News & Politics

Before “Don’t Worry, Darling” Drama, There Was Bigfoot Erotica Drama

Olivia Wilde's mom called her opponent a "devotee of Bigfoot Erotica" during her Virginia campaign.

Pop culture vultures were absolutely FEASTING at a banquet of delectable drama this weekend, thanks to the much-anticipated Venice Film Festival premiere of Don’t Worry, Darling. Sure, the onscreen action is probably entertaining, but the offscreen shenanigans are far more mouthwatering. A quick rundown: alleged tension between director Olivia Wilde and star Florence Pugh, former male lead Shia LaBeouf came with receipts, pop star Harry Styles may or may not have spit on co-star Chris Pine, and plenty of awkward group photos for amateur body language sleuths to analyze.

But before Wilde uttered the fateful words “Miss Flo,” a different member of the Wilde family was enmeshed in theatrics closer to home. The director’s mother, journalist Leslie Cockburn, ran for a congressional seat in Virginia’s Fifth District in 2018. During her campaign, Cockburn dropped some rather, um, big news:

Yes, Cockburn actually described her Republican opponent as a “devotee of Bigfoot erotica.” A brief search on private browser shows that, unlike the existence of Bigfoot himself, erotic musings about the mystical beast are verifiably real. In fact, the Virginia mountains are not a bad spot for a sultry, mysterious monster to hide out.

As for the accusation? Riggelman did co-author a Bigfoot book—albeit without any Sasquatchian sex scenes—and went on to win the election. He lost his primary race in the subsequent election cycle to self-described biblical conservative Bob Good . In 2020, Riggelman published another book titled Bigfoot . . . It’s Complicated in 2020, connecting his affinity for the beast to the wilderness of modern American life.

“QAnon folks are just a weaponized version of Bigfoot believers,” Riggelman told Washingtonian’s Andrew Beaujon last year. “Just like with Bigfoot, you see an alternate reality economy.” 

Maybe it is time to worry, darlings.


Daniella Byck
Lifestyle Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in 2022. She was previously with Outside Magazine and lives in Northeast DC.