Hunter Biden has opened up about his relationship with his sister-in-law and the widow of his deceased brother Beau in a new memoir, saying the affair “came out of a real overwhelming grief.”
The younger son of the president, 51-year-old Hunter, who has had his fair share of controversy revolving around his struggles with alcohol and drug addiction, entered into a romantic relationship with Hallie Biden in 2017, two years after Beau, his war veteran elder brother, died of brain cancer.
“I think people were confused by it and I understand that. I mean I really do,” he said in an interview with CBS News as he promoted his new memoir Beautiful Things that is scheduled to be released on 6 April.
“To me, it’s not something that is difficult to explain because it came out of a real overwhelming grief that we both shared and we were together and trying to do the right thing. And that grief turned into a hope for a love that maybe could replace what we lost and it didn’t work,” he said.
Hunter split from his wife Kathleen in October 2015, five months after his brother’s death. They formally divorced in 2017.
While Hunter’s relationship received support from his father, the romance had a significant impact on his business, as he lost clients over the public controversy and had to step down from the board of the World Food Program.
“I made a lot of decisions that I probably shouldn’t have made,” said Hunter in the interview, adding that “there was a lot more compassion and understanding for the people that knew me, but it was a horrible time too.”
His relationship with Hallie ended in 2019. In excerpts from the memoir obtained by USA Today, he said the relationship “was a giant miscalculation on both our parts, errors in judgment born of a uniquely tragic time”.
In May 2019, Hunter found love again in his now-wife Melissa Cohen, whom he has credited with helping get him back on the path of sobriety. The couple welcomed their first child in March 2020, whom they named after Hunter’s deceased brother, Beau.