Rasheeda Moore, This Is Your Life, Chapter 2. In this episode, the mysterious woman who lured D.C. Mayor Marion Barry into an FBI drug sting at the Vista Hotel speaks of being a drug addict and alcoholic, stars in an FBI videotape and meets her nemesis in the person of defense lawyer R. Kenneth Mundy.

Hazel Diane "Rasheeda" Moore, former model and FBI informant, made her long-awaited appearance Wednesday, during the fourth week of Barry's cocaine possession and conspiracy trial. By Friday afternoon, the portrait of her that had emerged -- painted for the first time in her own words -- had taken on depth and complexity.

The woman who walked into the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson was a surprise -- a substantial woman with a rolling, almost tomboyish walk and a low, husky voice. Only the sultry eyes and high cheekbones remained of the slender model of her mid-1970s photographs.

But she had qualities those old pictures did not reveal: smarts and an ability to express herself, albeit sometimes in fractured syntax and run-on sentences. And she had enough pluck not to cower before the barrage of questions directed her way by Mundy, widely considered one of the best cross-examination artists in a city full of lawyers.

In that cross-examination, as well as in response to questions from Assistant U.S. Attorney Judith E. Retchin, Moore told her life story. It is a tale of high potential and self-destructiveness, of hard work and hard times.

Moore used one telling word to describe herself: "rebellious." She has always had trouble, she said, "abiding under authority."

Her first clash with the law came when she was a 21-year-old college student at Fisk University in Nashville in 1972, according to trial transcripts. She used someone else's credit card to buy several hundred dollars worth of clothes. Charged with fraud, she pleaded guilty and paid restitution.

The following year she graduated from Fisk and returned to Washington. After attending the Cappa Chell School of Modeling, she moved to New York in 1975 -- and found instant success as a model.

But within a year, she told the jury, she had already begun experimenting with cocaine, beginning a long, circuitous descent into drug addiction and alcoholism even as her image appeared, sleekly coiffured, on the cover of Essence magazine.

The high life ended abruptly in the early 1980s, she said, when the man who had fathered her oldest child was arrested in England for trying to smuggle $18 million worth of heroin into that country.

Against her agent's strong advice, she said, she flew to England and spent six months there, testifying as a government witness against one of her boyfriend's co-defendants in an effort to help her boyfriend. When she returned to New York, she found that she had been blackballed by every modeling agency in the city.

"One day my agent was housecleaning, as she called it," she said. "She called me in and she released me and said she was letting me go . . . . The next day I went to see the other agents . . . and no one would pick me up."

The events of the next few years are murky. But in 1984, Moore said, she was arrested at Dulles International Airport for unauthorized use of a vehicle; a rental car agency discovered that the car she and her boyfriend had rented had been paid for with a stolen credit card. She spent a short time in a federal women's prison in West Virginia.

By the spring of 1986, she had moved back to Washington, intending to start her own modeling agency. She got nowhere at first, and in her recollection of that time there is a note of impatience.

"I was a little disappointed at the fact that I am a native Washingtonian, I have a {college} degree and I was in my home town and I wanted to achieve some type of success here," she said.

But she found it in Marion Barry. When the two met at a party, Barry gave her his card; soon after, he gave her a $60,000 city contract for a summer youth program called Project Me, designed to teach youngsters modeling skills.

Soon after, they were lovers -- a steamy affair of lunchtime liaisons, exotic vacations and drug use, according to Moore. The combination of sex and cocaine was so powerful that on one occasion, when Barry was waiting for her at the home of a friend, she bundled her three children up and, already high herself, met him. She plopped the children in front of a television and went upstairs, where she and Barry spent the rest of the night getting high, she said.

Their sexual relationship, but not their drug use, ended in June 1988, she testified. In 1989, she said, she learned that the father of her two youngest children, who had been taking care of all three of her children, had been arrested and was in prison. She flew to California and at first couldn't find them, she said -- a reluctant admission under close questioning from Mundy.

"You were living in a shelter?" Mundy pressed.

"I did."

"You had reached the bottom in terms of money and finances?"

"I really had."

So low, in fact, that -- caught in the grip of her cocaine addiction -- she used her welfare check to buy drugs, she said. Mundy had to drag that information out of her too, but then she asked for time to explain herself.

"There are a lot of things that I did that I didn't choose to do, but because of the disease, again, as I said earlier, that is why recognizing and doing something about it is extremely important. So I am not covering myself . . . . Yes, I did go that far down."

Moore said that the turnaround in her life began in June 1989, when she joined a church in California. About that time, she said, she tried to kick her cocaine habit and stayed off the drug for four months, but ended up abusing alcohol instead. When she kicked alcohol, she went back to cocaine.

Even so, she said, her new religious convictions helped her decide to assist the FBI in investigating alleged drug use by the mayor when FBI agents found her in California last January. She has also told prosecutors, out of the presence of the jury, that another reason was reading a Jan. 7, 1990, profile of Barry in the Los Angeles Times by Bella Stumbo, in which Stumbo followed the mayor throughout a night's carousing and described it in devastating detail.

But even after the FBI had flown back to the District and the Vista sting was being set up, Moore said, she went back to drugs. "I was under pressure and I wanted to use the cocaine," she said. "The addiction was that strong."

On Jan. 29, summoned to appear before a federal grand jury to testify about the Vista sting, she lied about her recent cocaine use, Moore said. And last April, she used cocaine again -- but that was the last time, she said.

Moore explained her decision to reform her life and turn FBI informant with the zeal of a new convert. Despite Mundy's repeated objections, Jackson allowed her to describe her emotions at length -- a breathless, run-on monologue.

"I prayed about my decision," she said, "and there is a scripture that came to my memory many times and I live by it, I am striving to live by it daily, to submit yourself to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether it be to king, supreme or the governors . . . . As a parent, as a mother, because of my alcohol and drug abuse, it affected my family, so what more is going to happen in a city where you have a leader who is not able to lead properly?"

Her decision, she said, also went back to that old demon that kept finding its way into her life: disobedience.

"I was blackballed {in her modeling career} and I believe it is because of my disobedience in abiding under that authority," she said. This time, when the FBI came calling, "I decided to abide under the authority of the government."

The benefit for herself, she said, is spiritual.

"I wanted to cleanse myself. It is a cleansing for me. It is getting rid of a lot of things, putting it out in front, exposing myself and becoming transparent."