‘Why my marriage to U2’s Bono works’


Ali Hewson, wife of rock star Bono, said t that their marriage is successful because they allow each other to chase their goals.

“Our marriage has worked because we like each other, because we talk to each other, and we are passionate about what we do.

“We allow each other to pursue our goals,” she said.

They are also working hard to ensure their four children are not spoiled by the trappings of fame.

Despite U2 rocking the world with huge album sales and Bono entering the political arena, the family still lives in relative peace in their home city of Dublin.

The tightly knit couple, who have been married for 23-years, are quietly raising Jordan, 15, Eve, 13, Elijah, five and three-year-old John Abraham to appreciate how lucky they are.

“We also have two dogs and a rock band,” said 42-year-old Hewson, who has campaigned steadily on political issues behind the scenes of the high-profile band.

“We have taken them to the townships in South Africa. And although they have much more than Bono and I did growing up – Bono’s dad was in the postal service my mum and dad had an electrical business – we don’t spoil them,” said Hewson, who has been shot at during missions to Sarajevo and El Salvador.


It is similar trips to hard hit regions, like Ethiopia some 20-years-ago for Band Aid, that have inspired some of her campaigns.

Another visit to the devastated regions of Africa prompted her latest venture – an ethical clothing range.

“I’ve never been interested in fashion,” she told London’s Evening Standard newspaper.

“But when Bono came back from Africa about three years ago, he had seen how many garment factories were being closed down.”

She said the clothes were carefully crafted in her new ethical venture, Edun, and will be sold through Selfridges.

The campaigner, who began fundraising for the children of Chernobyl in 1993 and left their offspring with Bono to drive an aid ambulance to Belarus, personally inspects every small factory that makes the clothes in Africa, Peru, India and Tunisia.

As a mother, she could not wear clothes made by hard-pressed children, she said.

They have taken their children on many trips, such as Sarajevo, where U2 played a concert to help the war stricken region.

Their eldest, Jordan, said: “Dad is always going away, but he always comes back.”

At the moment U2 – who all met in school after drummer Larry Mullens stuck up a notice – are rehearsing in Mexico for their American tour.

But family ties are not far behind with the whole gang, plus tutors, joining them next month.

Hewson said that Bono, whom she calls `B’, phones all the time – one of his music hits The Sweetest Thing was born after he missed her birthday.

She disclosed that after the band “took off” in the 1980s she feared she might lose him.

But they sat down and talked it through.

Music continues to run in the family, with Jordan on piano and Eve wreaking havoc on the drums in their Killiney homestead.

Jordan joked: “He wants us to turn it down, but he will never ask us too. He knows that would be so not cool.”

The couple, who met in school when Hewson was a 12-year-old, have always taken world problems to heart.

“Even at school, Bono and I would talk about what was wrong with the world,” she said. “We grew up hearing about famine. It’s part of being Irish.”

Bono has recently been meeting with world leaders, including Tony Blair and George W Bush over his long-running campaign to cancel the crippling debt repayments that are bringing Africa to it’s knees.

Hewson, who studied for a degree in political scene in the 1980s as U2 gathered steam, said he is unfazed by such high-profile meetings.

“He has had more than 20 years of living with people’s problems,” she said, adding: “Music is his first love.”

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