6 Things to Know About Hunter Biden, Joe Biden's Younger Son Who Is Now Dating His Brother's Widow
But now, it’s his younger son, Hunter Biden, in the spotlight. This week, Hunter confirmed that he’s dating Hallie Biden, the widow of his brother, Beau.
“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 said in a statement to The New York Post’s Page Six column. “We’ve been so lucky to have family and friends who have supported us every step of the way.”
Here are six things to know about the son of the former vice president — and one half of the country’s currently most-talked-about couple.
1. He survived the car crash that killed his mother and sister.
On December 18, 1972, 2-year-old Hunter was in the car along with his mother Neilia, and his brother Beau, then 4, and sister Naomi, 13 months, when their car was hit by a tractor-trailer in an intersection. The accident killed Neilia and Naomi, and left both Beau and Hunter severely injured: Beau with broken bones throughout his body and Hunter with a fractured skull. Both boys recovered completely after a long hospitalization.
2. He has an incredibly close relationship with his father — and had the same with his brother.
The accident occurred just weeks after Joe was elected to the Senate for the first time. Though he initially considered abandoning the seat, the future vice president took the oath of office at his sons’ hospital bedside and went on to serve in the Senate but famously took the train home to Delaware every night so he could be with his sons. Joe’s dedication as a parent continued throughout his children’s upbringing, creating an intense, “uncomplicated” bond between Joe and his sons, as well as between the brothers.
“Family comes first. Over everything,” Hunter said of the lessons his father taught him in an interview with Popular Mechanics. “I can’t think of anything that has been more pervasive and played a larger part in my life than that simple lesson. And as you said, he didn’t have to teach it by saying it. It was just in his actions. After we lost my mom and my sister in the accident that my brother and I were also in, he was ever-present. Commuted every day back from Washington.”
Hunter was also a political adviser to his later brother, Beau, who served as Delaware’s Attorney General from 2007 to 2015. Joe said that he too has leaned on his sons for advice and support throughout his political career.
“His brother never made a speech and I never made an important decision without consulting with the other two,” Joe told Popular Mechanics. “We’ve been a team. I know that sounds strange to say as a father. But it’s been one unit. Right to the very end.”
3. He was discharged from the Naval Reserve for drug use.
Hunter’s life, though, hasn’t been without more troubles. Unlike his brother Beau, he never formally enlisted in the armed forces (Beau served from 2002 to 2015, including a deployment to Iraq.) However, he was selected as a direct commission officer in the Naval Reserve, as a public affairs officer in May 2013, according to NBC News.
One month after he was officially commissioned, Hunter was discharged in February 2014 after testing positive for cocaine use. The discharge and the reason behind it were not made public until later that year, in October. When the discharge was announced, Hunter said in a statement that he was “embarrassed that my actions led to my administrative discharge” and called his brief stint in the reserves “the honor of my life,” according to the New York Times.
4. He’s a lawyer and an Ivy League graduate.
Hunter, who has worked as a lobbyist and in private equity in the past, earned his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University, and then went on to graduate from Yale Law School. He’s still a member of the bar in Connecticut and Washington, D.C.
5. He was named in the Ashley Madison leak.
In August 2015, when the now-infamous leak of data from Ashley Madison — a dating website for people seeking extramarital affairs — occurred, Hunter’s name was among those listed as registered users. The listing also included an email address that he had previously used, but claimed that he had stopped using it after, he said, he was hacked. Ashley Madison does not verify users’ emails, so an account could be set up with someone’s name and email without them knowing, according to The Hill.
Hunter vehemently denied that the ever registered for the website.
“I am certain that the account in question is not mine,” Hunter said in a statement at the time. “This account was clearly set up by someone else without my knowledge and I first learned about the account in question from the media.”
6. He’s in the midst of an explosive divorce.
Hunter separated from his wife, Kathleen in 2015 and the couple filed for divorce late last year. The divorce proceedings carry some explosive allegations. In court documents obtained by PEOPLE, Kathleen alleges that Hunter has been “spending extravagantly on his own interests,” which, she says, include drugs, alcohol, strip clubs, gifts for other women and prostitutes.
The documents also state that the family has “shocking and overwhelming” debts including tax debt, maxed-out credit cards, and double mortgages on multiple properties.
Hunter’s attorney, Sarah E. Mancinelli, told PEOPLE in a statement: “Hunter and Kathleen have been separated for some time and are in the process of finalizing a divorce. Hunter loves and admires Kathleen as a person, a mother, and a friend. He hopes their privacy can be respected at this time.”
- with reporting by DIANE HERBST