Cypriot-American cover girl Mary Angela Barnett (known to the world as Angie) was there at the birth of a legend. She helped David Bowie create Ziggy Stardust and together they had Zowie, but at the end they were bitter enemies. Speaking of her life with the legend, she told Daily Mail that sex, drugs and fame destroyed their relationship.
They first met in 1968 and married in 1970. The relationship was destroyed after she flew to his side at the luxurious Beverly Hills Hotel and headed to his room after flying from New York following a panic stricken message from David Bowie. There, he found the singer having sex with American soul singer Claudia Lennear. “Sorry,” he said.
Angie was aware that he did not love her as he had made that clear even before they married. Together they enjoyed an open relationship, even having a threesome on the night before their wedding. Theirs was a permissive relationship, but got too much when she found him having sex right in front of her.
“The news of his passing was broken to me in the Celebrity Big Brother house on Channel 5,” she told the Daily Mail. “The fact that it happened on television was weirdly appropriate since it was a showbusiness marriage conducted in public a lot of the time. I was shocked, completely unprepared for his death. I simply hadn’t expected him to die before me. No one knew he’d been fighting an 18-month battle with cancer and that his latest album Blackstar was his farewell. I thought he was indestructible. We’d been apart for a long time, so it’s not as if it bent me out of shape – but as I said on screen the stardust has gone.”
40 years since the episode in the Beverly Hills Hotel, and absolute silence since their divorce in 1980, Angie believes that she had been airbrushed out of his life despite their child together.
“He never demonstrated any affection or gratitude after we parted. He fired anyone who mentioned my name,” she said. “Pictures of us together were destroyed. He would never let it be acknowledged what I had done for him. I was given a kiss off, whacked financially. The vitriol was extraordinary.”
From her marriage she rememers having been grabbed by Bowie from the throat that he squeezed after he hurtled her around the room.
“When we divorced I only wanted two things: a relationship with our son Zowie and enough money to live on until I had established my own career. I got neither,” she says. “Zowie was my gift to David and I would never have separated them, I’d never have used my child as a weapon in our divorce. But it meant I was doubly punished when we split – I lost my work which was David, and my family. Zowie just did not want to come and see me any more. I was living in New York in an apartment on 8th Street above a diner and he didn’t like it, it wasn’t what he was used to.”