Barbara Bottini, Bryan Colangelo’s Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

barbara bottini bryan colangelo wife

76ers/Upper Canada College Bryan Colangelo, left, is married to Barbara Bottini Colangelo.

Barbara Bottini, Philadelphia 76ers GM Bryan Colangelo’s wife, admitted to creating and using “burner” Twitter accounts that were believed to be connected to her husband, a law firm hired by the team to investigate the matter announced Thursday.

“As a result of our investigation, we do not believe Mr. Colangelo established the Twitter accounts or posted content on those accounts. The evidence supports the conclusion that Ms. Barbara Bottini, Mr. Colangelo’s wife, established the Twitter accounts and posted content on those accounts. When interviewed, Ms. Bottini admitted to establishing and operating the accounts. Forensic evidence corroborates her admissions,” the law firm, New York-based Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP said Thursday.

Also on Thursday, Colangelo and the 76ers announced he had resigned from the team following the results of the investigation. The law firm’s investigation was led by two former federal prosecutors and included the use of expert forensic consultants. The firm collected evidence, including multiple electronic devices, searched the content of those devices, including text messages, and accessed serveal email accounts, reviewing the content of those, along with examining the history of the Twitter accounts and conducting interviews.

Web sleuths had uncovered evidence linking Bottini to accounts that Colangelo was suspected of using to secretly put out information about the Sixers, including criticism of his own players, attacks on his predecessor Sam Hinkie, insider knowledge about the team and tweets defending his fashion choices. The Ringer’s Ben Detrick first reported on the anonymous Twitter accounts on Tuesday. Detrick reported that he received an anonymous tip that Colangelo was running the accounts and began scrutinizing them.

Colangelo denied being behind four of the five accounts, which have similarities and all follow other accounts that have connections to the Sixers executive. He did admit to having a secret account, which never tweeted, that he used to monitor Twitter. You can read the full report here for more details.

Here’s what you need to know about the wife of Sixers President Bryan Colangelo, Barbara Bottini Colangelo:

1. Barbara Bottini ‘Impeded’ the Law Firm’s Investigation by Deleting the Contents of Her iPhone Before a Forensic Review Was Conducted

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In its statement about the investigation, the law firm its investigation “was limited and impeded” by “certain actions taken” by Barbara Bottini, “including her decision to delete the contents of her iPhone by executing a factory reset of the device prior to surrendering it for forensic review.”

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, was hired by the 76ers on May 30 to “conduct an investigation arising from the publication of an article on May 29 identifying certain anonymous Twitter accounts that posted information concerning the club, its personnel and related topics. The article reported that the Twitter accounts may be connected in some way to Bryan Colangelo, the club’s President of Basketball Operations.”

The law firm’s investigation was led by Brad Karp, a senior partner and former chief of the criminal division for the Manhattan federal prosecutor’s office, and Richard Tarlow, a partner and former chief of the same office’s cybercrime unit. They examined four accounts under the names “Eric jr, Still Balling, Enoughunknownsources and Honest Abe.”

The firm said its investigation focused on who was responsible for opening the accounts and posting on them, whether Colangelo was aware of the accounts before May 22 (when the team was contacted by The Ringer) and whether Colangelo was the source of any “sensitive, non-public information concerning the 76ers or its personnel communicated on the Twitter accounts.

Based on its investigation, the firm said they do not believe Colangelo created the accounts or posted on them, but his wife did open them and used them. The firm said, “We cannot conclude that Mr. Colangelo was aware of the Twitter accounts prior to the May 22 press inquiry. Mr. Colangelo denies any such awareness and we have not observed any forensic evidence establishing that he had knowledge of the Twitter accounts prior to that date.”

But the law firm said, “Our investigation revealed substantial evidence that Mr. Colangelo was the source of sensitive, non-public club-related information contained in certain posts to the Twitter accounts. We believe that Mr. Colangelo was careless and in some instances reckless in failing to properly safeguard sensitive, non-public, club-related information in communications with individuals outside the 76ers organization.”

In a statement, 76ers Managing Partner Josh Harris said:

We appreciate Bryan’s many contributions during his time leading our basketball operations and thank him for the work he did in positioning the team for long-term success. An independent investigation by New York-based law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP was conducted into certain anonymous social media accounts that posted information concerning the club, personnel, and related topics.

It has become clear Bryan’s relationship with our team and his ability to lead the 76ers moving forward has been compromised. Recognizing the detrimental impact this matter had on the organization, Colangelo offered his resignation. We find the situation to be disappointing for our entire organization. We are determined to continue the tremendous progress we have made over the last two seasons in our quest to win an NBA Championship.

Harris said head coach Brett Brown has been appointed as interim GM while the search for a new executive to oversee basketball operations is conducted.

Colangelo has not issued a statement about the investigation and his resignation. The day after The Ringer story broke, Colangelo told Yahoo Sports about the accounts, “Someone’s out to get me. … This is clearly not me.” He later backed down somewhat from the claims of a set up, saying he can’t be sure it was deliberate, but said the accounts are not his and he is “hopeful to resolve this soon.”

He told The Ringer in a statement, “Like many of my colleagues in sports, I have used social media as a means to keep up with the news. While I have never posted anything whatsoever on social media, I have used the @Phila1234567 Twitter account referenced in this story to monitor our industry and other current events. This storyline is disturbing to me on many levels, as I am not familiar with any of the other accounts that have been brought to my attention, nor do I know who is behind them or what their motives may be in using them.”

2. A Phone Number & Email Belonging to Barbara Bottini Colangelo Appears to Have Been Used to Set Up the Twitter Accounts Her Husband Is Suspected of Using, a Sixers Fan Account Found

After The Ringer’s report took the Internet by storm, the work of several NBA fans turned amateur investigators, including a prominent Philadelphia 76ers fan account, uncovered more details about the account that led to Bryan Colangelo’s wife, Barbara Bottini.

First, a Twitter user named @SixersAdam attempted to recover the passwords for the Twitter accounts Colangelo was suspected of using, which revealed all of the accounts had a phone number in common and an email with Colangelo’s name in it.

A Twitter user named @mubb2000 found an email for Barbara Bottini and tried to recover the password for that account using Google. That form revealed that Bottini has a phone number that ends in 91. A 76ers fan account, @DidtheSixersWin, then found that Bottini had listed her number and email on the website for her son’s high school, where she was a member of the parent organization.

Barbara Bottini Colangelo has not commented and could not be reached by Heavy.

3. Bottini & Colangelo Have Been Married for Several Years & Have 2 Kids Together

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Bryan Colangelo, 52, and Barbara Bottini, 54, have been married for several years and have two kids together, a son, Mattia, and a daughter, Sophia. Mattia Colangelo played high school basketball at Upper Canada College in Toronto, where his Bryan had been an executive with the Raptors, and now plays at the University of Chicago.

According to an article in Sportsnet, his daughter, Sophia, who is younger than Mattia, is a dancer. Both of the Colangelo children attended private schools in Toronto while they were living there, according to Toronto Life.

When Bryan Colangelo was hired by the Sixers in 2016, Bottini stayed in Toronto for a bit so her children could finish the school year. The family has since relocated to the Philadelphia area.

4. She Is Originally From Northern Italy & Colangelo Credits Her for His High-Collared Shirts, Which the Burner Twitter Accounts Often Defended

Barbara Bottini, born December 16, 1963, is originally from northern Italy. She and her family have have returned there for trips, according to Toronto Life, which wrote in a profile of Colangelo, they “often take long holidays in Italy.”

Colangelo has credited his high-collared shirts and fashion sense to his wife. The Twitter accounts often defended his collars. The Toronto Star wrote about his style in 2007:

“I was named best dressed in high school in 1983,” the former Phoenix resident reveals. “I was much more preppy then. Now, I’m somewhere in between North American style and Italian style. That’s the influence of having a Northern Italian wife.” Colangelo has all his shirts custom made at Manifatture all’ Orologio, a little shop in the main piazza in Bologna, Italy. “That’s where the high collars come from,” he says. “And they do special details like contrast stitching and square buttons.” Tailors in Phoenix and Toronto and visits to Via Cavour and Harry Rosen keep him in slim-cut suits. “People say I never dress down, but I do at home,” Colangelo says,

Along with the collar tweets, other details about the burner accounts also links to Bottini and her ties to Italy. Twitter user @DrunkSixersFan found one of the burners, under the name “Eric Jr,” follows an account named @AngeloCustode3, which means guardian angel in Italian and tweets out bible verses.

5. She Was Heavily Involved in Her Son’s School, Which Called Her the ‘Backbone’ of Its Parent Organization

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Barbara Bottini was a key member of the parent organizations at Upper Canada College, the private school in Toronto that her son attended. Several newsletters and other postings on the school’s website talk about her involvement, including listing the phone number and email that are associated with the burner accounts.

She won an award from the school in 2016. “The backbone of the parent organizations at both the Prep and Upper School, Barbara has a gift for the kind of unifying leadership that brings people together to do great things,” the school wrote in the announcement about the award. “Barbara’s signature kindness, diplomacy and work ethic are present in all she does at UCC — which is a whole lot! Her myriad volunteer roles over the last decade include Parents’ Organization president, vice-president and president of the Parents’ Organization Executive Committee, A-Day co-chair, head of the Nutrition Committee, and Arts Booster Club board chair. With her son Mattia graduating this year, Barbara’s outstanding service and dedication to the College will be sorely missed.”

Twitter users also found connections to the school on the burner accounts. @Legsanity tweeted that the “Eric Jr” burner account followed Holly Miklas and Liza Murrell, two members of the UCC parents’ organization who nominated Bottini for the award she received in 2016.