Valerie Biden Owens says her nephew Hunter “walked through hell” with his addiction struggles.”He didn’t wake up and say, ‘Aunt Val, I think I’m going to be an addict,'” she told USA Today.Biden Owens’ memoir “Growing Up Biden” is due for release on Tuesday.Sign up for our weekday newsletter, packed with original analysis, news, and trends — delivered right to your inbox.Loading Something is loading.
Biden Owens, President Joe Biden’s older sister and one of his closest confidantes and advisors, discussed the Biden administration and her nephew Hunter in an interview with USA Today ahead of the publication of her memoir “Growing Up Biden,” due for release on Tuesday.
Hunter, Biden’s eldest son, publicly detailed his yearslong battle with drug and alcohol addiction in a 2019 interview with the New Yorker and then in more detail in his memoir “Beautiful Things.” The 52-year-old Yale-trained attorney also been open about mental health and how his divorce and the 2015 death of his brother Beau from cancer affected him and his family.
Bidens Owens said she doesn’t think Hunter bears responsibility for the public criticism and political attacks he’s recieved.
“Hunter walked through hell.He didn’t wake up and say, ‘Aunt Val, I think I’m going to be an addict.And so whatever happens, it’s my responsibility,'” she said.
Biden Owens, citing other family members who dealt with addiction, said the most difficult part of her memoir was “exposing the vulnerabilities of a family and addiction.” Biden himself does not drink alcohol.
Biden Owens stepped in to help raise Hunter and Beau after Biden’s first wife Neilia Hunter and daughter Naomi died in a December 1972 car accident that also left the two boys injured.She told USA Today that she sees Hunter more like a son than a nephew.
In addition to the ongoing federal grand jury probe , congressional Republicans are openly chomping at the bit to investigate Hunter’s business dealings and other Biden family business ventures if the GOP wins back control of the House of Representatives in 2022.
But Biden Owens said the family is prepared for whatever congressional investigations or other scorched-earth political attacks come their way.
“I don’t know what could be worse than Beau’s dying of glioblastoma when he was 46 years old,” Biden Owens said.
“I don’t know what could be worse than watching Hunter walk through hell.You never say the worst is over, but whatever comes, we can handle it as a family.”
Biden Owens, one of her brother’s most ardent supporters and defenders, says she talks to the president multiple times a week.
“When he calls, I don’t talk about what happened with (Russian President Vladimir) Putin today,” Biden Owens told USA Today.
“We talk about family.It’s a respite…we talk about nothing, and in talking about nothing, we talk about everything.I don’t have to say a whole lot, because we understand each other.”
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