Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick exchanged romantic text messages with a top aide, contradicting their denials in court that they had romantic ties, a newspaper reported.
The county prosecutor's office declined to comment on the legal implications of the report, posted Wednesday on the Detroit Free Press' Web site. A conviction of lying under oath can bring up to 15 years' imprisonment.
Kilpatrick and Christine Beatty testified last summer in a police whistle-blower lawsuit and denied any sexual or romantic ties in 2002 and 2003. But the Free Press said it examined about 14,000 text messages on Beatty's city-issued pager from those years and found many examples of such ties.
Kilpatrick is married, and Beatty was married at the time.
"I'm madly in love with you," Kilpatrick wrote on Oct. 3, 2002.
"I hope you feel that way for a long time," Beatty replied. "In case you haven't noticed, I am madly in love with you, too!"
On Oct. 16, 2002, Kilpatrick wrote Beatty: "I've been dreaming all day about having you all to myself for 3 days. Relaxing, laughing, talking, sleeping and making love."
Kilpatrick offered strong defense
In his testimony last summer, at one point Kilpatrick expressed anger about claims of an affair between him and Beatty.
"I think it was pretty demoralizing to her — you have to know her — but it's demoralizing to me as well," the mayor said. "My mother is a congresswoman. There have always been strong women around me. My aunt is a state legislator. I think it's absurd to assert that every woman that works with a man is a whore.
"I think it's disrespectful not just to Christine Beatty but to women who do a professional job that they do every single day. And it's also disrespectful to their families as well."
‘Difficult period in my personal life’
Kilpatrick issued a statement Wednesday night saying the messages "reflect a very difficult period in my personal life."
"It is profoundly embarrassing to have these extremely private messages now displayed in such a public manner," he said. "My wife and I worked our way through these intensely personal issues years ago. I would now ask that the public and the media respect the privacy of my wife and children and of Christine Beatty and her children at this deeply painful moment for our families."
The Free Press did not explain exactly how it obtained the text messages but said it was outside a lawsuit it filed to get all records related to the settlement the city reached with two former police officers.
The newspaper said it cross-referenced the text messages with the mayor's private calendar and credit card records from that period to verify events in some messages.
When asked whether the Wayne County prosecutor's office would open an investigation, spokeswoman Maria Miller said: "We have not received anything from anyone. Other than that, we have no comment."
A county jury awarded $6.5 million to the two officers in the lawsuit against the city and Kilpatrick. The jury said Kilpatrick and the city unlawfully dismissed two officers, who claimed they suffered after investigating allegations of wrongdoing within Kilpatrick's security unit.
The events happened in Kilpatrick's first four-year term. He was elected to a second term in November 2005.