Even if you’re not a major A$AP Rocky fan, you may have seen the video of him getting into a huge fight while visiting Stockholm, Sweden, at the end of June. Since the incident occurred, A$AP was arrested, the video has amassed thousands of shares on social media, fellow rappers boycotted Sweden, there were a bunch of worrying reports of him being held in an “inhumane, disease-ridden” facility.
It’s all been really confusing, so here’s everything you need to know about the “F*ckin’ Problems” singer’s current legal drama, those solitary confinement rumors, and his guilty verdict.
In early July, A$AP shared a video of what looks to be the beginning of the June 30 altercation in Sweden with two other unnamed men and wrote this caption in all caps:
“SO A FEW DRUG ADDICTS ARE NOT MY FANS, WE DONT KNOW THESE GUYS AND WE DIDNT WANT TROUBLE, THEY FOLLOWED US FOR 4 BLOCKS, AND THEY WERE SLAPPING GIRLS BUTTS WHO PASSED, GIVE ME A BREAK”
In another video, A$AP said one of the guys hit his security guard with a pair of headphones and kept following them. In the same video, a young woman came up to A$AP and his friends and said the guys did slap her and her friend’s butts.
And in another video, which A$AP didn’t share on his account but was published by Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, it seems that A$AP and his crew got physical (although you can’t really see their faces in this one) with the men who were following them. As one Twitter user put it, they “yeeted this dude 10ft.”
can’t get over the way asap rocky yeeted this dude 10ft because he was harassing women (and stalking him even tho he told him multiple times to stop) we love a king pic.twitter.com/PXb4fDp7WF— ana (@fuckagust) July 4, 2019
After everything went down, A$AP reportedly went to the police station voluntarily to talk about what happened. TMZ reported that he was arrested “immediately” and that the American embassy wasn’t even notified, which is totally against protocol. It seems that around the same time, A$AP himself commented on his Instagram post, saying, “IM INNOCENT” and “THEY TRYNNA ARREST ME OUT HERE NOW, SMH.”
Shortly after all that, a Swedish court ordered for him to be held for two weeks in a pretrial detention because they think he’s a flight risk. While there have been reports of A$AP being denied bail, Sweden does not have a bail system. That said, A$AP’s lawyer, Henrik Olsson Lilja, said the rapper is going to appeal the case, is not a flight risk, and would return to the country if he has to go to trial.
The “Inhumane” Facility
On July 7, TMZ reported that A$AP is being held in an “inhumane” and “disease-ridden” facility and forced to use a yoga mat as a bed. They also said he ate only one apple a day for the first five days he was detained. The outlet went on to claim that he’s located next to an inmate with mental-health problems who throws feces, which isn’t cleaned up by the staff.
The rapper’s lawyer later denied this and said he’s eating only apples because he’s not hungry. However, A$AP’s manager, John Ehmann, confirmed many of these claims from TMZ’s sources. In his own Instagram post, Ehmann added, “The conditions of the facility are horrific and include 24/7 solitary confinement, restriction of amenities for the most basic of human functions, lack of access to life-sustaining food as well as unsanitary conditions.”
Later, Fredrik Wallin, the governor of the Kronoberg detention center where A$AP is being held, denied these “inhumane” claims. He said that the facility is clean and “recently renovated” and prisoners are given three meals a day.
In a statement to Page Six, he said, “Normally, you live in a prison cell, which consists of a desk, a bed with a mattress, and a TV,” before adding, “I have no knowledge on any current diseases in the remand prison.”
Once people heard about what was going on, other rappers like Tyler, the Creator; Vince Staples; Schoolboy Q; T.I.; and Post Malone took to social media to show their support for A$AP, and some even said they’re never going to Sweden again.
no more sweden for me, ever— Tyler, The Creator (@tylerthecreator) July 8, 2019
There’s also a Change.org petition calling for him to be “released from Swedish officials immediately.” More than 592,977 people have signed it.
What happens next?
Well, the guys who allegedly started the fight were being investigated because they were “suspected of molestation and assault,” but all charges were dropped. The Swedish Prosecution Authority claimed that after A$AP’s bodyguard “repeatedly” asked the guys to leave, the bodyguard “takes a grip around the other person’s neck and lifts him away a few meters.” (There's a surveillance video of this part, and it's so intense.) The statement continued, “In this situation, the person throws his headphones on the notifier, and tries to hand out battles, which may be considered as right to self-defense.”
A spokesperson from the U.S. Department of State warned Sweden that they should treat A$AP and other Americans with respect. The spokesperson said:
“There are certainly some facts about the arrest and detention that raise concerns. We expect all governments, including Sweden, to treat American citizens fairly and with respect. We hope to see A$AP Rocky and his colleagues back on tour and reunited with friends and family soon.”
Meanwhile, the Swedish embassy in Washington, D.C., is involved, but it’s unclear what exactly it’s doing.
Also, aspiring lawyer Kim Kardashian and Kanye West went to Donald Trump’s administration, asking them to get involved. According to TMZ, Kim and Kanye phoned Jared Kushner, who then told Trump, who then agreed that something seemed off about A$AP’s case. Although, Trump said Melania is the one who knew about the case first. He recalled, “Actually, the one who knew about A$AP Rocky was our First Lady, right? She was telling me about—‘Can you help A$AP Rocky?’” Interesting.
Thank you @realDonaldTrump , @SecPompeo, Jared Kushner & everyone involved with the efforts to Free ASAP Rocky & his two friends. Your commitment to justice reform is so appreciated 🙏🏼🤞🏼 https://t.co/Ym1Rzo5Z6c— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) July 18, 2019
The State Department also apparently sent a representative to Sweden and is “actively working” to get the rapper out of jail. Melania said, “We hope to get him home soon.”
But after the White House got involved, the Swedish Prosecution Authority reportedly said it’s “not possible for the U.S. president to have any influence on the Swedish legal procedure.”
After the prosecutor Daniel Suneson said the Stockholm District Court needed more time to complete the investigation, the Swedish Prosecution Authority formally charged A$AP with assault on July 25. A$AP will remain in jail until the 3-day trial begins on Tuesday.
On August 14, nearly two weeks after A$AP was released from Sweden while the court was deliberating, he was found guilty of assault. But despite the prosecutors recommending a six-month prison sentence, he won't have to go back to jail. Instead, the court stated:
"The victim is awarded damages for violation of his integrity and pain and suffering, but less than he requested. The defendants shall, each based on their financial ability, repay the state for its expenses for public legal counsels."
According to A$AP’s lawyer, this legal battle has cost him at least $1 million so far and could “spell the end of his career.” He also had to cancel the rest of his European tour, which was supposed to run through August, and his next album could be delayed because he was scheduled for studio time while on the tour.
During his first performance since being detained, A$AP called this an "unfortunate event" and said, "That was a scary, humbling experience but I'm here right now. God is good. People who didn't even f*ck with me felt sympathetic about my situation and were praying for me. That uplifted me when my spirits were low."
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