U2’s Bono reveals how he first discovered he has a half-brother

"I have another brother, whom I love and adore, who I didn't know I had"

U2 frontman Bono has opened up about the moment in 2000 when he first learned that he has a half-brother.

The singer spoke about the family discovery in a new interview with BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.

“I have another brother, whom I love and adore, who I didn’t know I had,” he told host Lauren Laverne, before explaining that his mother Iris, who died in 1974, did not know her husband had had a child with another woman.

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“It’s a very close family,” Bono said. “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.”

After Bono found out about his half-brother, he spoke to his father about it prior to the latter’s death in 2001. “I asked him, did he love my mother, and he said yes,” Bono recalled. “And I said, ‘How could this happen?’ He said, ‘It can’, and that he was trying to put it right.

Bono. Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Bono (Picture: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

“He wasn’t apologising, he was just stating: these are the facts. And I’m at peace with it.”

Asked whether his mother knew, Bono replied: “No, nobody knew. My father was obviously going through a lot, but partly his head was elsewhere because his heart was elsewhere.”

Bono, who has another older brother called Norman, went on to describe his relationship with his father as “complicated”.

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“I’m sure I was hard to deal with. And he was coping with a lot. He didn’t know quite what was going on. And I subsequently understood he was coping with other stuff.”

In November, Bono will publish his memoir Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story.

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