A$AP Rocky took the stand on Thursday to testify in his Swedish assault trial.
The rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, said that he did everything possible to avoid a confrontation with two men he claimed persistently followed his entourage in Stockholm, but one of the men picked a fight with his bodyguard.
Rocky, along with two other men, is accused of beating 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari on June 30. He pleaded not guilty at the start of the trial Tuesday, saying he acted in self-defense.
Dressed in a green inmate uniform, the 30-year-old MC told the Stockholm District Court that Jafari and his friend refused to leave him alone despite several attempts, and claimed that the two appeared to be “under the influence of some kind of drug,” reports the AP.
AUDIO AND SKETCHES: #ASAPRocky testified at his assault trial in Sweden that he did everything possible to avoid conflict with two men he said persistently followed his entourage in Stockholm, saying that one of the men picked a fight with one of his bodyguards. pic.twitter.com/8a2gPqNjOS
— AP Entertainment (@APEntertainment) August 1, 2019
“After a while, my security guard started pushing him away, begging him to leave,” said Mayers, who tried to “deescalate” the situation. “Me and my crew told them that, listen, don’t go where we are going, go the other way, we don’t want any trouble.”
Jafari would not leave and a brawl ensued shortly afterward. Prosecutors allege that Mayers hit Jafari with a bottle, recorded the attack on his phone, and then deleted it.
Rocky addressed the court, saying he’s not seeking monetary compensation and only justice. “I’ve spent a month here in Sweden. This is my fifth or sixth time here. I’ve seen the most beautiful architecture and beautiful side of Sweden, and the not-so-pretty, obviously being in this detention center,” he said. “I don’t want any money. I could earn it back. For me, what I want is justice. And I want my name to be cleared. Justice for all of us.”
Some of Rocky’s relatives, including his mother Renee Black, were present in the courtroom. President Trump has also sent Ambassador Robert O. Brien, the U.S. special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, to Sweden to monitor the court proceedings.
If convicted, Rocky faces up to two years in prison.