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Biden's Son Explains Relations With His Brother's Widow

'We shared a specific kind of grief' he says of since-ended relationship
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2019 12:26 PM CDT
A file photo of Hunter Biden, left, with his father, Joe Biden, and sister, Valerie Biden Owens.   (AP)

(Newser) – A feature in the New Yorker has a simple but provocative headline: "Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize His Father's Campaign?" The piece by Adam Entous details what's behind that question: controversies over Hunter's business life—including foreign deals while his father was vice president—as well as controversies in his personal life. The latter includes his long struggles with alcohol and drug abuse, as well as the raised eyebrows that resulted when Hunter struck up a relationship with the widow of his brother, Beau. The controversies themselves aren't new, but what's different here is that Hunter himself talks to Entous in detail about them. “Look, everybody faces pain,” Hunter says. "There’s addiction in every family. I was in that darkness. I was in that tunnel—it's a never-ending tunnel. You don't get rid of it. You figure out how to deal with it." Some details:

  • The relationship: "We were sharing a very specific grief," Hunter recalls of his relationship with his brother's widow. "I started to think of Hallie as the only person in my life who understood my loss." He was then separated from his wife, Kathleen, and he and Hallie began spending lots of time together in the months after Beau's death. The relationship has since ended. "All we got was s--- from everybody, all the time,' he explains. "It was really hard."
  • Buying crack: In a jarring admission, Hunter says he was on his way to an Arizona rehab center in 2016 when he realized during a layover in Los Angeles that he'd left his wallet (formerly Beau's) behind on the plane, leaving him without a driver's license or other photo ID. That led to him staying in LA for a week. He asked a homeless man where to buy crack, and returned to buy it a few more times that week.
  • Quick proposal: In May, Biden married 32-year-old South African filmmaker Melissa Cohen after proposing to her less than a week after they met. "I called my dad and said that we just got married. He was on speaker, and he said to her, 'Thank you for giving my son the courage to love again.'"
Click for the full story, which also details business controversies, including a pricey diamond he received as a gift from a Chinese energy tycoon. (Read more Hunter Biden stories.)

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