An Audience Member Insulted Her Down Syndrome Son, So This Actress Took Extreme Action On Live TV

At 49 years old, Russian actor Evelina Bledans was pregnant with her third child. But when she appeared on live T.V. to talk about it, one audience member had something to say. When that something turned into insulting her Down syndrome son, things got heated while the nation looked on.

Bledans was born in April 1969 in Yalta, a town on the Crimean coast of the Black Sea. Of Ukrainian and Latvian parentage, as a child she had a passion for the performing arts and took acting and dance classes. As a teenager, she studied under the guidance of Russian director and actor Igor Vladimirov.

Upon graduating with honors in 1990, Bledans headed to America. There, her performance arts studies continued at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Connecticut. After a string of small acting roles, she relocated to Odessa in the Ukraine where her career began to flourish.

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Bledans made her name as a comedy actress and became somewhat of a pinup across Russia. As her profile grew, so did her portfolio. Today she is known not only as an actor on stage and screen, but also as a writer, T.V. host and music artist.

In addition to the actor’s success, there’s also been drama in Bledans’ personal life. In 1993 while four months pregnant, she married director Yuriy Stytskovskiy. But in June that year, she was attacked in a park near her parents’ home and her baby was stillborn. Unable to overcome the tragedy, the pair divorced two months after their lavish wedding.

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Bledans married Dmitriy shortly after her first marriage broke down, and in July 1994 gave birth to her first son, Nikolay. But that relationship didn’t last either, and in 2010 the couple divorced after 13 years together. The actress wed again about a year later, however.

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In December 2011, Bledans married producer Aleksandr Semin. Then, in April the following year she gave birth to her second son, Semyon Syomin. His parents, however, call him “Sunny”, which is a common nickname for children who, like him, are born with Down syndrome.

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Despite knowing about some of the difficulties of raising a child with Down syndrome, Bledans was determined to make the best of the situation. She took classes shortly after Sunny was born to learn how best to cope with his condition. And within a few years the actor was using her platform to inspire others in the same position.

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However, Bledans’ marriage to Semin wasn’t to last and they divorced in 2016. And yet, despite the challenges in raising a child with Down syndrome, the actor didn’t feel her family was complete yet. She had always dreamed of having a baby girl, and she wasn’t going to let her age get in the way.

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Indeed, the likelihood of conceiving only decreases as a woman gets older, and Bledans is now 49. There is around a two-in-three chance that a 40-year-old woman will have difficulty getting pregnant. And with the actress pushing 50, she knew the odds on a natural conception were slim.

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So instead Bledans opted for a more formal method of conception – I.V.F., or in vitro fertilization. And while the treatment was successful, there were still risks involved. For example, at age 40 there is a one in 100 chance of a child developing Down syndrome. Was the actor prepared for another “Sunny”?

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Pregnancy later in life is a subject around which there is much debate. Indeed, it appears the same is true across the world. In fact, it was the topic of Russian talk show Live, hosted by Andrey Malakhov and broadcast to millions on the country’s main TV station.

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With child number three on the way and a high social profile, Bledans was invited onto the show to talk about her late-in-life pregnancy. Broadcast in front of a studio audience, spectators are encouraged to interact with the show’s guests. And one woman definitely had something to say.

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Elena Lebedeva works as the head of a theater in Russia. On this day, however, she was in the audience for the Live show. When handed the microphone, she said, “It is dangerous to give birth between the ages of 35 and 40, so what about 49? What were you thinking?”

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But Lebedeva wasn’t finished yet. She continued, “Do you want to give birth to another sick child? Will you give birth to another child with Down syndrome? Nobody needs such a child, not society and not you.” Not everyone, it seems, was as excited for Bledans’ pregnancy as the actor herself.

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Bledans tried to reason with the woman, but Lebedeva was having none of it. The theater manager continued to voice her opinion quite forcefully to the 49-year-old, who was sitting on a couch some distance away on the studio’s stage. She seemed incredibly calm under such fierce criticism from a stranger.

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But then Bledans stood up. Despite being in the early stages of pregnancy, she wore a tailored white dress paired with stiletto heels and showed no signs of a baby bump. Remaining composed, the actress strode across the studio floor and into the audience to address Lebedeva face to face.

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Sensing tensions were rising, one man, identified as Vladimir Dolinskiy, tried to diffuse the situation. As Bledans fronted up to her critic, he suggested it would be a good idea for Lebedeva to leave the studio. But she wasn’t budging. And still somehow a picture of calm, suddenly Bledans snapped.

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“You wretch,” Bledans said. “I will smack you! This is for my child, understand? You can say anything about me but leave my children alone!” And with that, she slapped the woman who sat in front of her several times. The whole thing went out live to millions of Russians.

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Bledans had taken exception to Lebedeva describing her son as “sick” and wasn’t about to stand for it. Then another audience member delivered the ultimate comeback. She said, “Andrey, as a doctor I want to say when this woman gets into my hands with an illness… I will tell her personally, that nobody needs her.”

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