Trigger warning: This article contains mention of gruesome details of violence and of assault, battery and emotional distress caused by handgun firing.
A$AP Rocky, the rapper, is set to face trial in January after being accused of firing a semi-automatic handgun at his former friend, A$AP Relli. The incident occurred on November 6, 2021, following a heated discussion. At a preliminary hearing in Los Angeles, Judge M.L. Villar found sufficient evidence to proceed with the trial. A$AP Rocky, born Rakim Mayers, pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault with a firearm in August 2022.
A$AP Rocky faces trial for shooting
Rocky’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, expressed confidence in the rapper’s vindication outside the courthouse, stating, “I am certain Rocky will be vindicated of all of this.” Detective Frank Flores testified during the hearing, presenting new surveillance footage. The video contained two loud pops, believed to be the alleged shots, though not visible. Flores confirmed Rocky had a gun during the altercation, but it was never recovered. Shell casings turned in by Relli two days later had no fingerprints. The trial is scheduled to commence on January 8, 2024, per People.
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Why did the fight start between A$AP Rocky and Relli?
In August 2022, Relli, also known as Terell Ephron, filed a civil suit against Rocky, alleging assault, battery, and emotional distress. The two, former members of the A$AP Mob, were childhood friends. Relli claimed to have been struck by bullet fragments after an argument, seeking medical attention in New York City. Tension arose as Rocky achieved solo success, leading to the end of their friendship.
The dispute escalated when Rocky allegedly badmouthed Relli, prompting the latter to sever ties. The confrontation unfolded on Hollywood Boulevard, with surveillance footage showing Rocky shoving Relli. Relli testified that Rocky pulled out a gun, threatening him. The footage, without sound, depicted an altercation, concluding with alleged gunshots. Relli claimed Rocky shot at him multiple times.
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A$AP Rocky’s arrest in 2022
Despite Rocky’s denial of all claims, the incident led to his arrest at Los Angeles International Airport in April 2022. He was returning from a vacation in Barbados with Rihanna, his partner, who was not present in court. Rocky was released on bail the same day. The civil complaint against him asserts extreme and outrageous conduct, causing severe emotional distress to Relli. The lawsuit seeks damages exceeding USD 25,000 for general damages, medical bills, and unspecified punitive damages.
Rocky, has two children with Rihanna and maintains a net worth of USD 100 million. The rapper is known for his versatility in film and music, recently starring as The Batman. Despite his success, he leads a modest lifestyle, engaging in philanthropy and avoiding extravagant purchases.
Disclaimer: If you need support or know someone who is struggling with any kind of abuse, please reach out to your nearest mental health specialist, NGO or speak to someone about it. There are several helplines available for the same.
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