Legendary rock frontman Chester Bennington was found dead inside a Los Angeles residence on July 20th. According to TMZ, his death was the result of a suicide by hanging. He is survived by his wife of 12 years, Talinda Ann Bentley, 40, and his six children.
His wife’s Twitter account appears to have been hacked late Thursday, with tweets about her husband’s death showing up for about 30 minutes, before they were deleted. You can read more about that here.
Bennington was alone in his home when he died, his wife and family were elsewhere. The medical examiner’s office has yet to provide any additional details, and a full autopsy report isn’t yet available.
Bennington, 41, is best known as the lead singer of Linkin Park, and later Dead by Sunrise. He and bandmates Mike Shinoda were at the forefront of the nu metal and rap metal genre in the 2000s.
Here’s what you need to know about his wife, Talinda:
1. Bentley is a Former Model Who Posed for ‘Playboy’ Magazine
Bentley was born in Phoenix, Arizona, on September 18, 1976. She worked a number of odd jobs during her teen years, including a waitress, a trainer, and a school teacher, according to LP Theory. During her time as a teacher, she taught science to 6th to 8th grade students. She eventually found success as a model in the 2000s, appearing in the College Girls section of Playboy magazine.
Bentley also attended Los Angeles Music Academy, graduating in 1995, according to her social media pages.
Bentley’s modeling skills brought her a considerable amount of success between 2000 and 2004, where she began a regular in Playboy‘s spring issues, according to the Linkin Park fansite. It was during this time that Bentley was introduced to Chester Bennington. According to Bentley’s bio on Answer.com, the couple met through a shared friend, musician, Ryan Shuck, and began dating in December 2004.
Bentley and Bennington were married the following year. In the post above, the singer pens a touching poem to his wife.
2. The Couple Got Married in 2005 & Had 3 Children
Bennington married Bentley shortly after his divorce from his first wife, Samantha Marie Olit. In a 2009 interview with Bullz-Eye, Bennington discussed how Bentley helped him overcome his depression at the time:
“My divorce was one of the worst and best things to ever happen to me in my life. Everything I had worked so hard for was gone after we were through. Everything! I was wiped out and it was tough on my ego to let go of all of that,” he said, “I went from living in a huge house to a tiny apartment in Santa Monica. I was so drained and bitter during that time.”
“But I eventually learned from it and moved on,” he added, “I then fell in love again and I got help facing my demons… When I met Talinda, I knew she was the one pretty instantly. She moved into my place after a week and a half or something like that.”
The couple had three children together, Tyler Lee Bennington, 11, and Lila & Lilly Bennington, both of whom are 6 and can be seen above. Last month, Bentley tweeted a photo of the couple with the caption: “Happy Father’s Day to the man of my dreams. You are the best Daddy ever!!”
3. Bentley Was Targeted By a Cyberstalker in 2006
Bentley and Bennington were the victims of cyberstalking in 2006. Wired reports that Bentley received an anonymous email in March of that year that read, “I’m very happy for you and Chester.” The emails persisted, and the couple began getting phone calls from an unknown number. “Someone called me 15 times between 4 am and 4:30,” Bennington told Wired.
One such call was between Bentley and the alleged cyberstalker. “I’m watching you,” said the voice on the other line. Bentley said “Whatever,” and the voice retorted by calling her a whore, according to Wired.
The mind games intensified as the emails began to list their daily routines in graphic detail, and Bentley discovered that some of the passwords on her computer had been changed. “This person is hacking into everything,” Talinda recalled in an interview with Wired.
She said she thought, “Are they watching me now? Are they here?” The former model added “I didn’t know who to trust. I literally only trusted my husband. Our family and closest friends were all suspects.”
After a year, the cyberstalker was discovered to be a man named Devon Townsend. USA Today reports that Townsend was found guilty of tampering with the couple’s email, as well as sending threatening messages, and was sentenced to two years in prison in 2008.
4. Bennington Dedicated the Song ‘Give Me Your Name’ to Bentley
Bennington founded the band Dead by Sunrise in 2005, which consisted of him, Elias Andrea, Brandon Belksy, Amir Derakh, and longtime friend Ryan Shuck. They released their debut album Out of Ashes in 2009, and one song in particular, “Give Me Your Name,” was written as a tribute to Bentley.
“Give me a smile / Give me your name girl / Give me a sign to get my way / And get what I came for / Because you don’t come easy,” goes the opening verse, alluding to the struggles that Bennington had after his divorce.
Given that Bentley helped him face his demons, lyrics like “And then I fall into the ocean (into the ocean) / Inside of your eyes / Taking me deeper / Where all the pain dies” are especially touching and intimate. Listen to the full song above.
The only post currently visible on Bentley’s Instagram is a photo her and Bennington’s anniversary in January. The caption reads: “HAPPY ANNIVERSARY” with several kissing emojis. It is unclear whether or not Bentley deleted her other posts after Bennington’s death.
5. Bentley Helped Raise Bennington’s Children From Past Relationships
Bennington had one child, a son named Jamie, with former girlfriend Elka Brand. Jamie was born on May 12, 1996. He also decided to adopt Brand’s son Isaiah, a process that was finalized in 2006. Isaiah has spent the last decade living with Bennington and his stepmother, Bentley.
Bennington had another son was with his first wife Samantha Marie Olit. The two married in 1996, after his split from Brand, and they welcomed Draven Sebastian six years later on April 19, 2002. The couple eventually divorced in 2005.
He remained a committed father while fronting numerous bands, and even left his tenure with Stone Temple Pilots in 2015 to spend more time with his kids. “When I leave on tour with Linkin Park, they’re like, ‘Okay, we’ll see you when you get back.’ They understand what I’m doing, but when I would leave with STP they would cry,” he told Q104.3, “I started realizing, I think they thought I was choosing to do that over being at home with them, because I would be done with Linkin Park and coming home.”
It was just too hard on my family,” he added, “So I basically was like, you know what, I’ve got to stop being selfish here. When I’m not doing Linkin Park, I’ve got to be home with my babies.”