WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Friday made the first public tribute to his seventh grandchild, a four-year-old girl fathered by his son Hunter in 2018 with an Arkansas woman, Lunden Roberts.
“Our son, Hunter, and Navy’s mother, Lunden, work together to maintain a relationship that is in her daughter’s best interests and will protect her privacy as much as possible going forward,” Biden said in a statement. It was his first recognition of the child.
“This is not a political matter, it’s a family matter,” he said. “Jill and I only want what’s best for all of our grandchildren, including Navy.”
Hunter Biden’s paternity was established through DNA testing after Roberts sued for child support, and the two parties recently resolved outstanding child support issues. The president’s son wrote about his encounter with Roberts in his 2021 memoir, saying it took place while he was deep into an addiction to alcohol and drugs, including crack cocaine.
“I had no recollection of our encounter,” he wrote. “I had so little connection with anyone. I was a mess, but a mess I took responsibility for.”
The president, whose commitment to the family is at the heart of his public appearances, has faced increasing criticism from political rivals and pundits for not recognizing the granddaughter. According to a person familiar with the matter, he followed his son’s example during the court proceedings. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private matters.
People Magazine reported on Biden’s statement for the first time.