Both Debra and Peter Parker attended Empire State University. Debra was a TA and a secretary to the Dean, Morris Sloan. Debra was initially in an abusive relationship and Peter stepped in to save her. Due to several coincidences Debra began to believe that Peter Parker was actually Spider-Man (which in fact, was true). Peter was alerted to this by Debra's psychologist and he convinced Peter to fake being Spider-Man to snap her back to reality. Peter however decided to confess but the revelation had the effect the psychiatrist hoped for and Debra laughed out how ludicrous the notion of Peter being Spider-Man was. Eventually the two parted ways so Debra could go take care of some personal business and did not see each other again for a long time.
Years later, Debra finally found out that she was right all along when Spider-man unmasked himself during the superhuman Civil War events that had led to a Super-Human Registration Act. Debra started writing a book about her time as being "Spider-man's girlfriend" which caused great publicity. Peter (as Spider-man) even paid Debra a visit. Debra at first was very mad at Peter, but when Peter explained his reasons for hiding his identity, Debra was less mad and eventually the two parted ways as friends again.
- Debra appears in the 1990s Spider-Man: The Animated Series voiced by Liz Georges. She is portrayed as an extremely intelligent girl and love interest of Flash Thompson. She also is an assistant of Dr. Connors at his lab.
- Debra appears in The Spectacular Spider-Man as an African-American girl who is a lab assistant of Miles Warren at ESU.