Chester Bennington, the lead singer for Linkin Park, died tragically of suicide today. He leaves behind not only a large immediately family — a loving wife and six children — but also three siblings. He had two half-sisters and a half-brother, Brian Bennington.
Here’s everything you need to know about his family.
1. His Mother Was a Nurse and His Dad Was a Police Detective
Chester Bennington was born in Phoenix on March 20, 1976. His mother, Susan Elaine Johnson, was a nurse and his dad, Lee Russell Bennington, was a police detective whose work focused on child abuse cases. While Chester was growing up, his dad often had to take double shifts, which left him feeling like he really didn’t have anyone to talk to.
Chester once shared that when he was only seven or eight, an older male friend started molesting him. The friend was only a few years older than he was, he said. The assaults continued until he was 13.
2. His Father Got Custody of Him When He Was Eleven
When Chester was only 11 years old, his parents divorced. His dad got full custody, which was particularly rare for fathers back in that time period. Because his dad worked so many shifts, Chester felt alone. He said it was a very difficult time for him and he just wanted to run away.
When Chester turned 17, he moved in with his mom. When she realized he was doing drugs, she banned him from leaving the house. In 2011, he said that he was completely sober and wouldn’t be doing drugs or drinking alcohol again because he didn’t want to be that person anymore.
3. Chester Bennington Has a Half-Brother and Two Half-Sisters
Chester has an older half-brother and two older half-sisters. His two sisters have stayed out of the spotlight. He said that growing up, his older brother and sister left home early and his other sister just wasn’t around much. But he and his brother appeared to be much closer as adults. In fact, when Brian Bennington started his Twitter account, he called it @ChestersBro.
4. Chester’s Brother, Brian Bennington, Is a Police Officer
It seems that once they were older, Chester and his brother, Brian, had a positive relationship. When Brian first joined Twitter, Chester shared his brother’s new account with the world.
Brian hasn’t posted on Twitter since 2010, but he was pretty active for a while. He would sometimes talk about their family or about his experiences on the job.
5. Chester Bennington Leaves Behind Six Children
Chester had a large, loving family. He leaves behind six kids. He and his wife Talinda Bentley had three children together: Tyler Lee and twin daughters, Lily and Lila Bennington (pictured above.)
His son, Jamie Bennington, was born to him and Elka Brand in 1996.
He adopted Brand’s son, Isaiah, in 2006.
He and his first wife, Samantha Marie Olit, had a child together in 2002: Draven Sebastian Bennington.
Bennington was also a godfather to one of Chris Cornell’s children.