Majestic owner takes witness stand for Kilpatrick

Majestic Theater owner Joe Zainea

Majestic Theater owner Joe Zainea

The owner of the Majestic Theater testified for Kwame Kilpatrick about a 30th birthday party he hosted in June 2000 that included a gift basket for envelopes and, presumably, cash.

Joe Zainea testified about helping plan the party, which defense lawyers have suggested provided Kilpatrick with cash gifts that might explain why the ex-mayor had more than $500,000 in unexplained money in his bank accounts.

Prosecutors allege the money was bribes and kickbacks from city contractors.

“The highlight of it was I got to be a babysitter for two young boys Mr. Kilpatrick had,” Zainea testified.

The party cost $5,200, which was paid via a check from the mayor’s mom, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick.

Robert Snell
Robert Snell is the Detroit News federal courts reporter. He can be reached at or (313) 222-2028.