In the early days of Kathleen Buhle’s marriage to President Biden’s son Hunter, she felt very loved by a husband she described as “so mature and sophisticated and charming.” But about a decade later, a drinking problem sent him to rehab, and a relapse about seven years after that would begin the slow unraveling of their marriage.
Buhle, who divorcedin 2017, is now telling her story in a new book called, “If We Break: A Memoir of Marriage, Addiction, and Healing.” The memoir details her ex-husband’s struggle with addiction and the infidelities she said led to their breakup.
“It was a painful, painful time for our whole family,” she told CBS News’ Anthony Mason about Hunter Biden’s battle with substance abuse.
The president’s second son has made headlines in recent years as investigators look into his business dealings abroad. He’s been open about his drug problems andlast year that he’s cooperating with the federal probe.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware opened an investigation intoin 2018. A subpoena obtained by CBS News revealed requests for bank records dating back to 2014, when he and Buhle were still married.
Buhle said she did not know much about her family’s finances and largely let Hunter Biden handle them.
“I had my head pretty deeply buried in the sand,” she said.
Buhle said she has talked to investigators but has not been subpoenaed before a grand jury.
“Even if I was subpoenaed, I kept my head so deeply buried in the sand, I honestly have nothing to contribute… But I was questioned because obviously I was married to him for 24 years,” she said.
She and Hunter Biden met in 1992 while working for the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. They got married the next year and later had three daughters — Naomi, Finnegan and Maisy.
“He treated me in a way I hadn’t been treated before,” Buhle said in an interview that aired Thursday on “CBS Mornings.”
Hunter Biden’s alcohol addiction escalated in 2003, when he went to a rehab. In her book, Buhle describes finding evidence of her ex-husband’s drug use at their home, including a crack pipe she says she found after his brotherdied in 2015.
“At that point, he was gone, when I found the crack pipe. Beau had just died. His addiction was as bad as it was,” she said. “It was escalating… He was just in an awful place.”
Beau Biden’s death from brain cancer meant Hunter Biden had lost his best friend — and Buhle had lost her closest ally.
“He was a brother to me,” she said. “I write in the book, he was someone who I believed loved Hunter as much as I did.”
Buhle said she would soon discover that Hunter had cheated on her with dozens of women.
“You said you learned that there wasn’t one Hunter or two Hunters, but there were many,” Mason said.
“Right. Well, don’t smoke crack,” Buhle said.
The breaking point came when their then-18-year-old daughter, Finnegan, called Buhle to come to the family therapist’s home. There her daughters revealed they found texts on his phone proving he was having an affair with Beau Biden’s widow, Hallie Biden.
“When I found out he was having an affair with our sister-in-law, at that point I had been losing my mind for the last year and a half trying to make sense of what was going on. And in a strange way it was like, ‘Finally, I don’t love him anymore,'” Buhle said.
CBS News reached out to Hunter Biden and Hallie Biden for comment, but they did not respond. The White House declined to comment about this report.
In her memoir, Buhle also talks about her battle with stage 3 colon cancer, which she was diagnosed with less than a year after filing for her divorce.
Despite the breakup, she said she still sees the Bidens at family events and is looking forward to her eldest daughter’s wedding at the White House in November.is marrying her fiancé, Peter Neal, on Nov. 19.
“What I found from writing the book, the only thing that’s important to me is me letting go — my forgiveness,” Buhle said. “I know he feels bad about what he did. That’s hard to live with. So I hope he’s in a good place. I really do.”