Hunter Biden Wrote Memoir to 'Humanize' Addiction Sufferers After Living with Homeless Crack Addict
In his book, President Joe Biden's younger son recalls living with a fellow crack addict — whom he refers to as both "Rhea" and "Bicycles" — for about five months at his apartment in Washington, D.C., in 2016, describing their "symbiotic" relationship as one where they'd "exchange money and drugs despite the fact that each of us sincerely wished the other didn't use."
Hunter, 51, sat down with Jimmy Kimmel for Thursday's episode of Kimmel's late-night show, where he said, "That relationship, I wanted to really detail in the book because I think that so many addicts are completely dehumanized."
"You pass this person on the street a hundred times, in this neighborhood, in so many different cities," he continued. "And she was a crack addict, but she was a mother and a daughter. She was a friend."
"And I don't think anybody chooses that life [of addiction]," Hunter said. "And what I really wanted to write the book for was to humanize people suffering from addiction."
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Hunter — who became a target among conservatives over his personal troubles and past business dealings; and who is currently under investigation over his taxes — said that he also wrote Beautiful Things as "a love letter to the people that are loving someone that's struggling with addiction."
"Because it's so hard for them to understand why it is that their love just can't get through," he told Kimmel, 53. "Why it is that, if they just love them more, that somehow it [won't] be able to cure them."
Hunter added, "The one thing that I found to be more powerful than the most powerful love I knew, which is the love of my family, was my addiction." His memoir details his harrowing descent into and recovery from the worst of his crack and alcohol abuse.
"I hope this provides some people with some real hope that if they're just persistent, then when that person's ready to reach for that love, maybe they'll be able to find their way out of that deep, dark hole," Hunter told Kimmel.
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In Beautiful Things, Hunter describes himself and Rhea — whom he calls "the most honest crook I've ever known" — as "two crack addicts who couldn't find their way out of a paper bag," who found a kind of bond with each other.
"Rhea is also the funniest person I know, as well as the most eccentric," he writes. "I probably bugged her more than she bugged me. She got mad when I left dirty clothes on the coffee table or spilled vodka on a rug. ... Mainly, however, we just planted ourselves on the couch and smoked a ton of crack."
According to Hunter, Rhea taught him "to use as safely as possible," and he loved her "as much as I've ever loved a friend."
"She's the only person from that period of my life I actively maintain good memories of," he continues. "One day I hope to be strong enough to go back to see Rhea, in that very dark place she resides, and do what I can to get her in a position where she wants to be saved."
Beautiful Things is available now.