One of the people in the ASAP Rocky assault case in Sweden is off the hook — but it’s not the rapper or his two American companions who have been let go.
While Rocky and the others have been behind bars in Stockholm and under investigation since early July without charges being filed, a counterclaim was filed against one of two men seen on video bothering the entourage, which included the rapper’s bodyguard.
On Monday, a prosecutor explained why no charges would be filed against that man.
“The person who filed the counter-notice repeatedly asks the other person to leave. When he refuses to leave, the other person first pushes him away and then takes a grip around the other person’s neck and lifts him away a few meters. In this situation, the person throws his headphones on the notifier,” said senior public prosecutor Daniel Suneson, the person in charge of the investigation, Monday in a news release.
At that point, Suneson said, the man began to fight, “which may be considered as right to self-defense.”
The rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was involved in the street fight on June 30. Shortly afterward, at least three video clips made it online — one of which showed Rocky picking up a man and hurling him across the street, as described by the prosecutor. Then others from the entourage start hitting and kicking the man.
In the other two videos, the men are seen bothering the entourage, with Rocky and others trying to calm the situation and shed the men, who apparently had been following them for blocks. A woman’s voice can be heard saying the men had slapped their butts previously. A language barrier appeared to complicate the situation.
Over the weekend, President Trump reached out to Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven regarding the case, even offering to “personally vouch” for Rocky’s bail. However, there is no right to bail in Sweden.
“I understand that President Trump has a personal interest in the case.... He has expressed the desire for a conversation with me, which is certainly positive,” Lofven said in a statement before talking to Trump. “I will explain that the Swedish judicial system is independent. In Sweden, everyone is equal before the law, and this includes visitors from other countries.”
On Friday, authorities said a second extension had been requested for the investigation, meaning Rocky and his colleagues can stay jailed at least until July 25 before the prosecutor decides whether to charge them.
A number of celebrities have rallied behind the “Free Rocky” effort, while Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West talked to people in the White House. The president said First Lady Melania Trump initially brought his attention to Rocky’s situation.
Meanwhile, a petition demanding the rapper’s release has reached almost 625,000 signatures following concerns about the conditions in which he was being held.
Rocky’s defense attorney, Henrik Olsson Lilja, told a Swedish publication on July 9 that the jail conditions were normal; only the arrest was inhumane.