Speed Reads

last night on late night

Hunter Biden tells Jimmy Kimmel about crack, addiction, Donald Trump Jr.'s 'wildly comical' nepotism slurs

Jimmy Kimmel introduced Hunter Biden as "probably the most famous board member of a Ukrainian energy company of all time," but they spent most of their conversation on Thursday's Kimmel Live discussing addiction, as described in Biden's new book, Beautiful Things. "I have to tell you, after reading the book, I'm impressed that you're alive," Kimmel said. "I feel like I learned a lot about crack."

"I wrote about it in vivid detail because, you know, I think the question that most addicts have a really hard time answering, and what everybody that's a non-addict wants the answer to, is why?" Biden said "There's a simple answer, and that's because it works — at first, until it doesn't." With every drug, you're always trying to chase that first high, he explained. Alcohol is actually "the most insidious drug for me," but "crack brought me to place that I'd never been to before," both high and low, Biden said. "It was an absolutely awful experience at the end, and it was an awful experience throughout. After that first time, all you do is live in a lot of guilt and a lot of shame."

Biden said he wrote the book "to humanize people suffering from addiction," but "more than anything it's a love letter to the people that are loving someone that's struggling with addiction. Because it's so hard for them to understand why it is that their love just can't get through. ... I hope that this provides some people some real hope that if they're just persistent, and they continue, that when that person's ready to reach for that love, maybe they'll be able to find their way out of that deep, dark hole." "Yeah, boy was your dad persistent," Kimmel said.

Biden said he was well-qualified for the Burisma board position, bad optics notwithstanding. "Does it make you crazy when you hear someone like Donald Trump Jr. saying that the only reason he does is because he's a Biden, and because of his last name? And how just wildly comical that is?" Kimmel asked. "It is wildly comical, that's putting it lightly," Biden laughed. But "what I've learned is this, is that I don't spend too much time thinking about them." "I do, I think about it all the time," Kimmel said. Watch the full interview, including Biden's thoughts on "sad" Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), below. Peter Weber