After Page Six reported this week that Hunter and Hallie Biden split for reasons unknown, the Biden camp is staying silent

By Adam Carlson
May 01, 2019 09:51 AM
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Credit: Ron Sachs/REX/Shutterstock; Paul Morigi/Getty

In 2017 former Vice President Joe Biden‘s son Hunter made headlines when the family confirmed he had split with wife Kathleen and was seeing a new woman: his former sister-in-law, Hallie, the widow of his older brother, Beau.

It was a surprising turn in a family saga marked by the highest levels of public service and the starkest tragedies, including Beau’s 2015 cancer death at age 46.

“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 then. “We’ve been so lucky to have family and friends who have supported us every step of the way.”

In his own statement to the outlet, Biden said he and wife Dr. Jill Biden stood behind the new relationship. According to Page Six, Hunter and his then-wife, Kathleen, had separated in October 2015.

“We are all lucky that Hunter and Hallie found each other as they were putting their lives together again after such sadness,” Biden said. “They have mine and Jill’s full and complete support and we are happy for them.”

As family friend Lea Carpenter told PEOPLE in 2017: “No two brothers were as close as Hunter and Beau. And anyone moved to judgment now has no knowledge of the grace and strength with which Hunter and Hallie have navigated the last four years.”

But this week, after Page Six reported that Hunter and Hallie split for reasons unknown, the Biden camp is staying silent.

“A source close to the family said it’s a private matter,” Page Six reported, noting “sources further told us that the situation is ‘amicable.’ ”

A spokeswoman for the former vice president, who is running for president in 2020, told PEOPLE there would be no comment on the latest Page Six story.

Hunter did not respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE. Hallie could not be reached but, according to Page Six, told them “no comment.”

Earlier this year, however, Hunter gave a statement to Vanity Fair reflecting on his relationship with Kathleen and his divorce, in which Kathleen claimed he spent extravagantly on drugs and prostitutes, creating “financial concerns for the family,” according to divorce court documents previously obtained by PEOPLE.

The pair quickly finalized their divorce. Biden’s brother Jim told PEOPLE in 2017 that Hunter and Kathleen “had been estranged for quite some time,” and a friend said Beau’s decline and death compounded their problems.

From left: Kathleen and Hunter Biden; Beau and Hallie Biden
| Credit: Ron Sachs/CNP via Zuma; Ron Sachs/picture-alliance/dpa/AP

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In his Vanity Fair statement, Hunter also looked back on his years in the media spotlight as a Biden — tracing back to the car crash that killed his mother and sister, when he was 2 years old.

The magazine had reached out to Hunter for comment in January about what he thought about the possibility that his personal life could complicate his dad’s presidential bid.

He responded with a lengthy statement on Jan. 18, according to the magazine.

Hunter said, in part: “The important aspect of my complicated divorce (like all divorces) and an equally complicated life, marked by the tragic loss of my mother, sister and brother is this: My father has been a constant source of love and strength in my life. Even though my life has been played out in the media, because I am a Biden, my father never once suggested that the family’s public profile should be my priority. The priority has always been clear for my dad, as it is, now, for me: Never run from a struggle. Love people and find a way to love yourself. And remember that the two things are very much connected.”

He continued, “I believe that my father has become an ongoing symbol of what it means to keep on fighting for what is good in oneself, in others and in our country. I can tell you that I wouldn’t be alive today, if my dad hadn’t kept fighting for me, too. … Our journey as a family—yes, including my own difficulties with my marriage—have made us unbreakable.

“It isn’t, of course, that we don’t suffer. We do. The point is that we don’t give up, no matter how much we suffer.”