Hunter Biden's ex-wife Kathleen Buhle speaks out on their marriage, financial woes

Hunter Biden's ex-wife opens up about their 24-year marriage, including their financial struggles and his battle with drug addiction, in a TV interview for the first time.
Kathleen Buhle raised three daughters, Naomi, Finnegan and Maisy, with Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, before their marriage ended in divorce five years ago.
Buhle, 53, opens up about the ups and downs of her marriage for the first time in her new memoir, If We Break: A Memoir of Marriage, Addiction and Healing, which she spoke exclusively to ABC News' Amy Robach.
"The process of writing the book was incredibly cathartic," Buhle Robach said in an interview that aired Tuesday on Good Morning America. "In the process of writing this book, I took some of the decisions and choices I made into my own hands, which was difficult."
One of those decisions, according to Buhle, was to let Hunter Biden have complete control of the couple's finances and not question how they paid for the lifestyle they led.
"It's embarrassing to say that I ceded all financial control to my husband and buried my head in the sand," she said. "I liked the beautiful things, and I didn't want to think about the price at which they would come."
PHOTO: In this file photo dated April 12, 2016, Kathleen Biden and Hunter Biden arrive at the annual World Food Program USA McGovern-Dole Leadership Award Ceremony at the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C. to (Paul Morigi/Getty Images, FILE)
In 2003, 10 years after their marriage, Buhle said Hunter Biden told her they owed taxpayers' money, which they eventually repaid.
At the time, Hunter Biden had returned from substance abuse rehabilitation and was newly committed to his sobriety, according to Buhle.
Nearly two decades later, Hunter Biden's battle with drug addiction and his financial dealings became political fodder when his father ran for president against then-President Donald Trump in 2020.
In the final weeks of the campaign, the contents of a laptop that Hunter Biden allegedly dumped at a Delaware computer repair shop were leaked online and armed by Trump and his supporters. ABC News was unable to verify the contents of the laptop, which contained emails, text messages and photos allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden.
MORE: Hunter Biden offers lurid details of addiction in new memoir but sidesteps some political scandals
When asked by Robach if photos showing Hunter Biden looking disheveled represent the husband she knew, Buhle replied, "No, not at all."
"But drugs are terrible," she said. "He was struggling with a massive drug addiction and it's heartbreaking and painful and that wasn't who I was married to."
Hunter Biden, who wrote about his battle with addiction in his own memoir Beautiful Things, revealed in December 2020, shortly after his father was elected president, that federal investigators had been investigating his "tax affairs" and business dealings.
PHOTO: In this August 29, 2009 file photo, Vice President Joe Biden arrives with his wife Jill Biden (R), son Hunter Biden (L) and daughter-in-law Kathleen Biden at Arlington National Cemetery for the funeral of Sen Edward Kennedy in Arlington, Virginia (Jim Bourg-Pool/Getty Images, file)
In March, sources told ABC News that witnesses appearing before a Delaware grand jury were questioned about payments Hunter Biden received while he served on the board of Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma, in addition to other questions about how he I have paid my tax obligations in recent years.
When asked if she saw Hunter Biden pandering or seeking profit based on the identity of his father — who served as a US Senator and Vice President before becoming president — Buhle said she saw someone in her ex-husband , who “loved his father. "
"I saw someone who loved their father, respected their parents and was proud to be their son," she said.
She discovers her then-husband's affair with her sister-in-law
While still married to Hunter Biden, Buhle said she learned from the family therapist that he was in a relationship with Hallie Biden, his brother Beau's widow, who died of brain cancer in 2015.
According to Buhle, in 2016, one of her three daughters with Hunter Biden saw text messages on her father's phone between him and Hallie and called the therapist to tell Buhle.
"I just didn't recognize him," she said of her husband at the time. "And it's the addiction."
MORE: Federal investigation into Hunter Biden's taxes intensifies, sources say
When asked if her in-laws, President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, who spoke to her about what happened, Buhle said she was "grateful" for the couple's love for their daughters.
"The one thing I never questioned was Joe and Jill's love and attention to my three daughters," Buhle said. "The divorce was hard on all of us because we were very close, but we come together because of a shared love for my daughters and I will be eternally grateful for that."
The White House did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.
Losing the Biden name and fighting cancer
Following her 2017 divorce from Hunter Biden, Buhle dropped her married name, Biden, a move she described as "scary."
"I think the Biden name was so much a part of my identity," Buhle said. "I mean, the idea that I was a 49-year-old woman with a college degree and a support community, relatively smart, I really felt like I couldn't do it on my own. That's crazy."
"So it was scary," she said. "But I did it, and it felt empowering."
PHOTO: If We Break writer Kathleen Buhle speaks with ABC News' Amy Robach in an interview to air June 14, 2022 on Good Morning America. (ABC News)
Hunter Biden, who now lives in California, married a woman, Melissa Biden, in 2019 with whom he shares a two-year-old son, Beau Biden Jr.
Hunter Biden did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.
With the release of her new memoir, which is now available in stores, Buhle said she wants her story and her name to be known.
“Obviously the Bidens are in. They've been in my life in such a significant way," she said. "But I've really tried to keep my relationship with Hunter's addiction, where I was in my marriage and the decisions I made to make sure this is my story, Kathleen Buhle's story."
Buhle's story also includes a battle with stage 3 colon cancer, which she was diagnosed with in 2017, just months after her divorce.
“Nobody in my family had colon cancer. I'm a runner, relatively healthy," she said of the surprising diagnosis, which gave her perspective in her life. "So when [the doctor] said I had cancer, within minutes I was like, 'I can't believe I was so upset about the divorce.'"
Now cancer-free, Buhle lives in Washington, D.C. and is the CEO of The House at 1229, a nonprofit social club for women opening in September.
PHOTO: In this June 13, 2016 file photo, Kathleen Biden speaks at the Women's United State Reception hosted by Civic Nation at the Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington, D.C. (Paul Morigi/Getty Images, FILE)
She described the social club, which will be primarily for women over 50 from all backgrounds, as a tribute to the women who have supported her through what she called the "toughest part" of her life.
"We founded The House at 1229 with the belief that when women come together, opportunities for growth increase," said Buhle. "My community of friends has been there for me through the most difficult part of my life. You picked me up. More importantly, they have pushed me forward and this community is something I value.”
ABC News' Lucien Bruggeman contributed to this report.
Hunter Biden's Ex-Wife Kathleen Buhle Opens Up About Her Marriage Financial Troubles originally surfaced on

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