Hunter Biden — son of 2020 presidential hopeful Joe Biden — shared gritty and personal details of his history of addiction with the New Yorker, saying he wanted to preempt publication of piecemeal stories that would paint his father poorly.
New Yorker writer Adam Entous wrote that, “Through weeks of conversations, [Hunter] became increasingly open about his setbacks, aware that many of the stories that he told me would otherwise emerge, likely in a distorted form, in Breitbart or on ‘Hannity.’”
Hunter, 49, candidly admitted that his struggle with alcohol dated back to high school. Cigarettes and cocaine entered the picture while he was studying at Georgetown University.
“Look, everybody faces pain,” Hunter 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.”
Over the last 15 years, Hunter has checked into and out of rehabilitation centers; the report detailed at least five stays at inpatient and outpatient programs, before and after his brother Beau’s death in 2015. Hunter was also discharged from the Navy after testing positive for cocaine and had a near-run in with Arizona state law enforcement, after a crack pipe and cocaine residue was discovered inside a Hertz rental car he drove. (There was no evidence Hunter had used the pipe, so prosecutors did not pursue narcotics charges, according to the article.)
Joe Biden has stood by his son throughout, notwithstanding the stigma or possible political fallout.
In 2015, after Beau Biden’s untimely death, Hunter had begun using again, according to the article, and Joe Biden showed up at Hunter’s apartment and said: “I need you. What do we have to do?”
Hunter also recounted speaking to his father after his most recent wedding earlier this year.
“Honey, I knew that when you found love again that I’d get you back,” Joe Biden said into the phone, Hunter told Entous.
“Dad,” Hunter replied, “I always had love. And the only thing that allowed me to see it was the fact that you never gave up on me, you always believed in me.”
The New Yorker article also covered details of Hunter Biden’s business dealings, his divorce and his relationship with Beau’s wife, Hallie.
Joe Biden — the two-term vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful — has faced increased scrutiny in recent weeks, on issues from his past positions on busing black children to attend integrated schools and his physical behavior toward women to his defense of the 1994 crime bill.