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In potentially one of the most confusing spectacles ever seen in a courtroom, the defense lawyer for disgraced R&B singer R.Kelly gave his closing argument in the federal trial and made some outlandish comparisons between the singer and Dr. Martin Luther King, among others.


Per Buzzfeed News, Deveraux Cannick, the defense attorney for R. Kelly, made his closing argument to the jury in the Brooklyn, New York courthouse on Thursday (September 23) and it began in a highly convoluted manner. He began by trying to compare Kelly to the civil rights hero Dr. Martin Luther King, asking the jury to let his client go free.

“I told you about Dr. King and the people of courage for a reason,” Cannick said. “Getting a conviction of R. Kelly is a big deal, but a bigger deal is fairness.” The attorney also quoted from Dr. King’s last speech in 1968, “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop”. It was all part of his aim to paint the more than 40 witnesses for the prosecution as liars. “Some of the witnesses, just lie after lie after lie … and the government let them lie,” he expressed at one point.

Cannick also attacked the presented accusations that Kelly controlled his victims with strict rules such as insisting they call him “daddy,” claiming that it’s a normal thing to call someone in “certain cultures, [like] papi.” It was at that point that he put former Vice President Mike Pence into the mix. “he former vice president Mike Pence calls his wife ‘mother.’”, he said. Cannick wasn’t done with his comparisons, saying Kelly had a “playboy” lifestyle. “Hugh Hefner — that was his life,” the attorney said. “Not a crime.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nadia Shihata requested that the jury should focus on the voluminous amount of evidence presented by the government in her rebuttal to the defense. She pointed out that Cannick’s argument placed the blame squarely on the victims for what happened to them, and highlighted how Cannick went so far as to mock one of the witnesses who testified. “It’s like we took a time machine and went back to a courthouse in the 1950s,” she said. R. Kelly opted not to testify in his own defense.

R. Kelly’s Defense Lawyer Bizarrely Compares Him To MLK, Hugh Hefner  was originally published on