Rock star Bono has revealed that one of his cousins is actually his half-brother.
The shocking revelation comes four months after the U2 striker first revealed that he has a sibling whose father has been 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, who was not named at the time, was born after an affair between his father, Bob, and a “beautiful woman” in the 1960s.
He has now revealed that the woman was his aunt Barbara and that their child is Scott Rankin, a stock market analyst and government employee.
Bono’s mother, Iris, died in 1974 when the musician was 14, unaware of his infidelity.
Bono’s parents, Bob and Iris Hewson, at their wedding. Bono’s mother died in 1974 when the musician was only 14 years old. His father passed away years later in 2001
Barbara, who still lives in Dublin, was married to Iris’ brother Jack, who died in 2020.
Exposing Bob and Iris’ relationship in conservative Catholic Ireland at the time could have had life-threatening consequences, which is why she was buried for decades instead.
And Bono – real name Paul Hewson – only discovered his father’s devastating secret in 2000, a year before Bob died of cancer.
In an interview with the Irish Times yesterday, Bono, 62, spoke of his feelings for Mr Rankin, a father of three in his early fifties, and recounted how he suspected they were more than cousins.
Scott Rankin (pictured) is Bono’s half-brother, stock market analyst and government employee
“We felt like brothers long before we knew we were,” he said. “I love Scott and his mum Barbara. I must have known something was wrong and I should blame my dad for making my mum miserable with the way the kids pick things up.
Bono told the 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 has been through a lot,” he told the show.
“His head was somewhere else because his heart was somewhere else.
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 shown with his father (center) and brother Norman (left).
“It’s a very close family and I can tell that my parents had a deep friendship with this beautiful woman who was part of the family and then they had a baby and it was all a secret.”
Rankin’s career couldn’t be further from Bono – he was said to have worked for Davey Group, Ireland’s largest stockbroker, for more than 15 years before becoming a civil servant in the Irish Treasury.
Olive Bryan, Eris’ younger sister, seemed upset when this newspaper contacted her after the Desert Island tablets were revealed. “I prefer not to talk about it because it is very personal,” she said.
One of Bono’s cousins, Trevor Stant, said: “Bono and the half-brother have a wonderful relationship.
It’s a positive thing, there is no hostility. He added that some family members remained in the dark about the issue until shortly before the Desert Island Discs episode aired.