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Bono reveals his “beautiful wife’s” father had an affair with his aunt Barbara

Released: 7:40 p.m. EDT, Oct. 22, 2022 | Updated: 7:45 p.m. EDT, Oct. 22, 2022

Rock star Bono has revealed that one of his cousins ​​is actually his half brother.

The shocking revelation comes four months after the U2 frontman first revealed he had a sibling whose parentage was a family secret for decades.

Bono appeared on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs in June and told presenter Lauren Laverne that his half-brother, whom he didn’t name at the time, was born after an affair between his father Bob and a “beautiful woman” in the 1960s.

Now he has revealed that the woman was his aunt Barbara and that their child is Scott Rankin, a stock market analyst and public official.

Bono’s mother, Iris, died in 1974 when the musician was 14, unaware of the infidelity.

Bono's parents, Bob and Iris Hewson, at their wedding. Bono's mother died in 1974 when the musician was just 14 years old. His father died years later in 2001

Bono’s parents, Bob and Iris Hewson, at their wedding. Bono’s mother died in 1974 when the musician was just 14 years old. His father died years later in 2001

Barbara, who still lives in Dublin, was married to Iris’ brother Jack, who died in 2020.

The exposure of Bob and Iris’ affair in conservative, Catholic Ireland at the time would have had potentially life-threatening consequences, which is why she was buried for decades instead.

And Bono – real name Paul Hewson – only found out about his father’s devastating secret in 2000, a year before Bob died of cancer.

In an interview with The Irish Times yesterday, Bono, 62, opened up about his affections for Mr Rankin, a father of three in his early 50s, and recounted how he had suspected they were more than cousins.

Scott Rankin (pictured) is Bono's half-brother, a stock market analyst and civil servant

Scott Rankin (pictured) is Bono’s half-brother, a stock market analyst and civil servant

“We felt like brothers long before we knew we were,” he said. “I love Scott and his mother Barbara. I must have known something was wrong and I must have blamed my father for making my mother miserable the way children pick things up.

Bono told Desert Island Discs that knowing his brother’s existence helped him understand his father’s behavior at the time of Iris’ sudden death.

“My dad went through a lot,” he told the program.

“His head was elsewhere because his heart was elsewhere.

Bono didn't find out that Scott was his half-brother until 2000, a year before his father died of cancer. Here the musician (right) is pictured with his father (centre) and brother Norman (left).

Bono didn’t find out that Scott was his half-brother until 2000, a year before his father died of cancer. Here the musician (right) is pictured with his father (centre) and brother Norman (left).

“It’s a very close family and I could tell that my father had a deep friendship with this beautiful woman who was part of the family and then they had a child and it was all kept secret.”

Mr Rankin’s career could not be further from Bono’s – he is said to have worked for Davy Group, Ireland’s largest stockbroker, for more than 15 years before becoming a civil servant in the Irish Treasury.

Olive Bryan, Iris’ younger sister, seemed distressed when approached by this newspaper following the revelation of Desert Island Discs. “I’d rather not talk about it because it’s way too personal,” she said.

Trevor Stunt, another of Bono’s cousins, said: “Bono and the half brother have a great relationship.

It’s a positive thing, there’s no animosity.’ He added that some family members were in the dark about the affair until shortly before the Desert Island Discs episode aired.

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