Hunter Biden's Ex-Wife Takes The Stand In Gun Trial & Her Words Are Devastating

This article contains discussion of substance abuse.

Hunter Biden's trial for possessing a firearm while using illegal drugs began on June 3, 2024 to much publicity and courtroom fanfare. The son of President Joe Biden has pleaded not guilty to all three felony gun charges, which could earn him up to 25 years in prison if convicted. As reported by the New York Times, the second day of the high profile trial proved to be a doozy for Hunter and his defense team as the prosecution used several audio clips from his self-narrated memoir, "Beautiful Things," to convey his personal issues with addiction and his behavior while in the throes of substance abuse.

The defense was particularly left scrambling when Hunter Biden's ex-wife and mother of his children, Kathleen Buhle, took the stand on June 5 and delivered a devastating account of her ex-husband's spiral into addiction and how their marriage and family unit subsequently imploded. Buhle testified that she first realized her then-husband was using crack cocaine on July 3, 2015 after finding a crack pipe in an ashtray at their familial home. "I went looking for my husband and asked him what it was," Buhle recounted, per the New York Post. "He said it was a crack pipe. He acknowledged smoking crack."

Kathleen Buhle testfied that Hunter Biden could hide his drug use from others

Hunter Biden's defense, led by Attorney Abbe D. Lowell, is adamant, however, that Biden was not under the influence of drugs when he purchased the gun in October 2018. "There may be high-functioning alcoholics, but there's no such thing as a high-functioning crack addict," Lowell told the jurors during opening statements, as reported by NBC News.

Still, there's no doubt that Kathleen Buhle's testimony could prove damaging to Biden. "He wasn't himself" Buhle said about her then-husband's demeanor via the New York Times. She added that he would get easily angered while attempting to hide his drug use from loved ones. 

Buhle even confessed that she got in the habit of searching their family vehicles for any drugs or drug paraphernalia to make sure the couple's three children "were not driving a car with drugs in it." As reported by the New York Post, Buhle claimed that she continued to search the family vehicles from July 2015 until 2019 — months after Biden and Buhle bitterly divorced — and noted that she did, in fact, find drugs on more than one occasion. But that's not all. Buhle also noted that there were times in which she noticed her former husband was high while others did not, which disputed Lowell's notion that Biden could not function amid his use of crack cocaine.

Zoe Kestan testified that Hunter Biden's demeanor didn't change while using drugs

Zoe Kestan, an ex-girlfriend of Hunter Biden's, also took the stand on June 5 and seemingly corroborated some of Kathleen Buhle's devastating testimony. As reported by the New York Post, while under oath, Kestan explained that she met Biden in December 2017 while she was working in a gentleman's club. Kestan claimed that she was quickly made aware of Biden's addiction issues and witnessed him smoking crack during their first encounter. Kestan also testified that she met up with Biden again in January 2018 for five days. During that time, Kestan said he was smoking crack "every 20 minutes or so." 

Things went from bad to worse for Biden's defense when Kestan also testified about his ability to function while using drugs. "I thought to myself, 'It's crazy his demeanor doesn't seem to be changing,'" Kestan recalled. "I never saw an immediate change in his behavior, which really confused me." With two witnesses testifying that Biden masked his substance use from others, his legal team has its work cut out for them.

If you or anyone you know needs help 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).