(AP) Text messages from the pager of his former top aide appear to show the evolution of flirty and sexually explicit exchanges involving Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to professions of love and eventually promises of marriage.
But for the married mayor and the now-divorced Christine Beatty, the outcome of their secret relationship referred to in the excerpts has been embarrassment, felony charges and possible prison time for both.
Beatty, the mayor's former chief of staff, also has been out of a job for more than two months after she resigned following the publication in January of some text message excerpts.
In an 18-page document released Tuesday, many of the messages - which all were sent from or received on Beatty's pager - refer to being in love.
According to a Sept. 23, 2002 text message from Beatty to the mayor, she wrote: "I love you so much man! Thank you for showing what it's like to be head over heels in love."
The document was ordered released Tuesday morning by Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Robert J. Colombo Jr. It was recovered from the computer of Michael Stefani, an attorney who represented three police officers in whistle-blowers' lawsuits that were settled last year for $8.4 million.
The document also reveals discussions about a potential reorganization of the police department's internal affairs unit without the knowledge of then-Police Chief Jerry Oliver.
Several top police officials, including current Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings, who was an assistant chief at the time, were aware of the plot that involved the firing of internal affairs chief Gary Brown, according to the excerpts released over the objections of attorneys representing Kilpatrick, Beatty and the city.
Brown was one of the three officers who filed the whistle-blowers' suits against Kilpatrick and the city.
Kilpatrick said Tuesday evening that he questioned the authenticity of the messages and that their release did not provide "the smoking gun" many had expected.
"It seems that it's just a regurgitation of old news. And it's unfortunate that now we're printing something as true that came off somebody's computer," he said following a community forum.
Kilpatrick said he will "keep marching forward" and expects to be fully exonerated.
Read the compromising text messages sent between Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his aide, Christine Beatty, that were published by the Detroit Free Press. Be aware that portions of the language and content may be offensive to some readers.
A prosecutor's report issued last month said Kilpatrick and Beatty attempted to keep Brown's firing a secret.
In his motion, Stefani said the text messages between Kilpatrick and Beatty "clearly demonstrates that Brown was fired."
In a text message Beatty sent to Kilpatrick on May 15, 2003, she said: "I'm sorry that we are going through this mess because of a decision that we made to fire Gary Brown. I will make sure that the next decision is much more thought out. Not regretting what was done at all but thinking about how we can do things smarter."
It was during the whistle-blowers' trial of Brown's and another officer's suit that Kilpatrick and Beatty denied having a romantic relationship in 2002 and 2003.
"Mayor Kilpatrick, during 2002 and 2003, were you romantically involved with Christine Beatty?" asked Stefani.
Kilpatrick's response: "No."
Beatty said "no" and rolled her eyes when asked if she and the mayor were "either romantically or intimately involved" during the period covered by the case.
But the text messages, excerpts of which were first published by the Detroit Free Press, told a different story.
In March, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy charged Kilpatrick and Beatty, both 37, with perjury, misconduct and obstruction of justice stemming from that testimony. They face a June 9 preliminary examination.
The text messages are at the heart of the settlement of the whistle-blowers' lawsuits.
Kilpatrick said publicly last September that the city would appeal a jury's verdict in favor of the suit filed by Brown and former officer Harold Nelthrope.
But after Stefani gave one of Kilpatrick's lawyers a motion for attorney's fees that contained excerpts of the text messages, the suit was settled. The motion was never filed in court, and until the Free Press story, the text messages weren't publicly revealed.
Colombo said Tuesday he agreed to release the document because he believes it directly led to the whistle-blowers' settlement.
"It is the very reason why the Brown case was settled," Colombo said. "That made it a public document."
James Thomas, a lawyer for Kilpatrick, questioned the accuracy of the quoted messages and criticized their publication.
"The case is being driven by the salaciousness," Thomas told reporters Tuesday afternoon. "It was improper to print it at this point in time. It's going to affect his ability to have a fair trial. We plan on vigorously challenging those documents, and setting them up to the scrutiny we feel the media should have put it up to."
Mayer Morganroth, who represents Beatty, said he believes the text messages were obtained illegally and the excerpts should not have been released. Stefani was out of state and unavailable for comment, his office said.
The sometimes graphic excerpts include the frequent use of the N-word, or derivatives of it, as a term of endearment.
On Sept. 15, 2002, Beatty described a sex act she wanted to perform on the mayor but said she didn't know how to ask him to let her do it. He replied: "Next time, just tell me to sit down, shut up and do your thing!"
Later that month, the pair appeared to arrange a sexual encounter in Beatty's office. On Sept. 19, 2002, Beatty wrote to Kilpatrick: "I have wanted to hold you so badly all day, but I was trying to stay focused on work. So, I promise, not to keep you longer than 15 minutes."
Kilpatrick replied: "Don't promise (N-word.)"
Beatty said: "I'm in my office. Do you want me to come to yours or you coming to mine?"
Kilpatrick said: "I'm coming down there ... LOL ditto. Freaky Chris!"
Beatty and Kilpatrick have known each other since high school, and in several excerpts, Beatty expressed her insecurity over the relationship and asked Kilpatrick to promise her she'd always be his "woman."
On April 27, 2003, in response to Beatty's query, Kilpatrick said: "You were my girl for as long as I can remember. I was too young and stupid to know. I promise for the rest of my life you will be my girl."
Earlier that month, on April 8, 2003, Beatty wrote: "You told me that you would be my boyfriend everyday until I was your wife. Are you renigging?"
Kilpatrick replied: "Hell no! Don't start none. Won't be none ...! LOL".
Kilpatrick remains married to his wife, Carlita. Beatty left her husband at the end of April 2003, according to the document.
On April 13, 2003, Beatty wrote to Kilpatrick: "It is sometimes so amazing how much I love you. I can't even describe most of the time how I feel inside when I think about you. You are an amazing man. Everything about you makes me love you. Your passion about life, your sense of humor, your presence, and your love of family."
The intimacy and another reference to marriage was part of an April 25, 2003 exchange.
Beatty wrote: "No. I'm not gone from you. I never am. Every second that I was quiet, I thinking about you."
Kilpatrick replied: "Thinking about what?"
Beatty: "Thinking about doing a lot of things! Thinking that how hard you diss me, I still want to be in your arms, kiss you, hug you, love you. Listening to you speak and wishing that you were my husband."
On May 1, 2003, Beatty referenced her separation from her husband: "I can't see living this way with us being a 'secret' forever. I love you so much and I want to tell somebody, someday! (Smile). Secondly, this separation is really real and it kind of slapped 'lonely' in my mind ... when you didn't come on Saturday until 3 hours later, that just kind of topped it off for me. So I'm sorry if I've been trippin. I could only two way this! I couldn't have said it to you personally!"
Kilpatrick responded: "In this important and somewhat confusing time in your life, please know with all our hearts and soul that I love you. And you will never, never be alone."