Nonprofit executive Kathleen Buhle, the ex-wife of First Child Hunter Biden, says she has “total control over my life now,” five years after her divorce.
Buhle made the remark to People magazine Wednesday while promoting her upcoming tell-all memoir, If We Break. She’s been giving interviews to People since January… but now the magazine has finally obtained shocking excerpts from insider the still-unreleased memoir.
Buhle describes her ex-husband’s drug addiction, the red flags in his personal finances, and her challenges integrating into the Biden family.
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In the book, Buhle describes the pain she felt watching Hunter spiral into addiction, even as he denied it, and how “it became my own addiction” to document it. She writes that the couple separated not long after Beau Biden’s 2015 death from brain cancer, when Buhle found a crack pipe in their ashtray.
She wrote, in damning detail:
One Saturday morning when we had friends visiting, Hunter walked into the kitchen looking as if he hadn’t gone to sleep. I was making pancakes as I watched him pull a bottle of Jack Daniel’s out of the cabinet. “Hunter! What are you doing?” I said. “It’s 10 a.m.!” I don’t think he knew what time it was, and he still seemed drunk. He laughed and put the bottle back. We all stared.
I found a credit card charge for $10,000 at a hot tub store in Los Angeles. I found hundreds at liquor stores and strip clubs. The whole time, he told me he was healthy and sober—and I was crazy. I continually told him that I was the one person actually trying to get him sober. It became my own kind of addiction. I didn’t want to admit, to myself or anyone else, how unhealthy our relationship had become, so my struggle was just one more secret.
While Hunter’s finances are under investigation by the Justice Department, Buhle told People that “I couldn’t be of any help,” adding, “I kept my head so deeply buried in the sand on our finances.”
She touched on her ex-husband’s finances in the memoir.
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He started many ventures . . . a real estate investment fund and then a technology company. I didn’t understand any of it, or what pieces of his businesses actually generated income for us. I worried that we lived above our means, but I did nothing to change it. The way that Hunter and I handled money was that whenever I needed any, I called Hunter. More than once my debit card was declined at a store. I’d have to call Hunter to transfer money into my account. Hunter and I drove nice cars and had a beautiful home, but we were running fast on that hamster wheel and barely staying on.
Buhle went on to describe her own personal finances as a roadblock to her relationship with the Biden family. In particular, she recounted her shock at the lifestyle of a U.S. senator’s son, compared to her own upbringing in the Midwestern working class.
“I came from Chicago’s working class. Dinner at my house was served with paper towels and often included mac and cheese out of a Tupperware bowl,” she wrote. “Hunter tried to tell me that he came from a middle-class family. Months later, when I went to his house for the first time, I explained to him: ‘Hunt, a kid from a middle class family does not have a ballroom.'”
After Biden became President Barack Obama’s vice president in 2008, Buhle writes experiencing “one frequent reminder I wasn’t a true Biden,” when a Secret Service agent informed the family that her then-husband and daughters would receive round-the-clock protection, but not her.
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Buhle, in 2019, legally reclaimed her maiden name. “I was no longer a Biden,” she writes. “I’d handed in my crown and shield because I no longer needed them. Maybe I never had.”
Still, Buhle says that she doesn’t harbor any anger toward her ex-husband. She said in an interview, “I have forgiven him, yes… Anger is such a heavy weight to carry and I was in a lot of pain. There was a lot that happened that was very hard for me. And when I made the decision to divorce, I wanted to let go of all of that.”
According to the magazine, she broke into “a small sob” and then continued, “My greatest shame was feeling like my identity was not my own. It was in writing this book that I realized probably the heaviest weight was that I first had to forgive myself for not believing in myself.”
Buhle made a similar remark to the magazine in January.
“Writing this book has been incredibly healing for me,” she said in an interview at the time. “My hope is it will be meaningful to those who have been through addiction or divorce, and especially to women who have felt like their entire identity was tied to their spouse. In the end, divorce allowed me to find my strength.”
The memoir will hit shelves on June 14.
The Horn editorial team and the Associated Press contributed to this article.