After more than four decades in the public eye, rock star Bono has revealed a deeply personal secret and talked about finding forgiveness and peace.
The U2 frontman has a half-brother he has never spoken about before, who was born after his father had an affair while living at his home in Dublin with Bono, his brother Norman and their mother.
Bono describes the discovery and how he finally resolved his rocky relationship with his late father, postal worker Brendan “Bob” Hewson, in a candid radio interview ahead of the release of his memoir, Abandonment.
“I have another that I love and adore,” he told Lauren Laverne on BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Discs this morning. Bono, whose real name is Paul, refers to finding a brother “that I didn’t know I didn’t have…or maybe I had.”
Learning about a half-brother, and a clandestine romance, helped Bono make sense of his father’s behavior at the time of the sudden death of his mother, Iris, when Bono was 14. Her father died in 2001.
“My dad was going through a lot. His head was somewhere else because his heart was somewhere else,” recalls Bono, 62. “I could tell my dad had a deep friendship with this beautiful woman who was part of the family and then they had a child who was kept a secret. Nobody knew.”
When he discovered the truth, Bono questioned his father about their family life. “I asked him ‘did he love my mother?’ He said yes’. And so I asked him ‘how could this have happened?’ and he said, ‘it can’, and he was trying to work things out, trying to do the right thing. He was not apologizing, he was simply stating that these are the facts. I’m at peace with that.
The revelations left Bono with regrets about his teenage years. “I’m sure I was hard to deal with. He was dealing with other things in his life. He was very funny and very funny. But it got difficult,” Bono admits. that I wasn’t there for him,” he told Laverne, before recounting a formal apology which he later delivered to his late father, privately, in a chapel in France.
“There was no one there, I lit a candle and knelt down and just said, ‘Look, I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you, you’ve been through a lot. and please forgive me” and I felt free.”
Bono chooses eight favorite records for the program, including songs by Bob Dylan and his son, Elijah Hewson, 22. business activities in the Netherlands.
He disagrees with criticism over his tax affairs, telling Laverne: ‘Basically there’s a misconception that if you’re tough-minded in your activism, you have to be somehow gentle-minded in your business. It would be immoral to reject these things. It’s actually your fiduciary duty…to control costs. There are many reasons not to like our group and this is not one of them. We pay a lot of taxes and are very proud to pay them. So it’s, like, really?
Recent emergency surgery, coupled with the impact of a previous serious bicycle injury, has changed his attitude towards life and music, Bono told Laverne, making him “more vulnerable.”
He also explains his “poem” to the people of Ukraine, read on St. Patrick’s Day by Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, which sparked mockery on social media.
“I sometimes write limericks for the Paddy’s Day event. It took 10 minutes, it was trying to be a satire, funny and the spokesperson for the house, who is an amazing woman, instead of saying ‘limerick’, said it was a poem and so people thought it was like Seamus Heaney. Bono says.
Arguing that his verse was taken out of context, Bono adds: “I deserve a slap. Every singer in a rock and roll band is going to say the wrong thing. But this story of poems is ridiculous. It was just a limerick.
Acknowledging lifelong struggles with anger management — the legacy, he says, of growing up in a home “with three men yelling at each other” — Bono talks about his pride in pushing for the cancellation of debts in 35 of the world’s poorest countries. He also concedes that he “doesn’t really work without the help of others”, paying tribute to his wife, Ali Stewart, and the other band members.