Five years ago, Catherine Curran “Katie” O’Malley, the wife of Baltimore’s mayor, was discussing rumors of an affair with a newspaper reporter.
On March 10, 2000, the Washington Post ran an article on the front page of its Style section, headlined “Charm City’s Mr. Charming; Mayor O’Malley Cheers Baltimore On”
The Post reported the following exchange:
Katie O'Malley found it "demeaning" to see herself in print as "the pretty wife," but her husband can't seem to help himself from crowing over her. "I am the luckiest guy," says O'Malley, and his slate-blue eyes glint.
"Well, I'm glad he feels that way," says his wife, by telephone a few days later. "It helps offset the rumors."
Rumors? What rumors?
"That he's running around on me. That he's been running around on me for years," she says.
Who says this? "Oh, I don't know," says the mayor's wife. "Opponents, I guess, from when he was a councilman."
Pause. The reporter offers that the mayor seems like he wouldn't have the time. "That's exactly what Martin always says," says the mayor's wife, who is also a crack prosecutor who would never say something in open court if she didn't want it out there.
It was the Washington Post that broke the story on February 9, 2005, that Joseph Steffen, an aide to Governor Robert Ehrlich, had been discussing the affair rumors on an internet site. Steffen admitted to his involvement and was fired by Ehrlich. While that article described the rumors as being “widespread,” it never referenced the years-old comments by Katie O’Malley. The mayor's wife is now a Baltimore judge.
Appearing in front of Baltimore City Hall after the story was published, Mayor O’Malley, flanked by his wife, called the rumors “sustained…orchestrated… and relentless.” Both said they had started hearing the rumors about 18 months ago.