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Hunter Biden (far left wearing sunglasses) and other family members at the funeral of Joe Biden’s son Beau in June 2015. Photo: Reuters

US presidential hopeful Joe Biden’s son Hunter once held at gunpoint while buying crack cocaine in Los Angeles, report says

  • Former vice-president’s son felt a gun at his head after approaching a homeless man while looking for drugs, according to New Yorker magazine
Hunter Biden, the son of former US vice-president Joe Biden, admitted to being held at gunpoint while trying to buy crack cocaine, according to an article published on Monday in The New Yorker.

Joe Biden, the current front runner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, has repeatedly faced family tragedy during his decades in public office.

Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hunter Biden at a college basketball game in Washington in 2010. Photo: AFP

After approaching a homeless man in downtown Los Angeles in 2016, “Hunter said that the man took him to a nearby homeless encampment, where, in a narrow passageway between tents, someone put a gun to his head before realising that he was a buyer,” the article says.

The magazine piece cites interviews with Hunter Biden – who said he “needed a way to forget” – and people who knew and interacted with him.

“He returned to buy more crack a few times that week,” the article continues in a section detailing a period of drug use and tumult in Biden’s life.

Someone smoking crack through a home-made pipe. File photo: AFP

Hunter Biden was only occasionally in the public eye during his father’s time as vice-president under Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017.

Joe Biden, 76, leads in polling among the two-dozen candidates running for the Democratic nomination to face Republican President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

Soon after first winning election to the Senate in 1972, Biden lost his wife and baby daughter in a car crash that also left Hunter and his brother Beau Biden badly injured.

Beau became a rising star in the Democratic Party but died of cancer in 2015, an event thought to have derailed Biden’s expected bid for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.