Even if you’ve only casually watched cable news over the past two years, you’ve heard the name Hunter Biden. The last remaining son of former Vice President and 2020 Democratic candidate for president Joe Biden, Hunter’s personal life is tabloid fodder and his business dealings have been fodder for Republicans and the Trump administration and his re-election campaign. Most famously, Donald Trump was impeached by the House for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress after a whistleblower complaint revealed that stated Trump threatened to withhold U.S. foreign aid money until Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky promised to investigate Hunter’s board position with the Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma.
Despite Hunter’s struggles and embarrassing incidents that could threaten his career, the elder Biden remains in his corner. “So, you ask me, whether my father might not run for President because of reports about me in the news,” Hunter told Vanity Fair in 2019. “What you fail to realize, in asking such a question, is that my father has always been proud of me—whether when I was volunteering for the Jesuits, or working as a lawyer. And he remains proud of me today. He loves me. And he loves the American people far too much to let any form of adversity stand in the way of service.”
So what shaped Hunter into the man he is today? From horrific tragedy at an early age to living with addictions, let’s discuss the tragic details about Hunter Biden.
Hunter Biden survived a devastating car accident
On Dec. 18, 1972, a three-year-old Hunter Biden “suffered a severe head injury” when his mother’s station wagon was hit by a tractor-trailer at an intersection. According to the Delaware County Daily Times report on this incident (via PolitiFact), the station wagon was at a stop sign and was “struck on the left side” then “continuing approximately 15 feet, spinning around, going backwards down an embankment, and striking three trees.”
Neilia and Naomi Biden, Hunter’s mother and younger sister, were killed instantly. Beau Biden, who also present in the vehicle, sustained several broken bones and leg injuries. During an interview with The New Yorker, Hunter claims his only memory of the accident was waking up in the hospital to his brother Beau telling him, “I love you, I love you, I love you.” On January 5, 1973, a 30-year old Joe Biden was “sworn in as a senator in his sons’ hospital room” at Delaware Division Wilmington Medical Center.
Over the course of his career, Biden repeatedly made the claim that the driver of the tractor-trailer, Curtis C. Dunn, was drunk. However, according to Politico, Dunn “wasn’t charged with anything” and “coverage in the newspapers at the time made it clear that fault was not in question.”
Biden's ties to credit companies were a 'sensitive' issue
During his time as senator in Delaware, Joe Biden earned the nickname “the senator from MBNA,” due to the Delaware-based credit card company that contributed to significantly to the campaign and his subsequent push to strip bankruptcy protections from Americans with credit card debt. According to The New York Times, Hunter Biden worked at MBNA for five years and was a consultant for another five while his father was supporting the bankruptcy bill that would help MBNA.
While MBNA was “donating heavily” to Biden, they named Hunter as their senior vice president in 1996. Biden then aggressively fought for the bankruptcy bill with a “veneer of bipartisanship” according to Travis Plunkett of Consumer Federation of America. “He provided cover to other Democrats to do what the credit industry was urging them to do,” he said. So due to Biden and Hunter’s financial ties to the company, Barack Obama’s campaign called this conflict of interest “one of the most sensitive issues they examined while vetting the senator for a spot on the ticket.”
Although Obama fought against the bankruptcy bill during his campaign, and despite the fact Biden sided with Republicans in his effort to protect MBNA, the Obama campaign concluded all was well. David Wade, a spokesman for the Obama campaign, said Biden “took plenty of knocks,” over the bill, “but legislating requires compromise.”
Hunter Biden was kicked out of the Naval Reserve
On May 7, 2013, Hunter Biden joined the United States Naval Reserve at the age of 43. He was sworn in by his father during a private ceremony at the White House and was assigned to a public-affairs unit after hoping to hoping “to work in naval intelligence” (via The New Yorker). According to The Wall Street Journal, Hunter “needed a waiver” to be commissioned due to his age and a previous “drug-related incident.”
However, not even a month later, Hunter tested positive for cocaine in this first drug test administered after he reported to his unit in Norfolk, Virginia. In a statement, Hunter said that it was “the honor of my life to serve in the U.S. Navy, and I deeply regret and am embarrassed that my actions led to my administrative discharge. I respect the Navy’s decision. With the love and support of my family, I’m moving forward.” Then-Vice President Joe Biden declined to comment.
Hunter claimed to The New Yorker that he bummed a cigarette that made his feel “amped up” from two men outside a bar the night before his first weekend of duty. He then called his brother Beau to meet him at a hotel near the naval station. “He got me shipshape and drove me into the base,” Hunter said. He was given a urine test the next day.
His brother Beau Biden died of brain cancer
On May 30, 2015, Hunter Biden’s older brother, Joseph “Beau” R. Biden III, died after a two year battle with brain cancer. “In the words of the Biden family: Beau Biden was, quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known,” Joe Biden said in a statement (via The New York Times). The Iraq War veteran and former Delaware Attorney General’s funeral was held at St. Anthony of Padua church in Wilmington, Delaware.
One of the most heartbreaking moments of the service was Hunter’s eulogy for his beloved brother. Once again telling the story about the car accident, Hunter explained his brother’s love on the fateful day in the hospital. “The first memory I have is of lying in a hospital bed next to my brother. I was almost three years old, I remember my brother who was one year and one day older than me, holding my hand, staring into my eyes, saying, ‘I love you, I love you, I love you,’ over and over and over again. And in the 42 years since, he never stopped holding my hand.”
“And as it began, so did it end,” Hunter continued. “His family surrounded him, everyone holding on to him, each of us desperately holding him. Each of us saying, I love you, I love you, I love you. And I held his hand, and he took his last breath, and I know that I was loved.”
Hunter Biden's first wife said money went to 'indulgences'
Barely a year after his brother’s death, Hunter Biden and his first wife, Kathleen, split after 22 years of marriage. Kathleen filed for divorce the following year citing Hunter’s lavish spending and drug addiction. “His spending rarely relates to legitimate family expenses, but focuses on his own travel (at times multiple hotel rooms on the same night), gifts for other women, alcohol, strip clubs, or other personal indulgences,” Kathleen said in court filings obtained by Page Six.
Kathleen didn’t stop there. She claimed Hunter “created financial concerns for the family” by blowing all their money on “drugs, alcohol, prostitutes, strip clubs, and gifts for women with whom he has sexual relations,” that left “the family with no funds to pay legitimate bills.” Their divorce was finalized in 2017. According to Page Six, the estranged couple reached a confidential agreement that settled “all questions relating to custody, support, property rights, and all other rights” and judge providing over the case said “there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation of the parties.”
Court records show that Kathleen wanted $20,000 a month. While Kathleen citing other reasons for their separation and divorce, we can’t help but think what he did during their split didn’t help much…
Beau Biden's widow and Hunter Biden had an affair
After Hunter Biden split from his wife, he entered into an affair with his Beau Biden’s widow, Hallie Biden. “Hallie and I are incredibly lucky to have found the love and support we have for each other in such a difficult time, and that’s been obvious to the people who love us most,” Hunter told Page Six at the time. “We’ve been so lucky to have family and friends who have supported us every step of the way.”
Joe Biden and his wife Jill echoed that statement, saying, “we are all lucky that Hunter and Hallie found each other” and offered their support. During an interview with The New Yorker, Hunter revealed that he and Hallie went on vacation together, but then started texting constantly and spending nights together at her Delaware home. “We were sharing a very specific grief,” he said. “I started to think of Hallie as the only person in my life who understood my loss.”
However, their relationship was leaked by Page Six in their story about Kathleen claiming he routinely visited strip clubs. Hunter denied that fact, but said, “I went directly to a strip club. I said, ‘F**k them.'” They split several months later due to constant media attention. “All we got was sh*t from everybody, all the time,” he said. “It was really hard. And I realized that I’m not helping anybody by sticking around.”
Hunter Biden faced a paternity suit
Lunden Alexis Roberts gave birth to child in August 2018 and claimed that Hunter Biden was the father. Roberts was an exotic dancer who reportedly performed under the name “Dallas” at The Mpire Club in Washington, D.C., where Hunter was “was well-known” according to Page Six. Hunter denied having sexual relations with Roberts, but a DNA test revealed he was the father “with scientific certainty” (via Arkansas Democrat Gazette).
A year later, with Roberts now relocated to Arkansas, Hunter was ordered to appear in court to determine whether or not he should be held in contempt for refusing to “disclose financial information” to Roberts as part of her paternity suit (via CNBC). Specifically, Roberts and her attorneys demanded to know how much her made while serving on the board member of the Ukrainian gas company, Burisma. “The defendant’s conduct is willful and contemptuous,” Roberts’ attorney, Clint Lancaster wrote in a motion. “The defendant continues to act as though he has no respect for this Court, its orders, the legal process in this state, or the needs of his child for support. This court should sanction the defendant as it deems appropriate and just.”
In 2020, Hunter agreed to pay child support retroactive to the child’s birth. “I’m pleased with the settlement on a temporary basis,” Roberts’ attorney said (via CNN). “We’re happy Ms. Roberts is getting support she was not previously getting.”
Hunter Biden hasn't hidden his struggles with addiction
Hunter Biden’s struggles with addiction have unfortunately become tabloid fodder. Whether it be reports of him smoking crack in a strip club or dismissal from the Naval Reserve due to cocaine use, Hunter’s name is often synonymous with addiction. But during a 2019 interview with The New Yorker, Hunter told his own story. “Look, everybody faces pain,” he said. “Everybody has trauma. 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.”
Hunter goes on to reveal that he started drinking as a teenager and moving on to cocaine and crack while attending Georgetown University. In 2001, Hunter says he and his family moved back to Delaware to be closer to his father and he commuted back and forth from Washington to Delaware by Amtrak. However, he would often find himself the Army and Navy Club. “When I found myself making the decision to have another drink or get on a train, I knew I had a problem,” he said.
By 2003, Hunter’s wife Kathleen urged him to get sober and he vowed not to drink for a month. “And I wouldn’t drink for thirty days, but, on day thirty-one, I’d be right back to it,” he explained.
Donald Trump has targeted Hunter Biden
In addition to the whole impeachment drama, Hunter Biden is a consistent target of Donald Trump’s attacks. Despite the fact that he runs a business that employs three of his adult children — one of whom followed him to the White House — Trump frequently paints Hunter as the epitome of nepotism and a drug-addicted failure who trades off his father’s name.
During the first presidential debate, Trump brought up Hunter again to a national audience. “Hunter got thrown out of the military,” Trump said (via NPR). “He was thrown out, dishonorably discharged, for cocaine use.” Never mind the fact that Hunter wasn’t dishonorably discharged, many thought Trump bringing Hunter’s drug use crossed the line. However, Joe Biden responded with compassion for Hunter. “My son, like a lot of people, like a lot of people you know at home, had a drug problem,” he said. “He’s overtaken it, he’s fixed it, he’s worked on it, and I’m proud of him.”
At a rally in Arizona the following month, Trump doubled down of his attacks on Hunter. “Can you imagine if Don Jr. had the problems of ‘where’s Hunter’?” Trump said (via Independent), “they wouldn’t allow me to run.”
The whole Hunter Biden laptop story
On Oct. 14, 2020, The New York Post dropped a bombshell allegation: a laptop that Hunter Biden allegedly dropped off at a Delaware computer repair shop in 2019 contained emails where Hunter introduced Joe Biden to a Ukrainian businessman and attempted to peddle his father’s influence for financial gain. The Daily Beast identified the computer repair shop owner as John Paul Mac Isaac, who claimed he made a copy of the hard drive and contacted Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani before turning it over to the FBI.
At least on person included in the email chains verified their authenticity and 2017 materials provided by Tony Bobulinski, a former business associate of Hunter, show that Hunter and his uncle (James Biden) “were involved in negotiations about a joint venture with a Chinese energy and finance company called CEFC China Energy” (via The New York Times). Although there is no evidence that Joe Biden had any involvement with these plans and meetings whatsoever, “Hunter Biden saw the family name as a valuable asset, angrily citing his ‘family’s brand’ as a reason he is valuable to the proposed venture.”
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee have confirmed that the materials provided by Bobulinski are legitimate and an FBI investigation is ongoing (via The New York Post). At the time of this writing, no evidence has emerged that Joe Biden acted inappropriately, and neither has any evidence to suggest the story is Russian disinformation.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with substance abuse, you can contact SAMHSA’s free, confidential helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
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