Hunter Biden Went Through A Bitter Divorce With His Ex Kathleen Buhle

This article contains mentions of drug use.

Hunter Biden's guilty plea on misdemeanor tax evasion charges has caused issues for his father, Joe Biden, and his administration. This is just the latest chapter into the legal troubles that have plagued Hunter for years, which include investigations into his business dealings in Ukraine and China and whether he compromised his father. Hunter's history has offered ample ammunition for Republicans, who have used it to try to undermine Biden's presidency. But his legal issues haven't just had professional consequences.

In mid-2022, speculation arose that the federal probe was causing tension in Hunter and Melissa Cohen's marriage. As he is investigated, Hunter is constantly under surveillance, which has reportedly pushed his family into reclusion. "They never go anywhere because they've been instructed to stay out of sight and away from the cameras while the investigation into Hunter continues," a source told Page Six. Despite the challenges, Hunter and Cohen were still together as he prepared to plead guilty in June 2023, with both attending a state dinner as a couple the same week.

Whether Hunter's marriage will survive the storm is unknown. But it has already exceeded expectations, considering they wed six days after meeting in May 2019. Maybe Hunter's second marriage will have a different outcome. His first marriage ended amid scandalous circumstances in 2017, when Kathleen Buhle filed for divorce after 23 years and three kids together. The proceedings turned out as far from amicable as you can get, with Hunter's past playing a major role in its denouement.

Kathleen Buhle reportedly tried to 'blackmail' Hunter Biden

Hunter Biden and Kathleen Buhle's marriage had been on the rocks for awhile amid his drug addiction and supposed dealings with sex workers, Delaware Online reported in 2017. But she had enough when she found out Hunter had cheated on her with Beau Biden's widow, Hallie Biden, from her daughters — Naomi, Finnegan, and Maisy — during a joint therapy session in 2016. "[Finnegan's counselor] looked me in the eye and calmly said, 'Kathleen, Hunter's having an affair with Hallie,'" Buhle wrote in her 2022 memoir, "If We Break."

Buhle filed for divorce that December, igniting a legal battle that quickly turned ugly. Buhle reportedly used Hunter's past against him to get a better divorce settlement, the Daily Mail reported in June 2022, after obtaining a March 2017 letter exchange between their lawyers. In it, Buhle allegedly threatened to leak "compromising photos" of Hunter, a tactic Hunter's lawyer described as punishable under D.C.'s blackmail statute. (Thousands of these photos were published online in June 2023.)

Hunter accused Buhle of intentionally fighting for an amount above what he could provide, knowing Joe Biden would have to help him. "Kathleen's settlement posture is premised on her expectation that Hunter's father will backstop any financial arrangement," his lawyer said. Buhle had previously accused Hunter of pouring their money on drugs and sex workers, Delaware Online noted. They reached a confidential agreement in April 2017, but a 2019 email revealed he pays $37,000 monthly, the Daily Mail noted.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Hunter Biden met Melissa Cohen amid another personal crisis

When he married Melissa Cohen in May 2019, Hunter Biden had just been sued by Lunden Roberts, an Arkansas woman who contended the daughter she birthed in August 2018 was his and was asking for child support, CNN reported. The son of the then-presidential candidate Joe Biden denied her claims, but DNA testing confirmed the paternity in January 2020, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

The child support case became more complicated in late 2019, when then-President Donald Trump was accused of pressuring the Ukrainian government to investigate Hunter and Joe's role in the Ukrainian gas company, Burisma (which helped pave the way for Trump's first impeachment trial). Roberts quickly filed a petition asking Hunter to disclose his earnings relating to the company, CNBC reported. Hunter's lawyers accused Roberts of trying to benefit from a delicate political situation that should be kept separate from his personal life.

But Roberts' lawyer had a different opinion. "My client just wants to get child support for her child, she is not trying to hurt Joe Biden or help Donald Trump," he said. In March 2020, Hunter and Roberts came to an undisclosed agreement. In late 2022, Hunter filed to reduce the amount, revealing he was paying her $20,000 a month, according to CNN. Roberts also wanted to change the girl's last name to Biden, which Hunter opposed on the premise it'll bring her unwanted attention, the New York Post reported in January 2023.