Source in Ted Cruz GQ Article Is a Disbarred Convict

The source of the allegation that Cruz refused to study with grads of ‘lesser Ivies’ was disbarred in June
Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz / AP


An alleged Harvard Law School roommate of Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) who was quoted provocatively in Jason Zengerle’s profile of Cruz for GQ magazine is a convicted DUI offender and a recently disbarred attorney.

The State Bar of California website lists Damon Christian Watson’s status as “disbarred” and prohibited from practicing law in the state of California, Watson’s current state of residence.

Watson was disbarred by order of the California State Supreme Court on June 21, 2013, stemming from a failure to comply with the terms of a 2011 public reproval that followed a criminal conviction of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to the California Bar Journal.

Zengerle neglects to mention Watson’s current status, using Watson as the sole source of a key segment of his article:

The elite academic circles that Cruz was now traveling in began to rub off. As a law student at Harvard, he refused to study with anyone who hadn’t been an undergrad at Harvard, Princeton, or Yale. Says Damon Watson, one of Cruz’s law-school roommates: “He said he didn’t want anybody from ‘minor Ivies’ like Penn or Brown.”

National media and Cruz’s ideological adversaries seized upon the quote since the article’s publication and have promoted it extensively as proof that Cruz’s populist persona is more contrived than authentic.