Bernard Kilpatrick Says Deposition Often Contentious
DETROIT — Bernard Kilpatrick has agreed to answer questions under oath after skipping his court-ordered deposition earlier this month but said he feels “terrible” about having to do so.
After skipping a deposition to testify in a $150 million wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Detroit exotic dancer Tamara Greene on Aug. 12 in Texas, Kilpatrick showed up Tuesday morning to be questioned at Birmingham attorney Norman Yatooma’s office. Yatooma is representing the Greene family in the lawsuit.
After six hours of deposition, Kilpatrick said it was very contentious at times. He even said he plead the 5th amendment to some questions and answered others.
Before heading into the deposition, Kilpatrick spoke briefly to media.
“There’s no reason for me to be here, there was no party” he said. “These greedy so-and-sos are trying to get some money because they say it happened.”
Kilpatrick was referring to the rumors of a 2002 party at the Manoogian Mansion that was supposedly thrown by Kilpatrick’s then mayor son, Kwame Kilpatrick. Greene was killed in a drive-by shooting a year later. She is rumored to have performed at the alleged party and was assaulted by Kwame Kilpatrick’s wife, Carlita Kilpatrick.
Yatooma is suing Kwame Kilpatrick and Detroit, alleging a police cover-up of Greene’s death. Yatooma said he wants to know if Bernard Kilpatrick was involved in the cover-up.
“I’m angry about even being here, a murder? He (Kwame Kilpatrick) dedicated his whole life to the people of Detroit and now they’re trying to pin a murder on him? This is crap,” Bernard Kilpatrick said. “There was no party. Absolutely, there was no party.”
When asked about his son, who is in a Michigan prison serving time for a probation violation, Bernard Kilpatrick said he was doing great.
“I go up there to cheer him up and he ends up cheering me up,” he said. “He’s as strong as a Twenty Mule Team Borox. He’s all right.”
Kilpatrick said his son is “not very” hopeful about getting out soon, and called the situation “ridiculous” and a “travesty.”
His deposition is expected to last all day.
Carlita Kilpatrick testified on Aug. 12. int he wrongful death lawsuit. However, her testimony remains sealed.
Yatooma said a few months ago, he was threatened by a city attorney not to depose Bernard Kilpatrick.
“What was expressed was that if we tried to take Bernard’s deposition, we would end up facedown in an alley with a knife in our back. We’re not running around afraid, but for those words to be uttered begs the question — why?” said Yatooma.
Bernard Kilpatrick is under investigation in a federal municipal corruption probe.
Earlier this month, Kwame Kilpatrick was transported from a prison to testify in the case.
Yatooma said he is racing to wrap up the depositions before the case goes to trial in January.