Speed Reads

the R. Kelly trial

R. Kelly lawyer's bizarre closing argument compared him to Martin Luther King Jr. and Mike Pence

R. Kelly's defense attorney made a strange closing argument in his sex trafficking trial on Thursday, comparing the disgraced R&B singer to Martin Luther King Jr. and former Vice President Mike Pence. 

Kelly's lawyer Deveraux Cannick began the defense's closing argument in the New York sex trafficking trial by declaring that the singer is fighting for his constitutional rights in court just like King did during the civil rights movement. Cannick even quoted from King's famous "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech, Vulture reports. The attorney reportedly told jurors that "our constitution is most sacred" and said that King fought to ensure the government was "true to what's on paper" in it, claiming, "That's all Robert is trying to do," Page Six reports

"Multiple oh nos could be heard in the room when it became clear where Cannick was going," Vulture writes

Kelly, who has for years faced allegations that he sexually abused underage girls, has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking and racketeering charges. Earlier on Thursday, the prosecution wrapped up more than six hours of closing arguments, urging the jury to "hold the defendant responsible for the pain he inflicted on each of his victims." 

King wasn't the only person Kelly's defense compared him to, though. According to Vulture, Cannick also referenced Playboy founder Hugh Hefner by telling jurors that Kelly lived the life of a "playboy" but asking, "Where's the crime in that? Hugh Hefner, that was his life. Not a crime." The attorney also mentioned Pence while referencing allegations that Kelly required his alleged victims to call him daddy.

"Daddy! It's almost a crime to call a man a daddy," Cannick said, The Daily Beast reports. "I guess people can't do that anymore. The former vice president called his wife mother."