The younger son of President-Elect Joe Biden has made headlines through the years for his partying, relationships, and business dealings. Now, Hunter Biden, 50, is back in the news after announcing on December 9 that he’s under investigation for his “tax affairs” by federal prosecutors in Delaware. Here’s what you should know about Hunter:
1. He’s being investigated by the DOJ for “tax” reasons. “I learned yesterday for the first time that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware advised my legal counsel, also yesterday, that they are investigating my tax affairs,” Hunter said in a statement. “I take this matter very seriously but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately, including with the benefit of professional tax advisors.” Hunter, a lawyer, did not reveal any details about the probe, and the Justice Department has said they do not comment on open cases.
2. He married to Melissa Cohen after six days of dating. Hunter and Melissa, 34, quietly wed in Los Angeles in May 2019 — a complete shock, as the public didn’t know about their relationship. That’s not surprising, considering they had only been together for six days. The couple married at Melissa’s apartment in front of friends, and broke the news to their families later, following it up by getting matching tattoos. “I instantly fell in love with her. And then I’ve fallen in love with her more every day,” Hunter told ABC News in 2019. Melissa is a South African activist who co-owns a business in Los Angeles called Tribal Worlds, whose mission is to “promote indigenous conservation.” They welcomed a son in March 2020.
3. He struggled with addiction. Hunter signed up to join the Navy Reserve, but was discharged after he tested positive for cocaine in Feb. 2014. “It was the honor of my life to serve in the U.S. Navy, and I deeply regret and am embarrassed that my actions led to my administrative discharge. I respect the Navy’s decision. With the love and support of my family, I’m moving forward,” Hunter said in a statement to CNN.
4. He’s a favorite target of Donald Trump. Prior to the 2020 election, President Trump attempted to smear Joe Biden by painting Hunter as corrupt. In late 2019, while Trump was being investigated for a quid pro quo deal with the president of Ukraine, his camp started to drum up controversy about Hunter’s business dealings with Ukrainian company Burisma. Nothing ever came from it. He’s frequently brought up Hunter’s substance addiction, as well.
5. He dated sister-in-law Hallie Biden after divorcing his 1st wife. The couple started a romantic relationship in March 2017, two years after her husband — and Hunter’s brother — Beau Biden, tragically passed away from brain cancer. Despite the complicated family dynamics with their relationship, the couple made it work for two years before their May 2019 split. “Hallie Biden 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 in a statement in March 2017. “We’ve been so lucky to have family and friends who have supported us every step of the way.” The couple have not commented on their breakup thus far.
Hunter and his ex-wife, Kathleen Biden finalized their divorce in April 2017 after separating in 2015. While the split was apparently amicable, the proceedings were messy. Hunter was a no-show to court, and Kathleen was seen sobbing outside the courthouse after telling the judge why she and Hunter wanted a divorce after 22 years of marriage. Kathleen and Hunter have three children together: Finnegan, Maisy and Naomi, named after Hunter and Beau’s late sister. Hallie had two children with Beau before he passed away: Natalie and Hunter.