By Tyler McCarthy
Published August 02, 2019
A witness in the case against rapper A$AP Rocky for assault in Stockholm, Sweden, revised her story ahead of the verdict on Friday, revealing that she did not in fact see the American star strike a man with a bottle.
The young woman and her friend, testifying anonymously, were questioned via video link at Stockholm District Court.
The third day of a trial where the rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, and two other suspects are accused by prosecutors of beating 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari, is focusing on witness testimonies, including the rapper's bodyguard, identified as Timothy Leon Williams.
Whether or not Jafari, who got into an argument with Mayers' entourage in the Swedish capital on June 30, was hit with parts or a whole bottle has become one of the key issues at the trial.
The rapper, 30, pleaded not guilty at the start of the trial Tuesday, saying he acted in self-defense when Jafari and another man would not leave them alone.
The woman on Friday told the court she had been eating with her friend at a fast-food restaurant in central Stockholm on the evening of June 30 when they saw Mayers' entourage and Jafari encountering each other outside the venue. The two women rushed outside to have a photo taken with the American rapper but the situation had already escalated into a brawl.
The woman testified that she heard a bottle being crushed but could not say whether Mayers' entourage threw the bottle to the ground or hit Jafari with it. She said she didn't see Mayers holding a bottle during the scuffle.
Her friend testified that she didn't see anyone hitting Jafari with a bottle.
However, both women testified that they saw Mayers and his partners beating and kicking Jafari.
"Everything happened very quickly. We were scared for our lives," the first woman told the court. "He (Jafari) was bleeding. He showed his injuries on his hand. He also said he had a sore back."
The trial has created a stir in U.S.-Swedish diplomatic relations after President Donald Trump weighed in to support the Grammy-nominated recording artist. Trump has spoken with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, offering to personally guarantee A$AP Rocky's bail, but the Swedish leader said he couldn't interfere in a legal case.
The case has also drawn the attention of celebrities, including Sean "Diddy" Combs and Justin Bieber, and a social media campaign has been pressing for the rapper's release.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.