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Actress Madeleine West has been issued with an apprehended violence order protecting the father of her ex-partner, celebrity chef Shannon Bennett, from whom she split in 2018.
The AVO on behalf of Benny Clifton Bennett, a retired engineer, was taken out in Byron Bay Local Court and is due for mention in early June.
The order comes days after Shannon Bennett revealed the estranged couple’s six children live full-time with with him at his multi-million dollar beachfront property in Byron Bay.
The celebrity chef, who rose to fame on MasterChef Australia, raised the brood with West during a 13-year relationship which ended when Bennett, 46, split with the 41-year-old actress.
Bennet revealed two weeks ago that the separation process between them had ‘turned love toxic’.
‘The kids live with me full time and they visit their mother every fortnight for a few days,’ Bennet said, adding that while the former Neighbours star is not the children’s primary caretaker, the pair work together to give them as much normality as possible
Family arrangement: Shannon Bennett (left) has revealed that he cares for his six children full time. The celebrity chef, who rose to fame on MasterChef Australia, shares the brood with actress Madeleine West (right)
Bennett said that West sees the children fortnightly, while they spend the remainder of the time with him.
‘The kids live with me full time and they visit their mother every fortnight for a few days,’ he told The Herald Sun in early May.
Bennett added that while the former Neighbours star is not the children’s primary caretaker, the pair work together to give them as much normality as possible.
‘At the end of the day it’s about the children. I feel on this that my children’s lives are private and I’m the protector of that,’ he said.
‘I’ll do anything I can to ensure they get to grow as normally as possible with no distractions. I think I’m doing a good job of that, it’s good she’s doing that too.’
Bennett went on to say that his children are, ‘just normal kids up’ living a ‘chilled’ life in Byron Bay, where they ride their bikes and play cricket in the neighbourhood.
The former couple, who never married, share children, Phoenix, Hendrix, Xascha, Xanthe, Xahlia and Margaux, who are aged between eight and 16.
The AVO taken out against actress Madeleine West, 41, (above) was on behalf of Benny Bennet, the father of West’s estranged partner, celebrity chef Shannon Bennett
In happier times: Madeleine (left) with Shannon Bennett (centre back), his father Benny (right), mother Bridie, front, second left, and Shannon’s brother
The chef, known for running Melbourne’s renowned Vue de monde restaurant, has previously said he relocated from Victoria to Byron Bay, where West also lives, to help look after their children.
‘Since relocating to Byron Bay with his six children after the breakdown of his relationship with their mother, his sole focus is the care and upbringing of his children,’ his management team said earlier this year.
His team said the chef has also divested his shares in Vue de monde, and ditched plans to turn a historic mansion near Melbourne into a luxury hotel.
Family: Bennett says West sees the children fortnightly, while they spend the remainder of the time with their father in Byron Bay. The former couple, who never married, share six children, Phoenix, Hendrix, Xascha, Xanthe, Xahlia and Margaux, aged between eight and 16
‘I’ll do anything I can to ensure they get to grow as normally as possible with no distractions. I think I’m doing a good job of that, it’s good she’s doing that too’ Bennett said
Bennett took over the Burnham Beeches estate in the Dandenong Ranges – 40km east of the city – in 2010, but recently sold the property for $16.6million to hotel giant Sorrento.
‘Burnham Beeches became superfluous to this focus [of looking after his children],’ the statement given to The Herald Sun read.
‘Shannon has no current hospitality projects on the horizon. He wishes the new owners all the success.’
Bennett had struggled to complete Heritage Victoria-mandated repair on the state-listed estate and it is believed he never completed all the required works.
In 2020, he said bureaucrats had ordered $250,000 in ‘mad’ repairs and he would not ‘stand for it any more’.
Exes: West announced her split from Bennett in September 2018 after 13 years, during which they had six children together
Bennett’s plans for the redevelopment included a hotel with a microbrewery, shop and new restaurant.
West, who pitched in with the flood clean-up in Lismore following the northern NSW town’s inundation earlier this year, is planning to run at the NSW state election next year as an independent.
In February, she described the soul-shaking moment she decided to leave the celebrity chef in 2018.
‘I woke one morning and no longer recognised myself in the mirror. I loved so much about my life, but somewhere I’d lost myself within it. It no longer fit me,’ she recalled of her decision to walk away.
Claims: West earlier this year said that the separation process ‘turned love toxic’
Describing the process of separation as ‘painful’, West confessed in an article for Mamamia: ‘It tore apart my world, damaged the things I held dearest and turned love toxic.’
The former Neighbours star also listed the challenges she faced after leaving her relationship – learning how to parent as a single mother and how to cope with being alone when her kids were staying with their father.
West also said she struggled to ‘re-establish’ her identity as a single woman.
‘I wish I’d known that divorce is more than a division of assets, it’s a division of homes, friends, hopes, dreams,’ she lamented.
New love: The actress has moved on from those difficult years and has found new love with Byron Bay environmentalist Maximo Bottaro (right)
West has since moved on from those difficult years and found new love with Byron Bay environmentalist Maximo Bottaro.
The couple were first pictured together in April 2020 when they were spotted kissing at a secluded beach in the coastal NSW town.
The couple met while West was volunteering for Maximo’s environmental organisation ReForest Now. .
Family man: Chef Shannon Bennett (above) relocated from Victoria to the NSW tourist town of Byron Bay , where West also lives, to help look after their children
A year after the split, the actress said she was unlikely to ever get back together with Bennett.
‘I’m a big believer that everything in life has a season. We change. We evolve,’ she told The Kyle and Jackie O Show.
‘At some point we go, ‘Well, I have certain needs I want to have met and you’ve got certain needs and if the two don’t combine and cross in the middle, why fight it and be miserable?’
‘At the end of the day it’s about the children. I feel on this that my children’s lives are private and I’m the protector of that,’ Bennett said
‘I don’t think that’s fair to the children either to see two parents that are constantly across purposes.’
She brushed off questions about a potential ‘love interest’ at the time and joked she was living ‘like a monk’.
Plans: West, who pitched in with the flood clean-up in Lismore in northern NSW, is planning to run at the NSW state election next year as an independent