Lawyer attempted to discredit R. Kelly accuser in court by bringing up MSG in Chinese food
By Ryan General
September 10, 2021
Singer R. Kelly’s defense lawyer reportedly tried to discredit one of his accusers in the singer’s ongoing sexual assault case by putting the blame on monosodium glutamate (MSG).
The testimony: Robert Kelly’s lawyer Deveraux L. Cannick made the unexpected comment on Thursday in response to the testimony of a woman identified only as “Sonja.” She is the eighth accuser to take the stand against Kelly on sex crimes and racketeering charges, reported the New York Times.
- Sonja alleged the singer held her against her will for days and raped her while she was unconscious back in 2003.
- According to her testimony, she was 21 years old when she met Kelly outside of a mall in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was allegedly lured to the singer’s studio in Chicago under the pretense of an interview, as she was working at a radio station at the time.
- In Chicago, Sonja was led into a room and was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). While waiting for Kelly in the room, she found that the door was locked.
- She said she spent several days locked in the room and was given food only on the “third or fourth day.”
- After consuming “just a couple bites, a couple sips,” even though she was starving, she lost consciousness and woke up to see Kelly “pulling up his pants in the corner.”
- She said her underwear was removed and noticed “wet stuff” between her legs and thighs.
- Sonja was let go after having signed another confidentiality agreement and being told: “Don’t f*ck with Mr. Kelly.”
Unsavory rebuttal: During cross-examination, Cannick questioned Sonja about why she ate so little after spending days without food. He then asked whether there was MSG in her food, reported Vulture.
- “You said it was Chinese food,” Cannick asked. “Was it MSG?”
- When the prosecution objected to Cannick’s questions about MSG, the judge asked Sonja if she ever had MSG, to which she replied, “I don’t know.”
- The lawyer’s line of questioning apparently hinted at the erroneous perception that MSG causes adverse effects such as headache, skin flushing and sweating.
- Purported health risks associated with MSG have long been debunked by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
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