ASAP Rocky tells the court: ‘It got a little scary for us’
ASAP Rocky has been giving evidence at his trial in Sweden where he’s accused of assaulting a 19-year-old man.
He told the court: “There’s a million things that we could have did, but we decided to walk away.”
The US rapper, real name Rakim Mayers, is on trial with two members of his entourage after a fight in Stockholm.
The 30-year-old performer, Bladimir Corniel and David Rispers have pleaded not guilty and said they were acting in self-defence.
ASAP Rocky answered questions from the prosecution.
He told the court that he and his team had felt threatened by the people they clashed with and said he is not looking for money but wants justice and for his name to be cleared.
The rapper told the court: “These guys were, you know, their behaviour was very weird and we didn’t know what to expect. It got a little scary for us. I couldn’t help but assume that these guys were under the influence of some type of drugs.”
He was asked to tell the court what happened outside the Max burger chain on 30 June.
He said his security guard tried lots of “tactics” to scare away the alleged victim but it didn’t work. So that’s why they all walked away in the first instance.
“When we walked away, we were followed,” he told the court.
ASAP Rocky said his security guard follows protocol and was trying to protect the rapper “at all costs”.
He was also shown footage of himself holding a bottle.
The rapper didn’t deny he is holding a glass bottle in his hand – but says he picked it up briefly before putting it back down.
The prosecution claimed this was used in the fight, but the US star insisted he didn’t use it to hurt the alleged victim.
ASAP Rocky was questioned on what he did in the fight and admitted to punching the arm of the teenager.
Inside the courtroom
Maddy Savage, BBC News
ASAP Rocky is being questioned in Swedish and given a translation into English via an earpiece.
The gallery reserved for media and the public to watch the hearing through a glass screen is packed.
ASAP Rocky’s mother and the father of David Rispers, one of the two other suspects, are among those squeezed into small wooden seats with flip-top tables. Staff from the US embassy, including the Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, are sat next to them.
All of them are listening attentively to an interpreter live-translating the questions.
Throughout his testimony so far, the rapper has been trying to make it clear that he lives a celebrity lifestyle – which means he’s been followed, threatened and robbed in the past – and that this affects how he thinks and acts in certain situations.
He’s also repeatedly talked about how he and his entourage aren’t from Sweden and didn’t know what to expect from the country or how to call for help.
All of this seems to back up the arguments already made by the rapper’s lawyer, that when he got into the fight in Stockholm at the end of June, he was acting in self-defence.
Warning: There are images below showing bloody injuries to a person’s body, which you may find upsetting
Yesterday, the prosecution went through a detailed 522-page preliminary report, which contained extensive photographs of injuries the alleged victim suffered.
The man, who is not being named by media, has claimed damages of roughly £12,000 (139,700 Swedish Krona).
Earlier he gave evidence, telling the court he was looking for a friend and first approached the rapper and his entourage to ask “if they knew where his mate was”.
When asked by ASAP Rocky’s lawyer if he knew the rapper was famous he said: “Honestly not.”
The alleged victim told the court that a witness later told him that ASAP Rocky was famous, but this was after the fight.
The 19-year-old, who is an Afghan refugee, had an interpreter with him in court.
The prosecution allege that ASAP Rocky used a weapon and claim the injuries are consistent with the use of a bottle or a similar blunt object.
Much of Thursday’s trial has focused on analysing videos and assessing whether bottles had been used as weapons.
The videos included one published by US celebrity news site TMZ, where the rapper can be seen throwing a young man to the ground.
Martin Persson, the defence lawyer of Bladimir Corniel, went through frames of video of the alleged assault. Red circles were drawn around the hands of ASAP Rocky and the other three men, appearing to show that they were not holding bottles.
The men could face up to two years behind bars, if found guilty.
Five more witnesses are expected to share their versions of events before the trial wraps up.
The trial continues.
Read the full article at: bbc.com