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Christine Beatty, whose racy text messages with ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick were the beginning of the end of his administration, emotionally thanked her ex-husband Tuesday for his support during the ordeal.

“I know I’ve said ‘I’m sorry’ to you about a million times,” Beatty said to Lou Beatty, “but I’ve never said thank you.”

The two were on an episode of the “Steve Harvey Show” that dealt with once-powerful, highly visible women who were brought down by legal troubles.

“To be a black man, already, is tough enough, but to stand through what you stood through,” she said, “that’s not an easy choice for everybody. ... I needed to show the world what forgiveness looks like, what strength looks like, and what a strong black man looks like.”

In rare public comments about the scandal, Lou Beatty said on the show, which aired on WWJ-TV (Channel 62), the text message scandal was “pretty painful” and that he was in survival mode to insulate their two children. He said that with a support system they were able to make it as a family.

After her words of gratitude, the two shook hands and hugged while seated next to each other.

“That was pretty good right there,” Harvey said.

“And I didn’t cry,” replied Lou Beatty, who divorced Christine in 2006.

Harvey joked: “You gonna break down backstage, though.”

Christine Beatty says she lied to get her ex-husband to appear on the show, saying their children had something to say to him. In fact, it was she who had something to say.

Beatty is a cast member in a reality show on the Centric network called “From the Bottom Up,” about once-powerful women. Harvey had members of that cast on his show Tuesday to offer thanks to loved ones who supported them at their low points.

Other cast members who appeared with loved ones were Sara Stokes and Kim Smedley.

Stokes is a Detroit native who was part of Sean Combs’ “Making the Band” on MTV. She was jailed for domestic violence in connection with a fight with her husband. Smedley, an Atlanta resident, spent 17 months in prison after, according to federal investigators, she earned at least $1.3 million from her illegal buttocks injections business.

Beatty, Kilpatrick’s chief of staff, was a childhood friend of the mayor. The two maintained an affair while both were married and working at City Hall.

The affair cost Beatty her job. She resigned in 2008, spent 69 days in jail in 2009 after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice and got off probation in 2013. She was hit with a $100,000 restitution bill in 2008, which preceded her move to Atlanta in 2010 and filing for bankruptcy.

Kilpatrick resigned in September 2008, and is serving a 28-year prison term in Oklahoma for racketeering and other crimes during his time as mayor.

In the six years since resigning in disgrace, Beatty has paid more than $22,000 in restitution. The last payment she made to the city was for $500 in January 2014 and she is behind by $7,700, Detroit Corporation Counsel Melvin Butch Hollowell said.

He said the city regularly monitors Beatty and it is clear “she has not had regular work.”

She earned $6,000 from the reality show in 2014 and $6,000 in 2015, Hollowell said.

“She’s indicated she wants to pay,” he said. “We’ll be continuing to accept payments from her as she can make them.”

Kilpatrick denied the affair in open court, but text messages, which were revealed via subpoena, told a different story. Beatty’s side of the story hadn’t been heard until an October 2013 first-person article in Essence, in which she said Kilpatrick “made me laugh, he made me angry, he propelled me to ecstasy and reduced me to tears.”

cwilliams@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2311

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