Fred Durst Pens Emotional Letter to ‘Courageous’ Late Friend Chester Bennington

Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit performs on stage at the SSE Arena on December 16, 2016 in London, England.
Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit performs on stage at the SSE Arena on December 16, 2016 in London, England. Matthew Baker/Getty Images

Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst penned an emotional letter remembering his late friend Chester Bennington just 24 hours after he learned of the Linkin Park singer’s death on Friday, July 21. In the letter, published by Variety on Tuesday, July 25, Durst recalls his “courageous” pal.

“I can say so many wonderful things about the Chester I knew. He had a way of making anyone he spoke to feel heard, understood and significant,” Durst wrote. “His aura and spirit were contagious and empowering. Often those types of people have so much pain and torture inside that the last thing they want is to contaminate or break the spirit of others.”

He continued: “He would go out of his way to make sure you knew he truly cares. As real and transparent as our conversations would be, he was always the one projecting light on the shadows. In my last conversation with him, he was holding his two cute puppies and giving me the most selfless and motivational compliments in regards to Limp Bizkit and myself and thanking me for paving the path for bands like Linkin Park.”

The Limp Bizkit frontman concluded his letter by remembering the last time he had spoken with Bennington, whose death was ruled suicide by hanging. 

Fred Durst and Chester Bennington in 2003.
Fred Durst and Chester Bennington in 2003. Theo Wargo/WireImage

“I told him if it weren’t for him and his voice and his words, this genre would never have reached the masses and affected so many lives. I thanked him for being so courageous and humble and for always being such a gentleman. We laughed and hugged and told jokes as if there would always be a tomorrow for us to meet again,” he wrote. “I want to hug him now and let him know that we all experience our own pain and deal with it our own ways. I know his torture is unique to him, but I would always be here to listen and help in any way I can. But I won’t get that hug and that moment now, which makes me so sad.”

As previously reported, Bennington was found dead at his residence by an employee in the upstairs area of his home in the Palos Verdes Estates neighborhood of Los Angeles on Thursday, July 20. He was 41. On Monday, July 24, the Los Angeles County coroner confirmed to Us that Bennington’s death was ruled a suicide by hanging. 

Chester Bennington of Linkin Park performs at The O2 Arena on July 3, 2017 in London, England.
Chester Bennington of Linkin Park performs at The O2 Arena on July 3, 2017 in London, England. Burak Cingi/Redferns

The singer had been vocal about suffering from depression and struggling with alcohol following his divorce from ex-wife Samantha Marie Olit.

“The difficult part was losing all my money, starting my life over and having to pay the person I didn’t want to be around in the first place,” he said in a 2009 interview. “I felt like my life’s work had been given away. I drank myself to the point where I couldn’t leave the house and I couldn’t function. I wanted to kill myself.”

If you or anyone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 to be connected to a local crisis center for confidential emotional support. 

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