Posted Jan. 31, 2008 – Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who carried on a steamy sexual relationship with a top aide, appeared on live TV Wednesday evening, apologizing to his wife and the citizens of Detroit , in a text-messaging scandal that suggests he may have committed perjury before settling a 2007 police lawsuit.
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The Detroit Free Press newspaper revealed last week that Kilpatrick and his former chief of staff, Christine Beatty, carried on an extra-marital affair, when the paper published the contents of dozens of explicit text messages that suggested an intimate relationship between the two married colleagues several years ago. Former deputy police chief Gary Brown and former mayoral police bodyguard Harold Nelthrope sued the city in 2007, claiming they suffered career demotions and emotional stress because their investigations would've led to the exposure of Kilpatrick's alleged philandering.
"I want to start by saying tonight to the citizens of this great city, I'm sorry," Kilpatrick said Wednesday," for the embarrassment and the disappointment that the events of the past few days have caused you.... To those of you who have not always been Kwame Kilpatrick supporters but who lift up this city and support this town in various ways..., for the first time in my life, I had to have a conversation with my 12-year-old twin sons about very grown-up things." Kilpatrick spoke by live satellite link from his church with his wife Carlita Kilpatrick, pictured above, seated beside him. He turned dramatically toward the First Lady, repeatedly clasping her hands with his, as he spoke, saying, “I truly apologize to you.” The mayor added of his wife: "Now I've put her in a situation that many couples deal with in the privacy of their own homes, but for us it's on the front page of the newspaper."
So what's Kwame's wife, Carlita, saying about the matter? Go to the next page.
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Carlita Kilpatrick also addressed the viewing audience, saying, “Our family has endured the most painful and intrusive week of our lives. Our most intimate issues have been laid out for all to see, for all to comment on, for all to dissect and analyze; however, this issue is between me, my husband and God.”
The mayor rejected calls for him to follow Beatty, who resigned from her position this week, saying she could no longer effectively serve the city. “I would never quit on you,” he said to the camera. The mayor urged the media, which has been camped outside his house for several days, to respect his family’s privacy, but he never discussed the allegations that have led Wayne County Prosecutor Kim Worthy to launch a criminal perjury investigation.
“I am the mayor. I made the mistake. I am accountable,” he said without elaborating. Kilpatrick settled the whistle-blower lawsuit with the defendants for about $9 million in 2007 after they won a jury verdict, but the mayor steadfastly claimed that he hadn’t retaliated against Brown and Nelthrope. One of Kilpatrick’s text messages to Beatty about the city’s disciplinary action, however, reportedly stated, “It had to happen.” The mayor concluded his brief address to the city Wednesday by saying, “I'll see you at work tomorrow.”
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