- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 3, 2002

The wife of former D.C. Mayor Marion S. Barry yesterday released a statement saying she has separated from her husband, whose run for an at-large seat on the D.C. Council has been marred by recent accusations of illegal drug use.
"A little more than a week ago, I made the decision to leave the home that I shared with my husband," Cora Masters Barry said in a written statement.
Raymone Bain, spokeswoman for the family, said the situation is a painful and private matter for Mrs. Barry.
"Her statement is as much as Mrs. Barry is willing to discuss on the matter," Miss Bain said.
Mrs. Barry, 57, said in her statement she has been staying with relatives.
Mr. Barry, 66, who served four terms as mayor and three terms on the D.C. Council, announced his candidacy March 6 for the at-large seat held by Phil Mendelson.
U.S. Park Police said they found Mr. Barry illegally parked in his Jaguar, which had traces of marijuana and cocaine in it. Park Police spokesman Sgt. Scott Fear said officers followed proper procedures, but did not have enough evidence to arrest the former mayor.
Mr. Barry has disputed the officers' accounts of the incident and said that nothing out of the ordinary was found in his vehicle.
Several black community goups, including the New Black Panther Party and the Alliance of Concerned Men, said that Park Police leaked the information to the press to slander Mr. Barry, accusing the police of racial profiling and harassment.
On Monday, Mr. Barry said he was rethinking his plan to run in the D.C. Council race. Media attention on his past drug addiction "will not go away" and has begun to overshadow his ability to focus on the issues, Mr. Barry said.
He now is faced with the possibility that his political resurgence could cost him his fourth marriage.
"I put the well-being of Cora above the well-being of my political life," he said in a written statement. "I'm going to fight to get her back."
Mrs. Barry married the former mayor in February 1994. She is credited with masterminding Mr. Barry's election to a fourth term as mayor after he had served six months in prison on a misdemeanor drug-possession conviction after a 1990 arrest. Mr. Barry was caught on videotape smoking crack cocaine in an FBI sting operation.
Mrs. Barry stood by her husband during the fiscal disaster of the early 1990s that nearly drove the District into bankruptcy and led Congress to strip him of most of his authority in 1995. She also has supported Mr. Barry through four prostate cancer surgeries.
According to her statement, Mrs. Barry has not decided whether to seek a divorce.
This article is based in part on wire service reports.


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