“Our son Hunter and Navy’s mother, Lunden, are working together to foster a relationship that is in the best interests of their daughter,” the president said in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE
President Joe Biden has offered his first statement on 4-year-old grandchild Navy Joan Roberts, the daughter of Hunter Biden and Lunden Roberts, an Arkansas woman who filed a paternity suit against the president’s son in May 2019.
“Our son Hunter and Navy’s mother, Lunden, are working together to foster a relationship that is in the best interests of their daughter, preserving her privacy as much as possible going forward,” President Biden said in a statement provided exclusively to PEOPLE.
Navy, one of the president’s seven grandchildren, has recently been the subject of headlines as Republicans have criticized the president for previously touting his “six grandchildren.”
“This is not a political issue, it’s a family matter,” President Biden’s statement continues. “Jill and I only want what is best for all of our grandchildren, including Navy.”
A source familiar with the situation tells PEOPLE that the recently resolved child support dispute between Hunter and Lunden has dictated how the relationship has played out so far.
“You have to remember there were some fairly contentious legal proceedings between Navy’s parents happening until just a few weeks ago. As grandparents, the Bidens are following Hunter’s lead,” the source says, adding, “They are — and have been — giving Hunter and Lunden the space and time to figure things out.”
The legal dispute between Lunden and Hunter worked its way through Arkansas courts for more than four years and led to a November 2019 ruling that, despite his denials, Hunter did father the child (which was confirmed with a DNA test).
Speaking to PEOPLE, the source notes that the situation is a family issue.
“Thousands of families have faced similar circumstances, working it out in private, versus the spotlight,” the source says. “At the center is a 4-year-old girl and everyone wants what is best for her, including all of her grandparents.”
Related: Everything to Know About President Joe Biden's 7 Grandchildren
In January 2020, Hunter agreed to pay an undisclosed amount in child support to Lunden, including retroactive payments going back to November 2018.
But in April 2021, she filed a “motion for contempt” which claimed Hunter had withheld evidence and ignored previous court rulings throughout their paternity dispute. The contempt motion echoed a previous filing made by Roberts ahead of the January 2020 settlement, when Lunden argued that Hunter should be held in contempt by the judge for ignoring various court orders. She also requested that he be required to pay her attorney fees, which was included in the recent filing, too.
In June 2023, Hunter settled the child support case in Arkansas state court, reaching an agreement with Lunden, the terms of which have been under wraps. CNN has reported that, as part of the settlement, the child will receive both monetary child support and some of Hunter’s paintings.
Lunden, meanwhile, dropped an earlier attempt to change Navy’s last name to “Biden,” according to the court filing.
“A lot has thankfully been sorted out, and Navy’s parents are working on a way forward that’s best for her,” the source tells PEOPLE.
Hunter is a father to four additional children. He shares daughters Naomi, 29, Finnegan, 22, and Maisy, 21, with ex-wife Kathleen Buhle, and son Beau Jr., 3, with his current wife, Melissa Cohen.
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President Biden’s close relationship with his other grandchildren (who call him “Pop”) has been well-documented. Last November, Naomi got married at the White House.
“They’re crazy about me and I’m crazy about them,” the president said of his grandkids on an episode of the SmartLess podcast in 2022. “Every single day, I contact every one of my grandchildren.”
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