Hunter Biden’s Ex-Wife Kathleen Buhle Details Years of His Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, and Infidelity in New Memoir If We Break

In her new memoir If We Break, Kathleen Buhle doesn’t shy away from the ugly side of her 24-year marriage to Hunter Biden and the ramifications it had on both her own mental health and that of their three daughters, Naomi, Finneganand Maisy.

In the book, Buhle shares that she first began noticing Hunter’s drinking might be a problem around 2001 after the birth of their second child when he took a job as a partner at a lobbying firm in Washington, DC which led to a lot of late nights and long periods away from their home in Delaware. “I watched his drinking spiral from social to problematic,” she writes. “Watching how much he could consume scared me…For the first time, I didn’t trust my husband.” By the fall of 2003, Hunter entered rehab for the first time and, when he returned, the author says their marriage “felt stronger than ever.” But after seven years of sobriety, Hunter relapsed again only to deny it, forcing Buhle into the permanent role of sobriety detective. “As my suspicions grew, so did Hunter’s defensiveness,” she says. “He made me think that I must be crazy, when what I wanted from him was honesty. But I didn’t know how to ask for it.”

When Hunter returned home after ultimately agreeing to a second stint in rehab in 2012, Buhle says she tried to “restart our marriage…We weren’t fighting, not in the beginning. We just seemed to be drifting. From the outside, everything was as it should be…But inside, at home, we weren’t sharing.” And by the spring of 2013, she began to notice the warning signs that he was drinking again. “I didn’t trust my husband. And he didn’t trust me, either, as if my own suspicion about him made me suspect…Sometimes I even believed that it was my own skepticism about him that was the problem,” she writes, blaming herself for driving her husband even further into his addiction.

After Beau Biden was diagnosed with a fatal form of brain cancer, Buhle watches again as her husband’s drinking becomes “worse than ever,” finding beer cans and vodka bottles scattered throughout their home. She begins to lose faith that he’ll ever be able to stop. “Each time he drank, the process of getting him to admit he wasn’t sober took longer and was more exhausting,” she says. “The denials grew angrier and more bitter too. For the first time, Hunter was calling me names.” And as Beau’s disease worsened, Buhle writes, “Hunter’s drinking was obvious in the darkest, angriest way.”

After over a decade spent grappling with her husband’s alcoholism, Buhle admits that the reality that Hunter might also be using drugs had never even occurred to her. That is until he confessed in late 2013 that, earlier that summer, he had failed a drug test necessary to join the Navy, testing positive for cocaine—a drug he completely denies having taken. Years later, following Beau’s passing, Buhle would also discover evidence that Hunter was smoking crack, finding a broken glass pipe in an ashtray in their home after a night of binge-drinking, and later discovering a pipe and small baggie filled with a white substance hidden in their car. But by then, Buhle writes, “After years of thinking it couldn’t get worse, I’d lost the ability to be surprised by him.”

As though dealing with Hunter’s alcoholism and drug addiction wasn’t enough of a challenge for their relationship to withstand, Buhle also discovers evidence of his infidelity years before he would get caught cheating on her with his late brother’s wife, Hallie. After Buhle finds photos on his iPad of a robe-clad woman in his Paris hotel room, Hunter eventually admits that he’s cheated on her five times over the course of their marriage, claiming that they were “All prostitutes. All outside the country,” and only when he was drinking. Buhle admits that not only did her enmeshment with her husband keep her from him, but she was also leaving advised by Hallie that if she left him she would only come to regret it as Hunter would surely move on with someone else. Buhle’s therapist also told her at the time that “he didn’t think Hunter would be able to handle losing Beau and me at the same time.” So, she decides to stay. But just as the author begins to finally forgive him for his past indiscretions, Hunter begins pulling away from her again, spending more and more time with Hallie and her children following Beau’s passing. She notices that Hallie also begins to treat her more coldly. After years of friendship and family holidays, Buhle writes, “For the first time, she seemed truly tired of me. Soon she’d stop responding to me at all. One of my last texts to her said that I didn’t understand what was happening and that I felt like I was being punished. I didn’t hear back.”

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