Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here.
As if President Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian don’t already have enough to deal with, A$AP Rocky was just charged with assault after being held in a Swedish prison for weeks without charges.
On Thursday, Stockholm’s prosecutor’s office said in a statement translated from Swedish that along with his entourage, the rapper had been charged “for the abuse of a person,” according to NPR. He’ll remain in prison at least until his trial begins next Tuesday.
A$AP Rocky (real name: Rakim Mayers) is accused of beating up a man named Mustafa Jafari in a public square during a tour stop in Stockholm last month. Mayers has repeatedly said he’s innocent and was acting in self-defense. He released a video of his own that appears to show two men trailing and harassing him. Mayers says he doesn’t want to fight, and the men are repeatedly asked to leave. Another edited video appears to show them throwing him to the ground.
That’s where Kim Kardashian, Donald Trump, and a slew of other celebrities come in. Kardashian, who has become an advocate for prison reform, called for Mayers’ release last week. A petition for his freedom has gathered nearly 630,000 signatures. On Friday, Trump conceded that he didn’t know Mayers personally, but that he’d put in a call to Sweden’s prime minister, Stefan Löfven. That didn’t go anywhere.
Löfven said in a statement to the New York Times that “in Sweden everyone is equal before the law and that the government cannot and will not attempt to influence the legal proceedings.”
Mayers could face up to two years in prison, a spokeswoman for the Swedish Prosecution Authority told the New York Times. He could also receive a fine based on his daily earnings. Stockholm’s public prosecutor, Daniel Suneson, told the Times in an email that despite Mayers’ claims of self-defense, Jafari was punched, kicked, and wounded with a glass bottle. Video of the altercation shows an intense three-on-one brawl.
Cover: ASAP Rocky performs at Cyndi Lauper's 8th Annual "Home for the Holidays" benefit concert at the Beacon Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)