Defending R. Kelly and Bill Cosby, the Same Combative Lawyer

Monday - 19/09/2022 13:20
Jennifer Bonjean has become known for her aggressive approach as she has defended men accused of sexual misconduct in several of the highest profile cases of the #MeToo era.
Jennifer Bonjean outside Brooklyn federal court in June, where R. Kelly was being sentenced after being convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking. Credit...Stephanie Keith for The New York Times
Jennifer Bonjean outside Brooklyn federal court in June, where R. Kelly was being sentenced after being convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking. Credit...Stephanie Keith for The New York Times

Jennifer Bonjean, a defense lawyer who has the words “not guilty” tattooed on her right arm, called one woman who accused R. Kelly of sexual abuse a “pathological liar.” She accused another of extortion. She tried to pick their accounts apart, and attacked prosecutors for stripping her client, the former R&B star, of “every single bit of humanity that he has.”

Ms. Bonjean, who was Mr. Kelly’s lead lawyer during the criminal trial in Chicago that ended with his conviction last week, has become known for her aggressive tactics in representing men accused of sexual misconduct in several of the highest profile cases of the #MeToo era.

She helped Bill Cosby get his sexual assault conviction overturned last year, which led to his being freed from prison. She has also represented Keith Raniere, once the leader of the Nxivm sex cult, as he appealed his conviction on sex trafficking and other charges, for which he was sentenced to 120 years in prison.

“Everyone’s entitled to a vigorous defense,” Ms. Bonjean, 52, said in an interview last week shortly before Mr. Kelly’s conviction on sex crimes involving minors was announced.

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Author: Editors Desk

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 Keywords: Bill Cosby, R-Kelly

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