Chris Brown is no different from Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King Jr. or Muhammad Ali — so says R. Kelly in an interview with The Guardian, in which he uplifted the singer by slamming all the "haters" and "weak people" who feel otherwise.
Speaking on Brown's now infamous 2009 assault on Rihanna, Kelly said he never felt sorry for Brown, the now 24-year-old who has been riddled with backlash as a result and is currently in rehab for anger management. "I only feel sorry for weak people," said Kelly. "What I've come to find is that the weak people are the ones that are the haters. The ones that's talking about Chris Brown or R. Kelly or anybody that's successful? I feel sorry for them, not Chris Brown, because he's obviously one strong individual to be able to do what he's done."
Brown's perseverance is not unlike that of some of the most revered men in history, the 46-year-old continued. "He got knocked down a little bit and he climbed up. You know, that sounds like Ali to me. That sounds like Martin Luther King to me. That sounds like a lot of the greats that have walked this earth. It even sounds a little bit like Jesus to me."
A second later, he clarified the statement. "I'm not saying that Chris Brown is Jesus or R. Kelly is Jesus," he explained. "But Jesus is the No. 1 inspirer of someone being knocked down and rising again."
Similar to Brown, Kelly has had his share of bad press, most of which was brought on by allegations that he had sex with a minor. In 2002, Kelly, a father of two, was indicted on over a dozen counts, including soliciting a minor for child pornography. Although acquitted of all charges in 2008, the trial and the stain of the alleged sex tape featuring him urinating on an underage girl is one that will likely follow him for life (the topic even popped up yesterday during an ill-fated #AskRKelly Twitter chat with fans).
The Pied Piper isn't fazed, though. "I don't get into what people think of me," he assured. "I've graduated from that."
As for the world of entertainment, Kelly likened it to a circus. "It's like you're a circus clown," he said, pointing to his fans as a source of strength. "You're the clown and the fans are here for the tricks and the fun things you've got for them. Anything outside the circus don't matter!"
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(Photos: Jason Merritt/Getty Images; Joe Kohen/WireImage for Swatch/Getty Images)