Melissa Cohen is a South African documentarian and Hunter Biden’s wife. They were married on May 16, 2019, in Los Angeles. Hunter Biden had until April 2019 been in a relationship with his brother Beau’s widow, Hallie Biden and is divorced from his first wife, Kathleen. Hunter Biden and his second wife have a son together, named Beau, after his late brother.
TMZ broke the story that Hunter Biden, then 49, tied the knot with Cohen, then 33, in a ceremony conducted by a “minister who runs an instant marriage company.” The gossip site reports that Hunter’s family, including his father, President-Elect Joe Biden, were not present at the wedding ceremony. Joe Biden issued a statement after the marriage was announced, thanking her for “giving my son the courage to love again.”
Hunter was previously married to Kathleen Buhle between 1993 and 2017. The couple had three daughters together before their divorce. Hunter Biden also has a child with an Arkansas woman, Lunden Roberts, who sued him for child support in 2019. Hunter Biden was confirmed as that child’s father and agreed to pay support in 2020.
E! reports that Cohen is a native of Johannesburg, South Africa, and now lives in Los Angeles. The E! report adds that Hunter and his bride only met each other in May. Page Six reports that Melissa Cohen is a divorcee, just like her new husband. She is a naturalized U.S. citizen.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Hunter Biden & Melissa Cohen Have Matching ‘Shalom’ Tattoos & Biden Said He Fell in Love With Her ‘Instantly’
Cohen’s father, Lee, told Page Six after news broke of her wedding to Hunter, “She seems very happy. I’ve only spoken to Hunter briefly. She’s a very special girl. She has lots of poise and she’s very present.” Cohen’s parents, Lee and Zoe, still reside in her hometown of Johannesburg. She has four brothers.
Across various posts on Cohen’s Facebook page, she is shown to be an animal rights activist who has traveled across the world. In a statement to the Daily Mail, Cohen’s brother said, “We are very happy for them and welcome Hunter to the family.”
During a 2019 interview with ABC News, Biden told reporter Amy Robach he and his second wife have matching “shalom” tattoos, a nod to her Jewish heritage. Biden and Cohen got the tattoos of the Hebrew word for peace within days of meeting each other, he told ABC.
“I instantly fell in love with her. And then I’ve fallen in love with her more every day,” Biden told ABC News. “I would call it the honeymoon phase, definitely. Although, I have an inclination that I’m gonna be in the honeymoon phase for a very long time… Things have not been easy externally, but internally things have been amazing.”
2. Cohen Is No Fan of Donald Trump
On her Facebook page, Cohen has made several posts that are severely critical of U.S. President Donald Trump. In February 2018, Cohen posted a meme of her countryman Elon Musk, saying that Musk would not have been allowed to emigrate to the United States under Trump’s proposed immigration policies. While in November 2017, Cohen referred to Trump as an “evil orange goon” who was “doing his absolute best to destroy everything pure, right and natural… We will resist you.”
That comment was in reference to Trump lifting the band on trophy hunters bringing dead elephants into the U.S. Trump rescinded that order in August 2018.
In reference to her father-in-law’s former boss, President Obama, Cohen posted a video of the unveiling of the Obama’s official portraits with the words, “The grace and class of these two is simply #goals on every Single level #americanroyals.”
3. Cohen Gave Birth to the Couple’s First Child, Beau, in March 2020
Melissa Cohen gave birth to the couple’s son, Beau, in March 2020. According to The Daily Mail, they named their son after Hunter Biden’s late brother, Beau Biden. He is Hunter Biden’s fifth child.
According to Page Six, the couple’s “beautiful and healthy baby boy” was born on March 28 in Los Angeles, where they live.
Garyn Cohen, Melissa Cohen’s brother, told Page Six, “We are ecstatic about the baby. We actually feel that like a time like this, with the whole world in crisis, bringing a beautiful baby into the world is an opportunity to focus on the good, instead of this virus that is ravaging the world and causing a pandemic.”
4. Cohen Was With Her Husband & Son on Stage When Joe Biden Gave His Victory Speech After the 2020 Presidential Election
Cohen was seen on stage in Delaware in November 2020 after her father-in-law was declared the winner of the presidential election. She held Hunter Biden’s hand as he held their young son. The family of three greeted Joe Biden on stage, with the president-elect leaning over to kiss his grandson on the head.
Since marrying Hunter Biden, Cohen is not publicly active on social media and has not spoken out about being a part of the incoming first family.
5. Cohen Has Used Her Work on Documentaries to Promote Her Activism, Including Fighting Against Anti-Semitism & Advocating for the Environment & Indigenous People
According to Business Insider, Cohen has lived in the U.S. since she was 21. She has traveled around the world as a documentary filmmaker and activist, with her work focusing on causes she supports, including fighting anti-Semitism and advocating for the environment and indigenous people, her social media pages show.
She sought at one point to crowdfund a documentary, “Tribal Worlds,” which was described on the now-defunct website as being about, “the past present & future of humanity told through the lens of African tribal communities.”
Her brother, Garyn, told the South African Jewish Report his sister is a, “champion for nature conservation and the environment, as well as the underprivileged and people from all walks of life. She is truly remarkable, intelligent, and has a special neshoma [soul].”