City Desk

Marion Barry on Arrest: Friend Donna Watts “Betrayed” Me

The woman that Marion Barry is alleged to have stalked, leading to his arrest last night, has been identified as Donna Watts, 40, a friend and companion of Barry's for several years.

Watts was identified in an afternoon press conference by Barry spokesperson Natalie Williams; Barry himself did not attend, Williams said, because he was attending services at his church, Temple of Praise. Watts, a former campaign volunteer, has been seen with Barry on numerous occasions, including at April federal court hearing on his ongoing tax troubles. Less than two weeks later, the Washington Post reported that Barry had bought Watts a lavish fur coat at a charity event, outbidding CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

Williams described Watts as a "confidante" and "close friend" of Barry's, then went on to describe her as a troubled person whom he had been helping for some time, having "lended his friendship and his support...through her many stages of instability." That includes gifts of money.

"He has assisted her in health challenges. He has assisted her in her search for employment. He has assisted over over a period of time during her financial hardship. He has done for this woman what most of us would only hope that someone would do for us in our time in need," Williams said. "Never did Mr. Barry think that this would come as the payback to him."

"The best word to describe Mr. Barry at this hour," she said, "is betrayed."

Why the smear effort? Said Williams, "[Barry] feels that it is important to put the allegations as well as the charges in its proper context."

A person familiar with the situation who has spoken to Watts says that the incident began shortly before the arrest, when Barry showed up at Watts' home in Anacostia. Earlier in the day, the two had been together, and Barry had asked Watts to accompany him to an event in Rehoboth Beach later in the day. She refused. When Barry arrived at Watts' house, her ex-husband was also there, and when the two attempted to leave through Anacostia Park, Barry pursued them in his BMW, honking and flashing his lights. That's when the Park Police officer pulled the cars over and arrested Barry.

In her account today, Williams said that Barry was not in pursuit of Watts—that, in fact, his was the leading car and that she was following him—and that Barry was "on his way home." She confirmed that the two had been together earlier in the day.

"I believe that Ms. Watts knew exactly what she was doing," Williams said.

Not unexpectedly, Williams made comments critical of the Park Police of behalf of Barry, says that he was "concerned about his treatment" while in custody. In particular, she said, he was not allowed to contact his attorney, Fred Cooke, for some four hours after the arrest. "He does plan to elevate these concerns to the proper authorities," she said. "He's concerned about his relationship with United States Park Police."

Williams says Barry hopes that charges will be dropped.

"Councilmember Barry is no stalker," Williams said. "Instead, he is someone who has lended his hand to assist, which, in the end, has come back to bite him."

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  • s

    so, in other words, "[Watts] set me up."

    What motive would she have for inventing something like this? She had a pretty sweet deal before--fur coats, money, etc.

  • Michael Frederick

    I guess the bitch set him up.

  • Nick

    Poor Marion. Always a victim. The system is out to get him. He is such a kind and gentle man who does no wrong. If so, I wonder why he is always in custody of the police or going to court on charges? I do see a pattern here, and it is not the system.

  • Gaston

    Marion Barry drove this city into the ground when he was Mayor -- from corruption and most of all incompetence. Please search for "He’s Still Marion Barry”" the Washington City Paper article on him in 2006 ... OH -- and he did receive a Kidney from a friend in late February 2009 and my personal friend was at Irish Times in DC on Patty's Day (Mar. 17) and who was there drinking it up 2 to 3 weeks AFTER a kidney transplant -- but good 'ol corrupt Marion Barry himself ... He's a joke.

  • Will Atwood Mitchell

    The article referred to above can be found here: He's Still Marion Barry.

  • Glynis

    Barry knows too much about too many people to ever go down. That's the long and short of the Barry story.

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  • Pingback: Human Trend » Bitch set me up, again


    she left with the ex-husband that has beat her for years.....she was playin both of them against each other!

  • candycane1

    WEll she got her 15 min of fame and now the press will eat her alive. How is he a stalker when you were with him at your choice earlier in the day. It's not going to pay off for her. Her story has changed now. I guess she's sorry she crossed him cause in court she is going to look like a fool. My advice to Barry, get a woman with a job, drug free and sane. You're too old for the drama.

  • Q

    candycane1, that's advice not only for Barry, but for others as well. The sane part definitely.

  • eurotraks

    Marion Barry has been a narcissist and a liar since the day he took office as Mayor. Nothing ever changes with this guy! Lat year it was shoplifting and now this!

    I guess we can add "crazy stalker" to the list of wonderful traits he possesses.

    Hang in there Ms. Watts!! Nobody believes Barry...



    Please speak to only what you know, which means YOU DON'T KNOW DONNA! She was using Barry and maybe he was ok cause he was getting what he wanted from it. Donna's husband beat her ass on the regular, so now to make him jealous she comes back to the house that she knows the ex-husband is at with Barry??? PLEASE she then was playin both men against each other!

  • downtown rez

    Barry's all drama all the time. For all the world he can't seem to let it go. It's like he's trying to create his own MTV reality show starring himself. He's too old for the drama, sure, but you know he'll try to spin it to political gold when he finally takes center stage for what has got to be his millionth plea for forgiveness.