Celebrity chef Shannon Bennett has been spotted in public for the first time since his ex-partner and Neighbors star Madeleine West was issued a restraining order on his father’s behalf.
After lying low during the high-profile lawsuit last month, 47-year-old Bennett has returned to his multimillion-dollar beachfront property in Byron Bay.
The father of six appeared to be trying to take the stress out of the family quarrel as he jogged through the popular tourist spot.
Wearing a blue cap, shirt and shorts, the MasterChef star braved the rain as he pounded the pavement.
Shannon Bennett was spotted running through the rain in Byron Bay on Monday morning
The MasterChef star listened to music with his phone strapped to his arm
The father-of-six seemed unfazed by the wet weather as he ran through the local streets
The sighting comes just weeks after West, 42, was slapped with a warrant of violence to protect her former father-in-law Benny Clifton Bennett, 75.
The actress and former model allegedly shoved Mr Bennett during a dispute at her ex-husband’s home last year.
At the time of the lawsuit, Bennett had builders make extensive renovations to the property, and it was unclear whether he would remain in the area.
West is prohibited from approaching the residence when Mr Bennett is visiting from Melbourne.
Shannon Bennett was with West for 13 years before they split in 2018. He is the father of her six children.
In an effort to fight the AVO, West stood before the Byron Bay Local Court for two days last month.
Sometimes she cried as she testified for Magistrate Karen Stafford.
Prosecutors allege that on May 4 last year, West Bennett pushed and broke into her ex-husband’s house before dragging an 11-year-old girl.
Madeleine West leaves Byron Bay Court on March 21 after a cross-examination in which she was accused of shoving her ex-father-in-law Benny Bennett, 74, at his celebrity chef, Shannon Bennett’s, Byron Bay home
Benny Clifton Bennett (above) appears in Byron Bay. The court heard that he has “fears” about Madeleine West
They further allege that the incident left Mr Bennett ‘scared’ for his ex-daughter-in-law.
But the actress vehemently denied the allegations, telling the police prosecutor that she had ‘not laid a hand’ on Mr Bennett.
The court was shown CCTV videos of West and Mr Bennett at her ex-partner’s home while the MasterChef star was in the US.
After considering the evidence presented, Magistrate Stafford ruled that the two-year domestic violence order against West was upheld.
However, West has appealed the decision with the case returning to court in Coffs Harbor on May 3.
The hearing took place the day after West was photographed swimming in Bangalow, in the hinterland of Byron Bay, covering herself in “healing” mud.
Madeleine West and Shannon Bennett are pictured together during their 13-year relationship
Pictured: Madeleine (left) with Shannon Bennett (back center), his father Benny (right), mother Bridie, front, second left, and Shannon’s brother
She later posted a photo of herself sporting a muddy plunging neckline on social media with the caption “Is there anything more healing than a little old-fashioned silliness?” #mud’.
In the days leading up to the hearing, West was spotted transporting children around the Byron Bay Shire from her home in Suffolk Park.
The AVO was shut down just days after Bennett revealed that the estranged couple’s six children were living with him in Byron Bay.
The celebrity chef revealed in May last year that the divorce process between him and West had “turned love-toxic.”
However, in 2020, West left Melbourne and moved to Byron Bay to be near her children.
The former soap opera star bought her own mansion in Suffolk Park, paying $4.6 million for a four-bedroom home with a heated pool, open plan living, spacious sunlit living areas and stunning architectural design.
Hours before the court hearing, West took a refreshing dip in a remote quarry in Bangalow, in the hinterland of Byron Bay.
The actress then covered herself with a layer of soothing mud
Since splitting with Bennett, West has been seen dating Northern NSW environmentalist Maximo Bottaro.
More recently, the actress and podcaster revealed she was a victim of child sexual abuse.
She spoke publicly for the first time about her battle with anorexia, saying the trauma of abuse caused her to become obsessed with looking “perfect” — a task that was both “punishing” and never-ending.
“For any sexually abused person, what happened to them will manifest in their life in self-destructive behavior,” she said earlier this year.
Last year, Bennett said West saw their children bi-weekly, with them spending the rest of the time with him.
“The kids live with me full time and they visit their mom for a few days every two weeks,” he revealed.
He added that while the former Neighbors star isn’t the kids’ primary caretaker, the pair work together to give them as much normalcy as possible.
“Ultimately, it’s about the kids. I feel that my children’s life is private and that I am its protector,” he said.
“I will do everything I can to make sure they can grow as normally as possible without distractions.
“I think I’m doing well, it’s good that she does too.”
WHO IS MADELEINE WEST?
Madeleine West is an actress and model who first came to prominence playing the characters Dee Bliss and then Andrea Somers on the hit TV series Neighbours, the first role in the early 2000s and the second between 2017 and 2020.
While filming Neighbors, West was hit by a bus and suffered a head injury that required her to relearn her motor skills.
An amateur performer as a child, West also appeared in the TV series Underbelly and Fat Tony & Co.
West was once engaged to Shopping for Love co-host Peter Lazer before moving on to restaurateur Shannon Bennett, who was best known for his appearances on MasterChef.
The couple met in 2005 and had six children together before splitting in 2018, which Bennett described as a case of love turning “toxic.”
West wrote a book about her experiences with motherhood entitled Six Under Eight.
Despite her split from Bennett, West moved to Byron in 2020 and bought a $4.6 million home to be closer to her children, who live with the chef at his waterfront estate Byron.
In 2022, West announced she would run in the 2023 NSW election as an independent for the Ballina seat, but she did not nominate.
In January 2023, West revealed that she had been sexually abused as a child and that the trauma she endured had caused her to suffer from anorexia.