Frank Sheeran, who was infamous for ‘painting houses’ by spattering victims’ blood on the walls, was allegedly a ‘distant uncle’ to Shape Of You singer Ed, 28.
Stephen, 46, who plays fellow gangster Anthony Provenzano in the popular new film, insisted that the unlikely connection was genuine.
Unexpected link: Ed Sheeran is related to the mobster played by Robert De Niro in Martin Scorsese’s new film The Irishman, according to the film’s co-star Stephen Graham
‘That’s what Ed said, he says it’s his distant uncle.’
Ed had previously had previously highlighted the pair’s shared name when the film was first announced, though he did not appear to be aware of any family connection.
He wrote on social media: ‘Robert De Niro is playing a top Irish gangster in a new Martin Scorsese film. The gangster he is playing is called Frank Sheeran. True story.’
Scary guy: Frank Sheeran, who was infamous for ‘painting houses’ by spattering victims’ blood on the walls, was allegedly a ‘distant uncle’ to Shape Of You singer Ed, 28
Irishman Frank died of cancer in 2003 before the story of his life was told the book I Heard You Paint Houses by former prosecutor Charles Brandt, who interviewed the real-life Sheeran.
In what is an adaptation of the book, Scorsese’s film details the life of mob hit man Sheeran.
It depicts him as an old man reflecting on the role he played in the disappearance of union labor leader James Hoffa (Al Pacino) and his connections to the Bufalino crime family.
Wow: Stephen, 46, who plays fellow gangster Anthony Provenzano in the popular new film, insisted the unlikely connection was genuine (Pictured: Stephen with Scorsese last month)
Hi-tech: Robert De Niro, 76, played Sheeran in all the scenes in the widely acclaimed new film and was digitally de-aged for those depicting him as a younger man
Sheeran alleged that he murdered Hoffa by shooting him in the back of the head twice in a house in Detroit.
Before his revelation the disappearance of Hoffa had been one of America’s greatest unsolved crime mysteries.
Hoffa’s murder was only one of dozens of shocking killings which Sheeran admitted — many on Hoffa’s orders.
De Niro, 76, played the role of the gangster in all the scenes and was digitally de-aged for those which showed him as a younger man.
Among other killings which Sheeran claimed to have committed included the notorious killing of Joe Gallo, a Mafia boss, who died while celebrating his birthday in a restaurant.
Sheeran said he developed his murderous instincts and his callous disregard for taking human life while serving in the U.S. Army in North Africa and Italy during World War II.
He said he spent 411 days in combat — far more than most other U.S. soldiers ever did.
He told Brandt he took part in summary executions of German POWs, and not only frontline soldiers but even German army mule drivers.
Shooting: Sheeran (right) alleged he murdered union leader James Hoffa by shooting him in the back of the head twice in a house in Detroit (Pictured: Sheeran and Hoffa)
He claimed he ‘had no hesitation in doing what I had to do’.
The film about his life has wowed audiences and has become Scorsese’s most popular film by garnering a perfect score on review website Rotten Tomatoes.
The popular website – which aggregates official film reviews to give each movie a percentage score – awarded the film a 100 per cent rating based on reviews from 80 different publications.
It’s extremely difficult to attain a 10 per cent ‘Certified Fresh’ rating on the website, as a single negative review will undercut a perfect score.
The film has even superseded Scorcese’s most famous film, Taxi Driver, which holds a 98 per cent rating.
The Irishman has also come out on top against the director’s other beloved movies, Goodfellas and Raging Bull – each of which hold a 96 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Impressive: The film has wowed audiences and has become Scorsese’s most popular film by garnering a perfect score on review website Rotten Tomatoes
The unexpected link between Ed and Sheeran comes after the singer said back in August he was taking a break from performing.
Ed reportedly said at his final show: ‘As you may or not know, I’ve been on the Divide tour for over two years now and this is the last day of the whole thing.’
‘There is something very bittersweet about it. I love that you guys are here and we are ending it in Ipswich. This is my last gig for probably 18 months,’ The Sun reported.
However, he did get back on stage last month to sing Backstreet Boys and his hit Galway Girl at a Japanese Karoke bar following England’s World Cup final defeat to South Africa.
Starting off with his hit Galway Girl, it wasn’t long until Ed further delved into his childhood with Backstreet Boys’ I Want It That Way.
After entertaining the crowd, Ed decided to don a Charizard onesie and happily posed for selfies with over-excited fans before enjoying a large glass of wine.
Partying hard: The link between Ed and the gangster comes after the singer got back on stage last month to sing Backstreet Boys and his hit Galway Girl at a Japanese Karoke bar