In His New Memoir, Hunter Biden Recalls Dark Days at the Chateau Marmont


Hunter Biden’s memoir started trickling into the world today. Controversy has dogged the President’s 51-year-old son for the last few years, from a public struggle with drug addiction to the conservative media frenzy around his business dealings in Ukraine. Biden tackles all that and more in Beautiful Things, writing with a rare candor about the lowest and ugliest parts of his life. That includes moments as recent as the time in 2018 when he plucked parmesan cheese out of the rug in his room at the Chateau Marmont and smoked it, thinking it was crack.

Feeling trapped in the Beltway, Biden had flown to California in the spring of 2018 intending to settle down and start fresh. “I wanted a new place to be lost in and a certain level of anonymity. I wanted to get away from Washington and every bad reminder and influence there. I wanted to go someplace that wasn’t always gray. I wanted a do-over. I planned to find a rental, settle in, and stay.” he writes. “Instead, I holed up inside the Chateau for the first six weeks and learned how to cook crack.”

Biden was aware of the Chateau Marmont’s reputation. It’s the creme de la creme of LA hotels and a luxe hangout for Hollywood talent, but it also has a reputation as a den for hedonism—John Belushi famously overdosed there in 1982 and Jim Morrison allegedly jumped out a window before overdosing in Paris shortly thereafter. “I was acutely aware of the hotel’s more depraved history,” he writes. “It was part of the attraction.”

The Chateau Marmont is good for many things—a COVID bunker, a splurge vacation, spotting Keanu Reeves. For Biden, it turned into a pretty good place to cook crack: “I became absurdly good at it—guess that 172 on my LSAT counted for something.” The hotel bungalows offer privacy and fully functional kitchen amenities, whether hosting an exclusive dinner party for movie stars or boiling cocaine with baking soda. For Biden, cooking at the Chateau was much safer than what he was doing before, i.e. driving into dangerous parts of Los Angeles alone at ungodly hours for a fix. Instead, he settled into a steady rhythm of poolside highs. “I didn’t leave the Chateau’s lush hillside grounds for a week or more at a time,” he writes. “I cooked and smoked, cooked and smoked.”

Unsurprisingly, things started to spiral. The parmesan story is illustrative:

I’d reach for rocks I’d left on a bedside table and then find, to my horror, that they’d been blown all over the room—somebody left a door or a window open. I’d get down on my hands and knees to scan the floor and comb through the rug with my fingers. Half the time I had no idea what I was picking up: Is this a flake of Parmasean from the cheese platter we ordered last night? Or crack?

It didn’t matter: I smoked it. If it was crack, great. If it wasn’t, I’d take a hit, exhale, and exclaim: “Shit, that’s not it—that’s the fucking cheese!”

Eventually Biden left the Chateau to bounce around hotels and AirBnBs, trolling around LA between midnight and sunrise. He built a reputation, and hanger-ons started to roll through his luxury hotel rooms:

An ant trail of dealers and their sidekicks rolled in and out, day and night. They pulled up in late-series Mercedes-Benzes, decked out in oversized Raiders or Lakers jerseys and flashing fake Rolexes. Their stripper girlfriends invited their girlfriends, who invited their boyfriends.

When they finished, two or three days later, they’d walk out with the hotel’s monogrammed towels and throw pillows and comforter and ashtrays.



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