*Eight years after her affair with former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick generated headlines and public ridicule, Christine Beatty is opening up about the situation and its personal and professional affect on her in a new docuseries.
Executive produced by Queen Latifah, “From the Bottom Up” highlights the lives of five women in search of redemption after experiencing a public downfall. For Beatty, the show comes amid a hard time that came once private and intimate text messages between her and Kilpatrick on their government-issued phones were made public in 2008 via the Detroit Free Press. The pair’s extra-marital affair lasted six years. Prior to the affair, Beatty served as Kilpatrick’s chief of staff was regarded as a celebrated strategist with a promising future in politics.
The texts ultimately were damaging as they proved that Beatty’s denial of her affair with Kilpatrick under oath was a lie. As a result, she was sentenced to 90 days in jail and was slammed by the media and public who could not get past what she did.
In an interview with The Root, Beatty reminisces over the fallout from her affair with Kilpatrick and how she forgave herself and works to move forward from that period in her life. “From the Bottom Up” is set to premiere Saturday (Jan. 16) on Centric.
The following are excerpts from Beatty’s interview with The Root:
The Root: Why did you decide to do a reality show?
Christine Beatty: I didn’t decide to do any reality show; it was this reality show. [Producer] Nicci Gilbert approached me and explained her concept, which was different women who had a fall from grace due to their own poor choices, and the idea that you can push forward and have a second chance. Second chances are real, but it’s what you do with them. That’s what got me thinking, “OK, well, maybe.”
TR: That’s my next question: How did you recover? Or have you recovered?
CB: I have absolutely recovered in my personal life. It was a huge process. Forgiving myself was the hardest thing to do in terms of restoring my spirit. I did what I call putting the guilt bricks down. I walked around with them for so long, and they were so heavy. And I don’t think I’ve put them down completely. It’s still a process.
I had to be prayerful, and I talked to myself a lot about what forgiveness looked like. If you walk around mired in guilt and holding on to all the terrible things that you think about yourself, you wear that; people see it. My breakthrough was when I realized, “How can you ask other people to forgive you when you haven’t forgiven yourself?”
TR: Have you recovered professionally?
CB: Not fully. Nope. I’ve dealt with not having income and not being able to find consistent employment. People not giving me the opportunity, [not seeing] past the ordeal [to] look at my talents and skills, was very frustrating. I’ve done some private business consulting, some small-business consulting. It’s been extremely up and down, not very lucrative. There have been times that I’ve not been able to pay the bills, if not for my family.
TR: What do you hope people will take away from watching your experience on From the Bottom Up?
CB: The show is not just about me. It’s about five of us that have been in a circumstance that has caused us to change our lives for the worse. And it’s about how we are recovering from that, rebuilding our lives, our homes and our careers. There will be people who identify with going through a personal fog, not so public, but they’ll see it and think, “Hey, these women are doing it … ” Or trying to do it. The show is from the bottom up. Everybody’s not on the up-up yet. Everybody’s still climbing and striving. People will respect the journey.
For MORE of Beatty’s more of interview with The Root, click here.