Hunter Biden, the son of US President Joe Biden, has reflected on his public struggle with drug and alcohol addiction, saying his life “is not a tabloid”.
“I don’t belong to an administration, I belong to a family,” he told the BBC.
He took responsibility for “creating a story… that anyone conscious would know would be a tabloid sensation”.
He also addressed the scrutiny he and his father faced over his work with Ukrainian energy company Burisma.
Mr Biden was a director on the board of Burisma while Joe Biden was US vice-president and the Obama administration’s point man on US-Ukrainian relations.
These business dealings made him a frequent target of Republican criticism during the 2020 election campaign, and were at the centre of former US President Donald Trump’s first impeachment.
While defending his qualifications for the position, Mr Biden said that, in retrospect, he had “missed… the perception that I would create”.
“I know that it is hard to believe with 2020 hindsight how I could possibly have missed that,” the 51-year-old told the BBC in an interview.
While no criminal activity by the Bidens has been proven, a senior US state department official raised concerns about a potential conflict of interest as far back as 2015.
An investigation by US Republican lawmakers last year found that Mr Biden’s work for the Ukrainian firm was “problematic” but concluded there was not evidence that US foreign policy was influenced by it.
Mr Biden also acknowledged that his father’s name had “opened doors that wouldn’t be opened up to other people”. But he said this had been “both a privilege and a burden”.Speaking to the BBC ahead of the release of his new memoir Beautiful Things, Mr Biden said he wanted to write about “the love of a family and how it saved me”.
“And, you know, we’re going through two pandemics right now… there’s the pandemic of coronavirus, and there’s a pandemic of addiction too,” he said.