DETROIT (WWJ) – It’s a story heard exclusively on WWJ. Listen to the full interview below.

On the same day former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick returned to the city he once led, he learned one of his best friends made a plea with federal prosecutors to testify against him.

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In an exclusive interview with WWJ’s City Beat Reporter Vickie Thomas, Kilpatrick maintained his innocence on federal racketeering charges and reacted to that plea deal cut with the feds by his former friend and top aide Derrick Miller.

“I have to say it’s something that I expected,” Kilpatrick said. “I haven’t had a serious conversation with Derrick  since 2006.”

“I know. You write in the book that you guys went your separate ways,” Vickie responded. “Was that painful?”

“It was very painful,” Kilpatrick answered. “I mean I really never knew what Derrick was up to or what he was doing. But my heart still goes out to him and his wife and his child. I mean, the pressure that this prosecutor’s office is putting on people to say whatever they want ’em to say is profound.”

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Kilpatrick will be at Citadel of Praise Church to talk about his book Surrendered: The Rise, Fall and Revelation of Kwame Kilpatrick. The former mayor said he’ll be talking about the process of healing and forgiveness.

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“The best way for us to move forward is for us to forgive each other and do it. And I hope that the citizens, and I know people in the WWJ audience are going to be mad when I say that, but you got to, got to let it go,” Kilpatrick said.

Thomas said she read Kilpatrick’s book cover-to-cover, including a section in which Kilpatrick talked about Christine Beatty’s health scare and the toll the job took on other members of his team.

“You reveal that she had cancer,” Vickie said. “None of us knew that.”

“Yeah. I think that, you know, even the health of Derrick; the health of Christine; my health; the chief of police, Ella Bully Cummings. It was so many people that were literally stressed to sickness in the positions in the city of Detroit,” Kilpatrick said.

Listen to the full interview:

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