Hunter Biden’s Ex-girlfriend Describes His Drug Use At His Trial

Biden drug use trial

Hunter Biden’s former girlfriend testified about his near-constant crack cocaine use at lavish hotels during the criminal trial where prosecutors aim to prove that U.S. President Joe Biden’s son lied about his addiction to illegally buy a gun. Jurors heard that Hunter Biden prepared crack at the ritzy Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles or spent days in hotel rooms getting high in the months before his 2018 gun purchase, according to his former girlfriend.

“He would want to smoke as soon as he woke up,” Zoe Kestan told jurors. She described meetings with a “scary” drug dealer and hunting for instructions on the internet to cook powder cocaine into crack. Kestan testified at the first trial of a U.S. president’s child, where prosecutors aim to prove that Hunter Biden knowingly lied about his drug use on screening paperwork when he purchased a revolver in October 2018.

Kathleen Buhle, who divorced Hunter Biden in 2017, testified for about 20 minutes, describing how she first discovered he was using drugs. Prosecutors also plan to call Hallie Biden, the widow of his late brother Beau Biden. Hunter Biden, 54, has pleaded not guilty to three felony charges accusing him of failing to disclose his use of illegal drugs when he bought the gun and of illegally possessing the weapon for 11 days.

Biden has publicly acknowledged his past drug use, including in his memoir. He told the judge in the case at a 2023 hearing that he had been sober since 2019.


His defense lawyer, Abbe Lowell, countered that Hunter Biden was not using drugs at the time and did not intend to deceive. Lowell pressed an FBI agent to acknowledge that prosecutors had evidence of Biden’s addiction only before or after rather than during the time he owned the gun.

Kestan also described a message from Hunter Biden in which he said a month after the October 2018 gun purchase that he might get sober but “I’ll always be an addict.” The defense has worked to show that prosecutors have not presented much evidence that Hunter Biden was using drugs in October 2018 when he purchased the gun. Under questioning from Lowell, Kestan said she did not see him in the weeks before and after the gun purchase. She also acknowledged that when he described himself as always being an addict, he was using the language associated with people recovering from substance abuse.


Similarly, Lowell elicited testimony from an FBI agent showing the bulk of Hunter Biden’s messages introduced by prosecutors about drug use preceded the gun purchase or were sent months after the gun was taken from Hunter Biden. Lowell also used his cross-examination of Erika Jensen, the FBI agent called by the prosecution, to try to undercut suggestions that Hunter Biden used $151,000 in cash withdrawals around the time of the gun purchase to buy drugs. Jensen acknowledged she did not know if the money was spent on accommodations, for example.

Prosecutor Derek Hines noted that Hunter Biden was using debit cards, not cash, for alcohol and other expenses at the time. “Do drug dealers accept cards?” Hines asked Jensen. “Not in my experience,” she responded.

Also on Wednesday, the top U.S. House of Representatives Republicans leading an impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden asked the Justice Department to prosecute his brother James as well as Hunter for allegedly lying to their probe.