"Look, everybody faces pain," Hunter, an accomplished lawyer, told The New Yorker. "Everybody has trauma. There’s addiction in every family. I was in that darkness. I was in that tunnel — it’s a never-ending tunnel. You don’t get rid of it. You figure out how to deal with it."
In the interview, the 49-year-old touched on his two decade-long marriage to Kathleen Biden; his shocking relationship with Hallie Biden, wife of his late brother Beau; his new marriage to South African filmmaker Melissa Cohen; and much more.
Ahead, we break down Hunter's relationships with the women in his life.
Kathleen Buhle Biden
Hunter met Kathleen Buhle in 1992 and they married in the summer of 1993. They have three children together: Naomi, Finnegan, and Maisy. They were married for 22 years, before separating in late 2015. Kathleen supported Hunter through his struggles with addiction, which became a point of tension in their marriage.
Kathleen filed for divorce in 2016. During their divorce proceedings, she filed a motion saying that Hunter "created financial concerns for the family by spending extravagantly on his own interests (including drugs, alcohol, prostitutes, strip clubs, and gifts for women with whom he has sexual relations), while leaving the family with no funds to pay legitimate bills."
He denied paying for sex or even going to strip clubs for years. However, once the details leaked to the New York Post and the tabloid published the explosive story, Hunter said: “I went directly to a strip club [that evening]. I said, ‘Fuck them.’”
Kathleen is reportedly close friends with former first lady Michelle Obama — they go to SoulCycle together — and Maisy is good friends with Sasha Obama.
Hallie married Hunter's older brother Beau in 2002. They had two children, Natalie and Hunter. The couple stayed together until Beau's death in 2015 due to glioblastoma, a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer.
Hallie and Hunter became closer after Beau's death, and they began dating in late 2016. “We were sharing a very specific grief,” Hunter told The New Yorker. “I started to think of Hallie as the only person in my life who understood my loss.” While they chose to keep the relationship private, news broke that they were dating in February 2017.
According to Hunter, Joe Biden found out about the relationship when the New York Post called his office for comment. In a statement at the time, he said: "We are all lucky that Hunter and Hallie found each other as they were putting their lives together again after such sadness. ... They have mine and Jill’s full and complete support and we are happy for them."
However, Hallie and Hunter broke up later that same year. "All we got was shit from everybody, all the time," Hunter told The New Yorker. "It was really hard. And I realized that I’m not helping anybody by sticking around."
Hunter married Melissa Cohen, a filmmaker from South Africa, in May. He proposed less than a week after their first date. When he called to tell his father the news, the former vice president told Cohen, "Thank you for giving my son the courage to love again." Hunter told The New Yorker that he later told his father: "Dad, I always had love. And the only thing that allowed me to see it was the fact that you never gave up on me, you always believed in me."
Hunter's mother Neilia was killed in a car crash shortly before his third birthday. Hunter, his brother Beau, and his sister Naomi were also in the car; Hunter and Beau survived, but Naomi was killed. Hunter refers to Neilia as "Mommy" and speaks of her fondly.
Dr. Jill Biden
Joe Biden married Jill Jacobs in the summer of 1977, when Hunter was 7 years old. As young boys, Hunter and Beau reportedly encouraged their father to get remarried, and were even at the altar at the wedding ceremony. Then, they joined the couple on their honeymoon.
Hunter and Jill have reportedly grown close since then, which Joe Biden described in his 2007 memoir, Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics. Hunter calls Jill "Mom." Dr. Jill Biden is an English professor and cofounder of the Biden Foundation. Earlier this year, Town & Country magazine called her quite possibly "Joe Biden's greatest political asset" in his 2020 campaign for president.