Bono reveals details of secret brother who he 'loves and adores'

Bono reveals details of secret brother who he 'loves and adores'

The 62-year-old Dublin native told host Lauren Laverne that Iris was unaware of the relationship that Bob had with another woman before she died. Picture: Amanda Benson/BBC Radio 4/PA Wire

U2 lead singer Bono discovered he had another brother 22 years ago, after learning his late father Bob Hewson had a relationship with another woman.

The frontman and humanitarian told BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs that he is “at peace” with the situation, which he found out in 2000, the year before his father died.

His mother Iris died in 1974 when Bono was just 14, and the singer, whose real name is Paul Hewson, admitted he had a “complicated” relationship with Bob.

The 62-year-old Dublin native told host Lauren Laverne that Iris was unaware of the relationship that Bob had with another woman before she died, and that he has a relationship with his brother that “I love and adore”.

“It's a very close family, and I could tell my father had a deep friendship with this gorgeous woman, who's part of the family, and then they had a child. And this was all kept secret,” he said.

He spoke of how he and Bob dealt with the revelations.

“I asked him, did he love my mother, and he said yes. And I said, how could this happen, and he said 'it can', and that he was trying to put it right. He wasn't apologising, he was just stating, these are the facts. And I'm at peace with it,” he said.

“Nobody knew. My father was obviously going through a lot, but partly his head was elsewhere because his heart was elsewhere."

He said he and Bob’s relationship only healed after his father died.

“I am sure I was hard to deal with. He was coping with other stuff in his life. He was very droll and very funny. But it got rough. I feel like I wasn’t there for him,” he said, as he spoke of being in a chapel in France, where he made a formal apology to his father in the years after he died.

“There was nobody there, I lit a candle and I got on my knees and I just said ‘look I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you, you went through a lot and please forgive me’ and I felt free.” 

On criticism of how U2 can claim to be humanitarian while looking to minimise tax obligations, Bono said: “At the root is a false idea that if you are tough-minded in your activism you somehow have to be soft-minded in your business. It would be immoral to be dismissive of those things. It is actually your fiduciary duty … to control costs. There are lot of reasons not to like our band and this is not one of them. We pay a lot of tax and are very proud to pay tax. So it is, like, really?”

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