THE BIG READ | Joe Biden's son Hunter on family tragedies and the drug addiction that nearly killed him

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Hunter Biden with his father, Joe, and stepmother, Jill, at the American presidential inauguration in January. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Hunter Biden with his father, Joe, and stepmother, Jill, at the American presidential inauguration in January. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

At the age of two he lost his mother and sister in a car crash. Decades later he got hooked on crack after the death of his "soulmate" brother. In this extract from his new book Hunter Biden, the son of the US president, revisits the grief and trauma that fuelled his drug addiction – and the miracle that saved him.

As I began writing this in November 2019, I sat in the centre of a political firestorm. The president of the United States was smearing me almost daily from the South Lawn of the White House. He invoked my name at rallies to incite his base.

“Where’s Hunter?” replaced “Lock her up!” as Donald Trump’s go-to hype line. If you wanted, you could even buy a Where’s Hunter? T-shirt directly from his campaign website – $25 (then R350), sizes small to 3XL.

Not long after, supporters sporting Maga caps appeared outside the driveway gate of the private house I was renting in Los Angeles with my wife, Melissa, then five months pregnant. We called the police to shoo them away. Yet threats – including  an anonymous text to one of my daughters at school, warning her that they knew where I lived – forced us to seek a safer address. Melissa was scared to death – for her, for us, for our baby.

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