Prosecutors in Sweden have officially charged A$AP Rocky and two other men with assault. The charges stem from a June 30 altercation in Stockholm, and all three men have been in jail since early this month.
Swedish prosecutors initially wanted to charge Rocky, real name Rakim Mayers, with aggravated assault, but instead filed charges on suspicion of assault causing actual bodily harm after concluding that “the events in question constitute a crime despite claims of self-defence and provocation.” Daniel Suneson of the City Public Prosecution Office added that he “had access to a greater amount of material than that which has previously been available on the internet” and the alleged victim’s statement was supported by witnesses. There were initially two alleged victims, but the prosecutor dropped one of the cases due to lack of evidence.
The arrest followed a fight that was caught on video, but the rapper, who was in Stockholm to perform at SMASH Fest, has maintained that he acted in self-defence against the men who were following his group. In footage posted by TMZ, a fight breaks out and the rapper can be seen throwing a man across the street. However, two videos posted on Rocky’s Instagram — one of which was captioned, “We don’t know these guys and we didn’t want trouble. They followed us for four blocks” — also show two men following the entourage despite repeatedly being told to stop. One of the men then accused them of breaking his headphones, then proceeded to throw said headphones at one of Rocky’s bodyguards.
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Rocky’s incarceration caught the attention of Donald Trump, who got word of what was going down from the rapper’s friends Kanye West and aspiring lawyer Kim Kardashian West. Trump claimed he had a positive chat with Swedish PM Stefan Lofven but the prime minister warned the president the rapper would not be getting special treatment.
NBC News reports the trial will begin on Tuesday, July 30, and all three men will remain behind bars until then. Rocky has had to cancel several shows on his European tour while he remains in custody.