To date we haven’t weighed in on the R. Kelly case, but now that the jury’s deliberating, it looks like a good time as any to ponder it and what sorts of ramifications it’ll have for how we go about listening to and enjoying Trapped In The Closet and “Sex In The Kitchen” or, more tangentially, “Thoi Thong.” It’s been a much-delayed and oddball trial to begin with and all sorts of strange tidbits (like, someone put a bullet through Jim DeRogatis’s front door? R. Kelly has a birthmark?) keep popping up, but the defense’s closing is weirder. To frame it a bit: It focuses on the fact that at the beginning of the tape, the person alleged to be Kelly gives the girl who’s later urinated upon cash money, as if paying her for what’s about to happen:
The moment suddenly became high profile in the closing arguments of the case today. Here’s the Chicago Sun-Times on the defense side:
Speaking after prosecutors had showed the jury the notorious sex tape at the center of the case one last time, defense attorney Sam Adam Jr said that the girl on the tape had accepted cash before performing a series of sex acts.
Showing the jury a studio photograph of the alleged victim on a large screen, he then told them that if they were going to find Kelly guilty of 14 counts of child pornography, “you are going to have to call (the alleged victim) 14 times individually and collectively a whore.”
Barely audible, he whispered, “My momma told me when we were kids, ‘if you ain’t got something nice to say about someone, don’t say it about her.”
He concluded his argument saying, “How are you 14 times going to call her a whore?”…
The Chicago Tribune has even weirder details. The paper says the attorney made a different argument, too, to wit:
Wouldn’t a 13-year-old girl blab to her friends about having sex with a star like Kelly?:
“She is a 13 year-old-girl having raunchy, dirty, nasty sex …with a superstar who’s won Grammy Awards and she tells no one?” Adam said. “You couldn’t keep a 13-year-old girl’s mouth quiet about having Hannah Montana tickets.”
That reasoning is all sorts of twisted. It’s surprising the lawyer didn’t show up with a copy of Lolita.