Many Women in Marion Barry's Life

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

In all his years in public life, Marion Barry has rarely been without a woman at his side.

"Womanizing had become an integral part of my lifestyle," he told a local magazine, Sister 2 Sister, in 1991, acknowledging that he brazenly flirted with other women in front of his wife. That same year, he went on the Sally Jessy Raphael TV show and told a nationwide audience that he was addicted to women and sex. "It got to be more than casual," he said. "It got to be excessive."

The former D.C. mayor's relationship with Donna Watts-Brighthaupt, the ex-girlfriend with whom Barry argued just before his arrest Saturday night on a misdemeanor stalking charge, is the latest in a long series. Whether they loved him or just considered themselves friends, the women around Barry typically are fiercely loyal.

"He was raised by three women, and so he truly understands women and he speaks to your need," said Kim Dickens, who donated a kidney to Barry last year. "And if there is no need, he will create the need for you to be with him. He knows how to get into your life."

Here are snapshots of several of those relationships.

-- By Carol Morello

Mary Treadwell and Barry were married from 1972 to 1977. They co-founded the jobs program PRIDE. She was convicted in 1983 of conspiring to defraud the federal government and low-income tenants.

He said "I get the distinct impression by words and action that Mary wants to be the executive director of the entire corporation with me working, if I am to work, for her. I totally disagree with this concept."

She said Barry had nothing to do with the project that led to her being sent to prison for 15 months.

* * *

Effi Barry met Barry in 1976. Their marriage lasted from 1978 to 1993. When she learned of his cocaine possession arrest in 1993, her only question was, "Who was she?" She died in 2007.

CONTINUED     1           >

© 2009 The Washington Post Company