Bill de Blasio’s daughter, Chiara de Blasio, was arrested at protests following the death of George Floyd in New York over the weekend.
The 25-year-old daughter of the New York mayor was taken into custody on Saturday night at a protest in Lower Manhattan, after she was allegedly blocking traffic and refusing to comply with police demands on 12th Street and Broadway.
The New York Post reported that an hour after her arrest, Mayor de Blasio appeared at a press conference at the NYC Emergency Management headquarters in downtown Brooklyn, where he denounced protesters as “anarchist agitators” with an “explicit agenda for violence.”
Here’s what you need to know about Chiara de Blasio:
1. Her Mother, Chirlane, Initially Identified as a Lesbian
Chiara’s mother, Chirlane McCray, was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, and began her career as a writer, editor, and poet with Redbook magazine.
She initially came out at a lesbian in a 5,000-word piece, ‘I Am a Lesbian,’ five years after graduating from Wellesley College, in 1979.
Later, as a married woman and “first lady” of New York, while never entirely discounting that she still identified as a lesbian, she would go on to eschew the label of lesbian altogether.
Meeting in 1991 and marrying in 1994, Chiara’s parents Bill and Chirlane honeymooned in Cuba on violation of a travel ban. Seven months after they got married, Chiara De Blasio was born. Three years later, in 1997, her brother Dante was welcomed into the world.
While her mother attended Wellesley College, de Blasio the Younger studied sociology at Santa Clara University, graduating in 2016.
2. Chiara Addressed Her Drug Use & Depression In 2013
In a video published on Christmas Eve, 2013, De Blasio spoke about her struggle with substance abuse and “clinical depression.”
The interview was released by Mayor De Blasio’s transition team as he took office in 2013, as part of his efforts to connect with his constituency during the holiday season.
Chiara moved to an outpatient clinic to receive treatment for alcoholism and addiction to marijuana. In the video, the then 19-year-old explains how her problems followed her when she moved to college in California.
During his campaign, Bill De Blasio’s spoke about his father’s alcoholism, and eventual suicide, and Chiara defended her father, claiming his campaign “offered a vision for New York that left no one behind.”
According to The New York Times, Chiara traveled to Maryland in 2014 to “accept an award from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius” after publishing an essay on xoJane (since removed, originally located here) about her struggles with depression and subsequent recovery from addiction.
Describing her childhood as “happy” and “unconditionally loving,” The Times reported Chiara had claimed in her Maryland speech that she was “born with the disease of addiction.”
3. Chiara Moved From Brooklyn to Gracie Mansion In 2019. A Scandal Followed Her
Chiara was raised in Park Slope, Brooklyn. But in 2019, she moved to a swankier postcode – Gracie Mansion, the official residence of the New York City mayor since Fiorello La Guardia opted to live there in 1942. It was constructed in 1799.
At the time, city officials came under fire for using the New York Police Department executive protection unit, “assigned to guard Mr. de Blasio and his family,” to help Chiara move into the new residence.
“For all of Mr. de Blasio’s focus on income inequality, his mayoralty has been dogged by questions of whether his personal behavior contradicts his political message,” The Times said.
“Using city resources for personal use is typically a violation of the city’s Conflicts of Interest Law, and having police detectives assist in a relative’s move would seem to cross ethical lines.”
4. Following In Her Mother’s Footsteps, Chiara Is Fashion-Forward
Her mother was wearing a nose ring and West African inspired garb when she met her future husband, Bill de Blasio. Chiara de Blasio, too, never shies away from a cutting edge fashion trend or making a statement, and even chose the red-themed family outfits for Bill’s election night, according to The Cut.
In 2014, she spoke with AMNY about her signature “rebellious” style, which included a septum piercing, and that time she wore hot pants and a tube top at a gay pride parade:
I was like, ‘Man, I don’t know if I could wear this. I’m walking with my dad’s staff and campaign and stuff,’” she says. “I showed him and I was like, ‘Dad, this is what I’m planning on wearing. I don’t know if you’d be cool with this.’ He’s like, ‘No, it looks great. Go for it.’ … He said it’s perfect for the occasion because it was rainbow sequin shorts and stuff.
5. New York Dug De Blasio’s “Goofy Style,” & Especially Her Smackdown Dance Moves, On The Campaign Trail
The Smackdown returns. pic.twitter.com/Wje2OfUD8j
— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) September 1, 2014
In September 2014, Mayor De Blasio posted a video of family members Chirlane, Chiara and Dante performing the smackdown – a complicated dance involving “hand-waving, hand-licking, pavement-slapping, and leaping high into the air” – at the annual Mermaid Parade on Coney Island on the official NYC Mayoral Office Instagram account:
At the time, it was clear the Twittersphere couldn’t get enough of the family’s antics:
— Monica Klein (@MonicaCKlein) September 1, 2014
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