Stoic and publicly silent through months of a sex scandal, the woman whose relationship with former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick led to his downfall broke her silence Monday, shedding tears as she pleaded guilty.
Christine Beatty, a former aide to the mayor, accepted a four-month jail sentence in exchange for admitting to obstruction of justice charges for her actions in a civil lawsuit brought by two police officers. The officers claimed Kilpatrick retaliated against them when they suspected wrongdoing by members of his inner circle.
Sexually explicit text messages between Kilpatrick and Beatty, published in January by the Detroit Free Press, contradicted witness-stand denials they were having an affair. Both were married at the time.
"I lied under oath," Beatty told the judge, echoing the words Kilpatrick used during his own guilty plea in September.
"I did so with the intent to mislead the court and jury and to impede and obstruct the fair administration of justice," she said in pleading guilty to two felonies.
Beatty, 38, initially was unable to choke back tears. Wayne County Circuit Judge Timothy Kenny gave her a moment to compose herself.
Beatty's jail sentence will begin Jan. 5. With credit for good behavior, she could be free in 100 days.
Beatty, the mother of two young daughters who has since gotten divorced, had vigorously fought her case until Monday.
"It was time to get it over with, get on with her life, get it out of her children's lives," defense lawyer Mayer Morganroth said outside court. "Otherwise it goes on and on."
Beatty refused to speak to reporters as she left the court.
Kilpatrick, 38, pleaded guilty three months ago, resigned from office and was sentenced to 120 days in jail.