The Messy Scandal Involving Ashley Biden's Diary Fully Explained

First daughter Ashley Biden has always been adamant that she does not enjoy the spotlight. So, when her famous father, Joe Biden, was elected as vice president of the United States, serving as right-hand man to President Barack Obama, and later, president of the United States himself, Ashley had to get creative about how she could use her platform for good while keeping a relatively low profile. "It took about two years to get into the groove of being in this position," she confessed during a candid March 2023 interview with Elle about her evolution and combining her roles as a social worker and the daughter of POTUS. "I'm doing my work as I always have been, but kind of figuring out the role as first daughter, and how can I use it in the most positive way, where it's not about me, it's about Americans." 

Alas, all of that came crashing down in 2020 when Ashley's personal diary was stolen and subsequently published for all the world to read. As one can imagine, a scandal of epic proportions ensued. 

Ashley Biden's diary was sold for $40,000

The story goes that back in the Spring of 2020, Ashley Biden left behind some of her personal belongings, including a diary, at a Delray Beach, Florida, rental home she resided at with a friend. According to the New York Times, Ashley's plan was to return home and retrieve the rest of her items before the lease wasa up in the fall, presumably after the United States presidential election of which her father, Joe Biden, was the Democratic nominee. Alas, during her time back in Delaware, her room had been rented out to someone else — a woman by the name of Aimee Harris, along with her two children. As reported by "The Megyn Kelly Show," the first daughter's diary included accounts wherein she confessed to feeling "hypersexualized at a young age."

Harris and her friend, Robert Kurlander, went on to shop the private journal to Project Veritas, a conservative group founded by American activist James O'Keefe. In September 2020, Project Veritas purchased the diary for a whopping $40,000. While O'Keefe eventually passed on publishing the diary, another right-wing website did — National File. As reported by The Intercept, someone at Project Veritas handed over the diary to the American conservative blog and news site founded by Alex Jones. "A whistleblower from the inside was basically disgruntled," National File's Noel Fritsch told New York Magazine. "They knew that it was verified, and they were ticked off."

Aimee Harris was sentenced to one month in prison

In August 2022, Aimee Harris pleaded guilty to stealing Ashley Biden's personal diary. However, it wasn't until April 2024 that Harris was sentenced to one month in federal prison and three years of probation for the crime. As reported by the New York Times, Judge Laura Taylor Swain admonished Harris' behavior as "despicable and consequently very serious." 

Ahead of the court date, first daughter Biden wrote a letter to the judge explaining that she would not be present as it would "only increase my pain" to what had been an already harrowing experience for her. "Although this criminal act happened more than three years ago, because of the publicity it drew –

exactly as Ms. Harris intended — I am constantly re-traumatized by it," she penned. She urged Swain to give Harris prison time followed by a "lengthy" probation sentence. "She should be held accountable for what she has done," Biden declared.

According to the Associated Press, Harris issued an apology in the courtroom for allowing Biden's private thoughts to become a matter of public consumption. She also seemingly tried to explain some of her behavior, claiming that she was "a survivor of long term domestic abuse and sexual trauma."