Hunter Biden claimed in his memoir that he befriended a street-dwelling crack addict and invited her to stay in his home.
But when DailyMail.com tracked down the woman, she said his story is ‘bulls**t’.
In his book, Hunter devotes nearly an entire chapter to a woman he writes he ‘loved as much as any friend he’s ever loved,’ a homeless crack addict he says he trusted to live in his apartment even though she was a criminal and had one son on death row and another serving life in prison.
The 52-year-old Washington, DC woman, who Hunter refers to by the pseudonym Rhea in his book, tells a different story.
In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, Rhea said that she ‘never lived with him’, merely worked as his cleaner, and that his tale about her alleged criminal sons was entirely fabricated.
In his memoir, Hunter Biden devotes nearly an entire chapter to a street-dwelling crack addict he ‘loved as much as any friend he’s ever loved’. He says he trusted her to live in his apartment even though she was a criminal and had one son on death row and another serving life in prison
The 52-year-old Washington, DC woman, who Hunter refers to by the pseudonym Rhea in his book, says his story about their relationship is ‘bulls**t. In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, Rhea said that she ‘never lived with him’, worked as his cleaner, and that his tale about her sons was fabricated
The woman claims she was almost fired when Hunter’s book came out. She would not identify her boss or her line of work or how they knew about her inclusion in the book.
Rhea, who asked to remain anonymous, added that she feels exploited by a powerful man who she says concocted a colorful narrative about her life to help sell his book, Beautiful Things.
When shown excerpts of the memoir she hadn’t read in its entirety, she disputed many of the specifics the president’s son wrote about her upbringing, her life on the street and the evolution of their unlikely friendship, including Hunter’s claim they grew so close he let her stay in his home for five months.
Rhea said that she feels exploited by a powerful man who she says concocted a colorful narrative about her life to help sell his book, Beautiful Things
‘See, this is some bullsh*t,’ she told DailyMail.com after reading that line. ‘I never lived with him. All I did was clean his house. He was never there.’
She said certain details seemed to be pulled out of thin air. For starters, she said, she doesn’t have a son on death row or locked up for life.
‘He doesn’t know about my family,’ she said. ‘He puts all this information in here he didn’t know about me.’
What she most objected to is how Hunter portrayed her as sucking him into his addiction.
‘He makes it seem like I’m the reason he was in this situation,’ she said. ‘He’s making me out to be the villain.’
The president’s son claimed it was this middle-aged black woman who taught him to smoke crack and saved his life even as she sucked him into her grim existence.
‘The relationship was symbiotic,’ Hunter wrote in Beautiful Things. ‘It was two crack addicts who couldn’t find their way out of a paper bag. A one-act crack farce.’
The first son, whose memoir was published in April, wrote that Rhea also went by the nickname Bicycles because she would often be seen pedaling around the nation’s capital.
‘One day I hope to be strong enough to go back to see Rhea, in that very dark place she resides, and do what I can to get her in a position where she wants to be saved,’ Hunter wrote.
But texts from Hunter’s laptop reveal Rhea’s constant pleas for money and help were often ignored.
He appeared less charitable and caring in his texts to Rhea, also obtained from his laptop.
In one demanding text he wrote to her: ‘Meet me at Wells Fargo. I want 5 now please – like right now. Yes or no? I’ve got other options.’
The president’s son was curt with her via text, calling her an ‘a**hole’ and told her to ‘shut up’. She repeatedly texted him asking to be let into his DC apartment, and Hunter often failed to respond.
Now Rhea now wants nothing to do with Hunter.
‘He’s not a friend, talking about me like that,’ she said. ‘I don’t want to hear that bulls**t. I don’t want to see him.’
The woman’s identity remained a mystery until DailyMail.com discovered her real name buried in a trove of emails on Hunter’s laptop.
A reporter then tracked her down on the streets of DC and showed her the chapter about her from Biden’s book.
After fishing her glasses from her blue knapsack she carries with her, she read the pages for the first time and began to heave with anger.
‘That’s bulls**t, he’s lying!’ she repeatedly exclaimed.
Rhea said she recognized herself in the narrative, gasping as she read how they met in a park after Hunter was duped out of $100 while looking for drugs, and then reunited years later when he came searching for another fix.
‘I didn’t know there was all of this about me,’ she said.
Hunter appeared less charitable and caring in his texts to Rhea, also obtained from his laptop. The president’s son was curt with her via text, calling her an ‘a**hole’ and told her to ‘shut up’. She repeatedly texted him asking to be let into his DC apartment, and Hunter often failed to respond. In his book he claimed he gave her a set of keys to his place and she lived with him
The woman, now 52 and still homeless, gave her interview outside a DC cafe just two blocks from the National Mall, riding up on a blue mountain bike that looked shiny and new, contrasting with her own haggard appearance from her street life.
Her white baseball cap shadowed her eyes and bruises on her face, as she stepped off her bicycle.
Nervously pacing back and forth, Rhea claimed her boss would fire her if he knew she was talking to a reporter, though she wouldn’t name her employer or discuss what type of work she was doing.
DailyMail.com tracked down Rhea using emails from Hunter’s laptop in which he bragged about his self-described charity to the woman, giving her full name and claiming that he employed her at his consultancy firm.
The September 2017 emails indicate he was sneaking the crack dealer through an unguarded side entrance into his D.C. office building, which also housed the Swedish embassy and other diplomats.
When a manager complained, Hunter cried prejudice against the homeless black woman and said he’d known her for 17 years.
‘She has had a very difficult life but is one of the more honest and caring people I have ever known,’ Hunter wrote in an email.
‘She has been homeless for quite some time and I have always tried to help by giving [redacted] odd jobs that fit with her odd hours so that she can have somewhere safe to sleep,’ he continued. ‘I assure you she is not a threat to the Icelandic Ambassador.’
In his book, Hunter says that he ‘cut her her own set of keys.’
Although Rhea denied living with Hunter, text messages on his laptop show she repeatedly asked him to be let in to his apartment or for a place to stay.
‘Hello how are you can I please get a room for one night please,’ she wrote on July 28, 2018. ‘Just please answer me please.’
On February 2, 2019 she wrote: ‘I don’t want no money please I need a room please I’m out in the cold I don’t want no money I need a room.’
Hunter wrote in his book that he gave her a set of keys to his DC apartment.
‘Rhea eventually moved into my apartment and stayed for about five months,’ he wrote. ‘I cut her her own set of keys. She never officially moved in; I never officially said, ‘Take the spare bedroom.’ But she didn’t move out until I moved out.’
In her interview with DailyMail.com, Rhea acknowledged she’s still homeless but trying to stay off drugs and maintain a job.
According to court records, she has been arrested dozens of times since the mid-1980s, and served several stints in jail for various burglary, shoplifting and drug offenses. But records show no cases for her since 2005.
Elinda Walker, a recovering crack addict who has known Rhea for 15 years, told DailyMail.com that she still sees her old friend begging for cash outside a local Giant supermarket in Northwest D.C.
She said Rhea would often be battered and bruised from fights.
‘She gets roughed up all the time,’ said Walker, 63. ‘She steals people’s cash, then people beat her up.’
‘We used to hang out and get high together, took programs together,’ she said. ‘Me and her used to be locked up together.’
The president’s son claimed it was this middle-aged black woman who taught him to smoke crack and saved his life even as she sucked him into her grim existence. ‘He makes it seem like I’m the reason he was in this situation,’ Rhea said. ‘He’s making me out to be the villain’
Rhea, now 52 and still homeless, gave her interview outside a DC cafe just two blocks from the National Mall, riding up on a blue mountain bike that looked shiny and new, contrasting with her own haggard appearance from her street life
The furious woman claims she was almost fired when Hunter’s book came out
Walker, working in a local hospital, would see Rhea come in for medical aid.
‘I’d see her in ICU and I used to go in and take care of her,’ she said. ‘She goes to [drug addiction] programs all the time, but she gets out and relapses. It’s a vicious cycle.’
Walker spoke with DailyMail.com near the home where Rhea grew up, in the modest Trinidad neighborhood in Northeast D.C., an area known for drugs, crime and gangs in the years she lived there.
After an older relative passed away, the family home went to Rhea’s younger sister. Rhea stayed with her for a while, but got kicked out for stealing a television set, Walker said.
‘She’s not doing well at all,’ Walker said. ‘She only weighs like 100 pounds. She rides her bike around and sleeps wherever she ends up. I talk to her when I see her, but she always asks me for money. She says she’s going to get something to eat, but she’s not. She’s going to get her some drugs.’
Despite this, Walker had kind things to say about Rhea.
‘She’s a good person and she has a beautiful spirit,’ she said. ‘She’s also very funny. When she sees me, she’ll laugh and says, ‘I know I’m going to get me a couple dollars now!”
She said Rhea has three children in foster care.
In his memoir, Hunter wrote that she has seven children in foster care, including the one supposedly sentenced to death.
That detail was particularly upsetting to Rhea.
‘I got a child on death row?’ she cried. ‘Death row? How could he say s**t like that? And I’ve got a child doing life? That’s a lie too!’
‘This is bulls**t, bulls**t, bulls**t,’ she said as she read objectionable excerpts aloud.
Hunter wrote that he met Rhea in the early 1990s when he was a senior at Georgetown and she sold him some crack. Twenty years later, he wrote, she taught him the art of smoking crack and became a loyal friend.
‘I spent a couple of thousand dollars on crack in those first two weeks, with Rhea serving as my conduit,’ he wrote. ‘Before I knew it, I was all in.’
Rhea shook her head in disgust at the claim when she read it.
‘That’s a lie!’ she said. ‘It’s making me look like the villain.’
In September 2017 emails obtained from Hunter’s laptop, he indicated that he was sneaking the crack dealer through an unguarded side entrance into his D.C. office building, which also housed the Swedish embassy and other diplomats. When a manager complained, Hunter cried prejudice against the homeless black woman and said he’d known her for 17 years
‘Rhea eventually moved into my apartment and stayed for about five months,’ the memoir continued.
‘She was the most honest crook I’ve ever known,’ Hunter wrote. ‘She’d call me at work and start the conversation with ‘I found some of your credit cards…’ Or ‘I didn’t steal your ATM card. I took it. The difference between stealing and taking is me telling you I used them. I won’t ever lie.’
Hunter also wrote about her compulsive grooming habits, her obsession with true crime shows, her history of sleeping on benches in police stations, on the subway, in building stairwells and in motel rooms she’d sneak into when cleaning ladies finished up.
‘She had a hair-trigger temper and anger issues, but she also wasn’t beyond putting on the personality of a mentally ill mad-woman whom other street people wouldn’t mess with,’ the first son continued.
He added that, ‘Among the many maladies associated with her long-term crack use, Rhea suffered from peripheral neuropathy.’
Rhea told DailyMail.com she’s never even heard of peripheral neuropathy, wouldn’t fake mental illness, and wouldn’t, as Hunter claimed, spend ‘days and even weeks’ on the subway.
‘Who do you think they’re going to believe, him or me?’ she asked before hopping back onto her bike and pedaling away
Though it was her first time reading the book, she said she’d read a paragraph in a news article recently that summed up the memoir. She recognized herself as the woman Hunter depicts, even if many details were allegedly false.
‘I’m totally the opposite,’ she said.
Asked about the true nature of her relationship with Hunter, she refused to answer questions.
‘I can’t tell you, I would get fired,’ she said. ‘I almost got fired when they ran that book. If my boss ever found out I was talking to you, I could lose my job. I really could. I was given instructions not to talk to y’all.
‘I’ve got a lot racing through my mind right now,’ she continued. ‘I’ve got to sit back and rewind this tape going through my head.’
‘Who do you think they’re going to believe, him or me?’ she asked, before hopping back onto her bike and pedaling away.