Singer Mario has made headlines since 2002 when he initially stormed R&B radio waves with a catchy pop tune “Just a Friend.” But on Sept. 30, the entertainer, born Mario Denwar Barrett in Baltimore, made a different type of news after allegedly assaulting his mother, Shawnita Hardaway, in the apartment they share.
According to the statement of probable cause issued by Baltimore police, an officer was dispatched to the 900 block of Fells St., where Hardaway was found in the front lobby in tears.
She told officers Mario, 24, was “throwing and damaging property” and had pushed her. Police found a damaged china cabinet, broken mirror and damaged closet door in the apartment.
According to Hardaway, this was her second physical dispute with Mario since Sept. 27, when he allegedly pushed her “eight feet into a living room wall” after an argument. Police do not know what spurred either fight.
Mario’s troubled relationship with Hardaway – a recovering heroin user – has spawned a documentary and Mario’s Do Right Foundation, which Mario founded to support children of drug addicts. The MTV film special, I Won’t Love You to Death: The Story of Mario and His Mom, showed the singer’s tumultuous relationship with his mom, who had been drug-free for a year.
“This is an unfortunate incident between a loving son and a mother who continues to struggle with a devastating addiction,” said Mario’s attorney in a statement sent to the Baltimore Sun. “Anyone who has waged the battle to save loved ones from the forces of drugs knows the irrational behavior that almost always accompanies their actions. Mario remains committed to supporting his mother.”
He was released on a $50,000 bond. In addition to a future court appearance involving the domestic dispute, Mario will face a Baltimore judge on Nov. 16 stemming from lawsuits filed against him and Hardaway by three local women. The women allege the singer’s mom struck their vehicle in a parking lot in January, causing injuries. Each woman is seeking $20,000.
Meanwhile, Mario is working on his fifth studio album, D.N.A.