Effi Barry says she warned her husband that he was "going to be set up with a woman," and that when she learned of his arrest, her only question was, "Who was she?"
Barry said she had told her husband he had committed "a lot of moral indiscretions" and had cautioned him to be careful. But she said the mayor was so demoralized after his arrest that, despite her anger, she refrained from telling him, "I told you so."
"You don't kick a dog when he's down," she said.
Her reactions to Marion Barry's Jan. 18 arrest, as well as some of her observations about him and their marriage, were broadcast last night in an interview on "A Current Affair," a television program on the Fox network. The program was aired locally on WTTG (Channel 5).
In a copyright newspaper article published in yesterday's editions of the New York Post and based on interviews conducted for the show, Effi Barry dealt with the possibility that the mayor could be convicted, saying that although "visiting a jail is not the greatest Sunday afternoon outing, he is Christopher's father." Christopher is the couple's 10-year-old son.
In the television interview, conducted by Cindy Adams, who also wrote the newspaper article, Effi Barry said her 12-year marriage has "never really had a chance to jell." She said she and her husband have had family-style dinner only "six or seven times."
Without giving details, she said in the televised interview that she had caught the mayor several times in lies. In the newspaper article, she described him as naive and a poor judge of character, a man who had a damaged ego and problems with self-esteem.
She also said she loved him. "He's a good person . . . a decent person," she said.
Lurma Rackley, the mayor's press secretary, said Effi Barry wanted to see the televised interview before commenting on it. Rackley said she was not certain that Mrs. Barry had read the newspaper article.
Not all of the material in the article was broadcast on the half-hour show. The article indicated that a six-hour interview was held in Adams's New York apartment, but it was not clear when.
During the show, Barry noted that her reactions to her husband's trial have aroused widespread curiosity, but she did not explain what caused her to break her silence on those matters.
The Post article said she is working on a book with a Los Angeles literary agency.
In the part of the interview shown on "A Current Affair," she said that she did not know Hazel Diane "Rasheeda" Moore, who cooperated with the FBI in the Vista Hotel sting that resulted in the mayor's arrest. She also said she had never seen her husband use drugs.
"No, no, no," she said softly.
After his arrest, the mayor described himself as an alcoholic and entered treatment.
Although Barry said she was aware of her husband's alcoholism, she said she found that there was "nothing you can do" until he admitted his problem. "He denied it until the night of his arrest," she said.
Yesterday on the Fox Morning News, the mayor called his wife fantastic, praising her loyalty and describing her as "one of our chief enablers" who "helped to facilitate whatever it was we were doing," although "not knowingly, because she didn't know all that was going on in my mind or my soul or my body."
The Post story quoted Effi Barry as saying that the mayor's friends "have turned out to be hangers on," and that without her he would be alone.
Effi Barry told Adams that she had stayed with Barry because "I believe in family." But she declined to say that she expects her marriage to last. "You live one day at a time."