Joe Biden Gets Emotional Discussing Son Hunter's Memoir About Substance Abuse: 'It Gave Me Hope'

"I'm proud of him," Joe Biden said of his son Hunter, whose memoir Beautiful Things is set to be released on April 6

Hunter Biden; Joe Biden
Hunter Biden (left) and Joe Biden. Photo: Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images

President Joe Biden said his son Hunter Biden's upcoming memoir gave him hope that his "boy is back."

In an interview with CBS News' Norah O'Donnell on Sunday, Biden, 78, choked up while discussing Hunter's memoir Beautiful Things, in which the president's son, 51, opens up about his struggles with and recovery from drugs and alcohol.

"You know, I'll bet there's not a family you know that doesn't have somebody in the family that had a drug problem or an alcohol problem," the president said.

Due out April 6, Beautiful Things details Hunter's "descent into substance abuse and his tortuous path to sobriety," according to a news release last week. It will be published by Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

The president told O'Donnell, 47, that Hunter's openness about his struggles in the memoir had a profound impact on him. "The honesty with which he stepped forward and talked about the problem and the hope that it gave me hope reading it," the former vice president said.

"It was like my boy is back... you know what I mean?" Biden continued as he began to get emotional.

"Anyway, I'm sorry to get personal," he told O'Donnell.

Joe Biden on CBS Evening News
Joe Biden. CBS

The president also acknowledged that while his son has had a long journey of substance abuse, "He's fixed it, he's worked on it."

"I'm proud of him," he said. "I'm proud of my son."

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Hunter, who has no official involvement in the White House and did not work on his father's presidential campaign, has talked multiple times in recent years about past business dealings and parts of his personal life, including his addiction and recovery and the shadow of older brother Beau's 2015 death from brain cancer.

In a brief excerpt of Beautiful Things released by Gallery Books last, Hunter writes: "I come from a family forged by tragedies and bound by a remarkable, unbreakable love."

Hunter Biden
Hunter Biden. Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images

In his candid series of interviews with The New Yorker in 2019, Hunter got personal about his problems, calling his addiction a "darkness." He also spoke of his father's unfailing support.

"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," he told the magazine.

Hunter also opened up about his many attempts to get sober, telling The New Yorker he had entered treatment programs multiple times, first relapsing in November 2010 before going to rehab programs and continuing the cycle for several more years.

Hunter Biden
Hunter Biden speaking at a World Food Program USA Board event in April. Paul Morigi/Getty Images

Advance praise for Hunter's book from author Stephen King, sent by the publisher, called the memoir "harrowing and compulsively readable."

"Hunter Biden proves again that anybody — even the son of a United States President — can take a ride on the pink horse down nightmare alley," King wrote. "Biden remembers it all and tells it all with a bravery that is both heartbreaking and quite gorgeous. He starts with a question: Where's Hunter? The answer is he's in this book, the good, the bad, and the beautiful."

In their own statement regarding Hunter's release, the president and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden said, according to the AP: "We admire our son Hunter's strength and courage to talk openly about his addiction so that others might see themselves in his journey and find hope."

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