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"This was the hardest part of the book to write," the president's son tells CBS This Morning of his candid new memoir, adding, "I don't know a force more powerful than my family's love, except addiction"

By Sean Neumann
April 02, 2021 02:34 PM
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hunter biden
Hunter Biden

In a new interview about his upcoming memoir, Hunter Biden is opening up about his family's intervention during the 2020 presidential campaign, including an emotional embrace with dad Joe Biden.

Hunter's book, Beautiful Things, will be released Tuesday and covers much of the journey the 51-year-old has taken — through drug and alcohol addiction, his tumultuous personal life, as well as his relationship with his family.

For more on Hunter Biden's book Beautiful Things, listen below to the episode of PEOPLE Every Day.

The president's son sat down with CBS News for two separate interviews set to air Sunday and Monday mornings, describing an intervention the Bidens staged at the family's home in Wilmington, Delaware, during the campaign.

The confrontation over Hunter's drug habit became so tense, he tells CBS, he stormed out of the house before his daughters blocked him from getting in his car and driving off.

"This was the hardest part of the book to write," Hunter tells CBS This Morning co-host Anthony Mason, according to video the network released in advance of the interviews.

"I tried to go to my car, and my girls literally blocked the door to my car, and said: 'Dad, Dad, please. You can't. No, no,' " Hunter remembers, before his father chased him down.

"He grabbed me," Hunter recalls, his eyes glassy with tears during the clip. "He grabbed me and gave me a bear hug and he said — he just cried."

Hunter continues: "He said, 'I don't know what to do. I don't know what to do. Please.' I thought, I need to figure out a way to tell him that I'm going to do something so that I can go take another hit. It's the only thing I could think."

That's how powerful addiction can be, Hunter tells Mason in the clip released Friday.

"I don't know a force more powerful than my family's love, except addiction," Hunter says.

Hunter Biden; Joe Biden
Hunter Biden (left) and Joe Biden
| Credit: Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images

That interview will air Monday morning, while a separate interview with CBS correspondent Tracy Smith will air the day before.

The pair of sit-downs is the first time Hunter has opened up on camera, in such detail, about his history with addiction.

Elsewhere in his book, The New York Times reports, Hunter writes about an earlier time when his father confronted him about addiction during his vice presidency.

According to the Times, Hunter writes about an instance when the vice president showed up at Hunter's apartment in his second term in another attempt to intervene in his son's substance abuse.

"I know you're not fine, Hunter," the president's son remembers Biden, 78, saying. "You need help."

U.S. President Joe Biden embraces his family First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, son Hunter Biden and daughter Ashley after being sworn in during his inauguation on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC
President Joe Biden (right) embraces First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, son Hunter Biden and daughter Ashley Biden after being sworn in during his inauguration
| Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty

Despite playing no formal role in the Biden campaign or as his dad's adviser, Hunter emerged from the 2020 campaign as perhaps the most targeted member of his family.

Conservatives relentlessly focused on his past business dealings, which had raised ethical worries despite no evidence of wrongdoing. Many Republicans also pilloried Hunter for his personal and legal problems, including his drug abuse, a paternity suit and a string of eyebrow-raising romances.

Now-President Biden has aimed to hold up his younger son's addiction issues as an example to other American families navigating the same problems.

During the campaign, Biden said "I'm proud of him" when his son's seesawing addiction came up during one debate — pointing out that "like a lot of people we know at home," Hunter "had a drug problem" and overcame it.

Reading his son's memoir, Biden told CBS last year, made him feel like his "boy is back."

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.