when the clowns run the circus

Marion Barry Also Did a Bad Thing at the DNC

In the ensuing days since Marion Barry’s arrest for stalking this weekend, we’ve learned some key elements of the backstory. First of all, Barry had been dating his accuser, Donna Watts-Brighthaupt — a former employee — for several months. They had since broken up, but had been planning on taking a trip to Rehoboth Beach that day. Halfway there, they got into a fight and turned around. When they ran into one another back in the District later that day, Watts-Brighthaupt called the cops and accused Barry of stalking. Now, the Washington City Paper has come up with more disturbing background, courtesy of Watts-Brighthaupt’s ex-husband (Barry is also technically married, too, but that’s a different story). Delonta Brighthaupt managed to tape the couple at various points — because if an ex of yours was dating Marion Barry, wouldn’t you tape the fun, too? — and the results are spectacular.

For example, their relationship seems to have started during the Democratic National Convention in Denver, where both were “working.” Somehow they were assigned to the same hotel room (we don’t know who was responsible for that, but we have one pretty obvious guess: Barack Obama). According to Watts-Brighthaupt, Barry came on to her. “You put me out in Denver ’cause I wouldn’t suck your dick,” she reportedly yelled at him this past weekend, recalling the event, which had left her forced to sleep in a car in a parking garage for the night in the cold Denver air.

There are other fun anecdotes from the taped conversations, like the time they beat the crap out of each other in the middle of a Las Vegas casino, or the time he sneaked her into the official Pennsylvania Avenue viewing booth during the inauguration. The tapes basically capture the all-around insanity of a kind of love/hate relationship that nobody ever makes movies out of because it is simultaneously very real and very terrifying. But really the best part of the whole thing is the above quote, which we truly hope wins the City Paper some kind of national alt-weekly award.

The Barry Archives [Washington City Paper]

Marion Barry Also Did a Bad Thing at the DNC