On Sunday, Linkin Park and Bravo fans were in for a shock when they saw Chester Bennington on Shahs of Sunset. The late singer, who died in July at the age of 41 after committing suicide, made an unexpected cameo on the reality show. Not only is he seen multiple times near the end of the episode, but he is also heard saying to his friend and Shahs star, Asa Soltan, "I can't wait to see the film."
His remark is in regard to a video Soltan made after traveling to Israel with the rest of the Shahs cast for the current season. Her video was first shown during a party she held, which was attended by both Chester and his wife, Talinda Bennington. According to Variety, the party took place in either late November or early December 2016.
Soltan appeared on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen Sunday and opened up about her late friend. After Cohen asked the Bravolebrity if that was indeed Chester, she replied, "That was. It just breaks my heart, Andy." She later added, "Him, Talinda, his wife, and Jermaine [Jackson, her longtime boyfriend] and myself were really good friends. ... He was prolific and an incredible soul. He was an amazing person."
Viewers were beyond surprised to see the musician. Many even took to Twitter, where they also expressed their heartache upon seeing him. Here are just a few of the reactions:
As someone who watched the episode and saw Chester, it was definitely heartbreaking to see him in the company of loved ones and seemingly having a good time at the party. It's beyond sad, but the footage of him is something his family will forever have to remember him by, which, of course, is nowhere near the same as having him in their lives right now compared to the grief they are currently experiencing.
On Monday, Chester's wife also took to Twitter expressing her gratitude for Soltan. Accompanying a video featuring Soltan discussing her friendship with Chester shared Monday by Twitter account LinkinParkArabWorld, Talinda wrote, "I love you @AsaSoltan."
In the video, Soltan opened up about her sadness over the loss of Chester. "It just breaks my heart to think that, you know, he took his life," she said. "Chester was dealing with some really, really deeply disturbing emotions."
The Asa Kaftan designer also discussed how she first met the couple. While vacationing on the island of Maui in Hawaii with Jackson, they both ran into Chester and Talinda, but separately. "Jermaine was off shooting pictures and I was like, 'I'm gonna lay out,' I was by myself and I met Talinda and Chester and we just hit it off," she explained, before adding,
"I was gonna tell Jermaine, 'We should have dinner with these people. You know, they're leaving, they're amazing, like, they're so cool, you're gonna love them.' And I was waiting to tell him this, but he had gone to the gym after shooting, before I could even tell him this, and Chester was like a fitness freak too, so they were at the gym and [Jermaine] had connected with them. They were all kind of drawn to each other too, isn't that incredible? [Jermaine] was like, 'Oh my, god, I met the two most wonderful people that you met at the pool.'"
They all made such a connection that, as told by Soltan, Chester and Talinda changed their flight so they could hang out with Jackson and Soltan more. "We went to the waterfalls and climbed like children," the Bravo star said. "[Chester] also wrote a quote for the back of my book, which was a very special thing." She also added, "He was just like the most kind, beautiful individual we've ever met. Jermaine and I always talk about how amazing he is."
As you can see above, Soltan tweeted this photo of Chester after his death was announced in July. It is a truly stunning image of him. She also posted the following one showcasing Chester with a huge smile on his face while in Hawaii.
As sad as it was seeing Chester on Shahs, to learn about his friendship with Soltan and to hear her talk about the beautiful person he was, well, that makes for a wonderful tribute to the singer who will never be forgotten.