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.