U.S. rapper Ja Rule (search) was released on US$7,500 (C$10,000) bail after facing assault charges in a Toronto court on Monday.

The Grammy-nominated megastar, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins (search), did not enter a plea. He is to return to Provincial Court on Aug. 30 to set a trial date.

There is a court-ordered publication ban on the evidence, although police said earlier the charges stem from an incident at a Toronto nightclub on June 5.

Atkins, 28, is charged with assault causing bodily harm.

The rapper's lawyer, Steven Skurka, said the publication ban on evidence was standard procedure to prevent having the trial heard "before a man ever walks into a courtroom."

"(It's) to protect an accused person from having information released. There's already been false information released about these allegations," Skurka said.

Atkins, a Saddle River, N.J. native, signed autographs for giddy fans outside court before driving away in a tinted car with two bodyguards and his lawyer.

According to his bail conditions, Atkins is not to consume alcohol while in Canada, contact the alleged victim and witnesses or be in the downtown entertainment district unless it's for work.

He's been in Toronto often this year while adding Assault on Precinct 13, a remake of John Carpenter's 1976 film, to his acting credits. He has also appeared in "The Fast and the Furious" and "Half Past Dead." (search)

His 2001 album, "Pain Is Love," was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for best rap album.

The single "Livin' It Up" (search) was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for best rap/sung collaboration, while Always On Time was nominated for the 2003 Grammy Awards for best rap/sung collaboration.

Atkins was arrested earlier this month for marijuana possession in New York City. He paid $550 in fines and court fees and the misdemeanor possession charge was dropped.