During closing arguments, Kelly's defense reportedly recited portions of Dr. King's "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech.
Despite his sex crimes allegations, R. Kelly remains an icon. The disgraced singer recently concluded the first of what is expected to be several trials regarding accusations of sex trafficking and sexual misconduct, all allegations that Kelly has denied from the onset. Witnesses have taken the stand with claims against the singer, including statements regarding Kelly holding women against their will and having sex with underage girls.
His defense team tried thwarting the prosecution's witnesses at every turn, and TMZ reports that they compared Kelly's plight to the mission of one of the world's most respected activists.
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According to TMZ, Kelly's defense attorney Devereaux Cannick made a few surprising comments during his closing arguments. Cannick reportedly told the jury that what is happening to his client is much like that of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. because Kelly is fighting against prosecutors the way Dr. King "fought for Constitutional rights."
Cannick went on to reportedly quote portions of Dr. King's "I've Been to the Mountaintop"—the last speech delivered by King the day before he was assassinated in Memphis. "Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press."
TMZ also reports that the defense team only called upon "a handful of witnesses" to speak up on behalf of the singer. Those who did stated that they never witnessed any inappropriate behavior, while one witness reportedly wanted his demo played for Kelly while on the stand. Kelly's defense attorneys also deemed the prosecution's witnesses liars and went on to compare the singer to Mike Pence and Hugh Hefner.