries suffered during a suicide attempt in 2013.

According to Bell, Jadin endured intense bullying at La Grande High School in Oregon, where he was openly gay and a member of the cheerleading team.

"They ripped him apart," Bell told Salon in 2013, via PEOPLE of his son’s bullies. "Even when I was in the stands, they made fun of him, called him hateful names."

Joe Bell Couldn’t Eat Or Sleep After Jadin’s Death

Mark Wahlberg wears a navy blazer and red tie.

"There he was, at the football games, cheering his heart out. But he just got abuse," Bell recalled.

Following Jadin’s death, Bell "was broken" and "couldn’t sleep" or eat.

"Everything just felt empty to me," he explained.

Although Bell was completely heartbroken by the tragic death of his child, he ultimately decided, as he shared with The Huffington Post, that "not doing anything is not acceptable."

"[Those who watch and do nothing] are just as guilty. They are saying that it is acceptable," he continued.

Joe Bell Tragically Died While Traveling The County With An Anti-Bullying Mission

Mark Wahlberg wears a gray plaid blazer and blue tie.

After deciding to go on an excursion across the country, speaking to anyone would listen about bullying, Bell chronicled his journey on Facebook.

"I miss my son Jadin with all my heart and soul," he wrote on Facebook in May 2013. "I know you’re with me on this walk."

Then, in a shocking turn of events, Bell was hit and killed by a tractor-trailer as he traveled on two-lane road in Colorado.

Prior to his horrific death, Bell did what he could do express his support for son Jadin and all he went through.

Joe Bell Was Proud Of His Son For Coming Out

Mark Wahlberg wears a gray hoodie and silver cross.

"I was proud of him for it," Bell told Salon. "For how brave it was, to do that, to be open about his identity In a small town, a town the size of La Grande, what Jadin did took enormous courage. And I’m not just saying that because he was my son. But it destroyed him."

After filming the movie, Wahlberg, who plays the role of Bell, revealed that he’s received tons of heartwarming messages from parents of LGBTQ youth who have applauded him for making the film.

Mark Wahlberg Has Encouraged The Sharing Of More Stories

Mark Wahlberg wears a black T-shirt and beaded necklace.

"Powerful messages — thank you to Paul and the others tagged who have reached out," Wahlberg wrote in the caption of an Instagram post. "We love hearing how you’ve been moved by Joe Bell’s mission to honor his son and end bullying."

Wahlberg continued on in his Instagram post by encouraging his fans and follower to share their own stories with the hashtag #ThankYouJoeBell.

Joe Bell, which also stars Reid Miller as Jadin, Connie Britton as Bell’s wife, Lola, and Gary Sinise, is in theaters now.


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Joe Bell Discusses Son’s Tragic Death After The Release Of Mark Wahlberg Film