Chester Bennington’s Widow Slams Coroner’s Office, ‘TMZ’ For ‘Sensationalizing’ Alleged Past Suicide Attempt

Frazer HarrisonGetty Images

Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington’s widow, Talinda Bennington, was not happy after a leading gossip publication shared details of Bennington’s alleged suicide attempt from November 2016, about eight months before the singer killed himself by hanging at the age of 41.

Citing sources “familiar with the investigation,” TMZ wrote on Wednesday that there was a redacted statement in Chester Bennington’s autopsy report, one where Talinda discussed her husband’s November 2016 suicide attempt when speaking to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s investigator. At that time, Chester reportedly got drunk on a “large quantity” of alcohol, hogtied himself, and attempted to drown himself by throwing himself into his swimming pool. Bennington, however, had a “change of heart,” freeing himself from his restraints and climbing out of the pool.

TMZ also noted that Talinda Bennington’s lawyer, Ed McPherson, had asked on Friday that Chester’s November 2016 suicide attempt be redacted from his autopsy report. The publication added that the Coroner’s lawyer initially said no to McPherson, but relented after he insisted that the information should be protected because of “marital privilege.”

Shortly after TMZ published its report on Chester Bennington’s autopsy, his widow took to Twitter to call out both the gossip publication and the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office for revealing details about conversations that were supposed to be private for the sake of the couple’s children. According to rock music news site Blabbermouth, Talinda Bennington tweeted that the TMZ report was especially stressful, as she supposedly had to take her 11-year-old son out of school to explain “what really happened” to his father in November 2016.

“Fun fact- When your husband dies by suicide, the LA County Coroner’s office will PARAPHRASE your private conversation with them to dramatize and sensationalize the story and then SCUMBAG FILTH like TMZ post it for the world to feast on. It was redacted to protect all the kids!!”

As previously reported, Chester Bennington’s autopsy, which was released on Tuesday, revealed that he died with a small amount of alcohol in his system, but no trace of drugs. The autopsy stated Bennington’s official cause of death as suicide by hanging, adding that the Linkin Park singer had a “history of suicidal ideation.” Also noted was an account of Chester drunkenly threatening to kill himself in 2006, before leaving his home with a gun; unlike the alleged November 2016 suicide attempt, this account was not redacted in his autopsy report.

As of Thursday morning, Talinda Bennington still had a few things to say about the “salacious and irresponsible” TMZ report, and tweeted a link to an article from The Mighty, which criticized the webloid for its “intrusive” coverage of her late husband Chester’s suicide. The publication opined that TMZ “crossed the line from irresponsible to cruel” by publishing information that Chester Bennington’s widow wanted to keep private, while also citing tweets from fans who felt that the coverage was unnecessary, and that the Bennington family deserves the right to their privacy. The Mighty’s op-ed also covered the reaction of several Twitter users, who took to tweeting the hashtag “#F***YouTMZ,” echoing what Talinda Bennington did on Wednesday afternoon as a response to the TMZ report.