Barbara Sabich: Presumed Innocent character explained

In Presumed Innocent, Barbara Sabich, played by Ruth Negga, struggles to forgive her husband as his lies come to light following Carolyn’s murder.

Barbara married her husband, Rusty, and had children with him at a young age. Years later, Rusty had an affair with his colleague, Carolyn. 

When Barbara found out about the affair, she forgave Rusty and decided against divorcing him, believing that the affair was brief and in the past. 

However, after Carolyn is murdered, Barbara realizes that the affair was neither over nor meaningless and that Rusty is still in love with Carolyn.

Discovering Rusty’s lies

Carolyn is brutally murdered at her home, leading to Raymond assigning her case to Rusty, unaware of Rusty and Carolyn’s affair. 

Barbara advises Rusty not to take the case because of his involvement with Carolyn, fearing that the truth about his affair will come out.

As Barbara had feared, Rusty’s affair with Carolyn is revealed once Tommy takes over the case after Nico wins the election for district attorney.

It is then that Barbara finds out that the affair had started again and that Carolyn was pregnant with Rusty’s child at the time of her death. 

Rusty is still determined to save their marriage, whereas Barbara stays with him only for the sake of their two children.

While Barbara chooses not to leave Rusty, she is no longer willing to bear the pain of his infidelity alone, so she makes Rusty tell the truth to their children.

Rusty then becomes the prime suspect in Carolyn’s murder case, as he was with Carolyn the night of her murder, which is another thing Barbara did not know. 

Barbara struggles to come to terms with Rusty’s lies, but despite everything, she continues to support him during this difficult time, convinced that he cannot be a murderer.

The truth Barbara can no longer deny

As the case goes to trial, the media turns its attention to Rusty’s family, and their normal lives are entirely disrupted. Due to this, Barbara loses her job,

Presumed Innocent Barbara Sabich
Barbara gets fired

During this time, Barbara meets a bartender named Clifton. She not only talks to him about her problems but also finds herself attracted to him. 

Encouraged by her friend to act on her attraction, Barbara visits the bar again to meet Clifton when Rusty continues to be a bad partner.

After spending time with Clifton, Barbara realizes that she and Rusty have drifted apart for some time now; she can no longer deny that.

She also feels that her daughter judges her for forgiving and staying with Rusty. Barbara certainly judges herself.

Despite her hesitance, Barbara goes on a date with Clifton. She enjoys her time with him, who gets along with her in a way that Rusty does not, and the two of them kiss. 

Barbara does not regret kissing Clifton. In fact, the kiss makes her feel relieved, knowing that she is still wanted by someone.

With Barbara realizing that her marriage with Rusty has long been over, she might finally leave him, but as long as he is a suspect, she will have to continue supporting him.

Also Read: Rusty Sabich: Presumed Innocent character explained

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