Beautiful boost: Interest in Hunter Biden’s memoir soars during trial

Prosecution relied heavily on Biden’s memoir to recount drug use during trial

Ariana Baio
Thursday 06 June 2024 22:13 BST
Hunter Biden reveals father staged drugs intervention with him

Hunter Biden’s 2021 memoir is experiencing a boost in sales thanks to its appearance in his federal gun charges trial this week.

On Monday, the first day of the trial in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden’s book Beautiful Things jumped from its 338,000 spot in Amazon rankings to 12,900, USA Today reported, citing data from Publisher’s Marketplace.

By Wednesday afternoon, the second day of trial testimony, the book jumped up to the 4,200 range.

The book has become a large piece of evidence in the trial. Prosecutors have relied heavily on Biden’s own words to attest to his drug addiction in 2018 – when they allege he unlawfully bought a gun by lying on a federal gun form about his drug use.

Hunter Biden, son of Joe Biden, holds a copy of his memoir as he arrives at court on June 6, 2024 in Wilmington, Delaware
Hunter Biden, son of Joe Biden, holds a copy of his memoir as he arrives at court on June 6, 2024 in Wilmington, Delaware (Getty Images)

Much of Biden’s memoir focuses on his history of substance use disorder and how it has coincided with difficult life events like the death of his brother Beau Biden.

On Tuesday, jurors listened to long stretches of the audiobook version of Beautiful Things to understand the scope of Biden’s addiction to crack cocaine between 2015 and 2018. Biden narrated the book himself.

This is the same method that FBI agent Erika Jensen said that she used to collect evidence regarding Biden’s drug use before he purchased the handgun in October 2018.

In the book, Biden details how his brother’s death from cancer in 2015 sent him into a spiral. Jurors listened as his voice recalled the dark path he went down when he began purchasing crack cocaine from drug dealers, to attempting to make his own.

At several points during the day, members of the Biden family who attended court had appeared emotionally overwhelmed listening to his voice recount the difficult time. Ashley Biden, Hunter’s sister, wept in the courtroom while First Lady Jill Biden put her arm around her.

Prosecutors said Beautiful Things would establish Biden’s substance use disorder before, during and after the time he purchased the firearm.

But Biden’s defense attorney, Abbe Lowell, contended that the book does not necessarily prove his client was using drugs on the day he purchased the handgun, only that he dealt with addiction throughout his life. He also never mentioned the handgun in the memoir.

Biden is charged with three gun-related charges. He has pleaded not guilty.

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