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In July of 2019, rapper A$AP Rocky, born Rakim Mayers, was facing assault charges in Sweden. There were reports that the Trump administration helped with his release, but according to the rapper, the former president made things “a little worse.”
The new documentary Stockholm Syndrome, directed by The Architects, covers his 2019 assault trial and the time he spent in a Swedish prison. According to Rolling Stone, Rocky said in the film, which premiered June 13 at the Tribeca Film Festival, that Kanye West allegedly informed Trump of his incarceration. However, Rocky said he felt “scared that Trump was going to f**k it up.”
He also added, “But then on the other hand, I’m just like, ‘That’s what’s up, man.’ You want the most support you could and it’s like, ‘Oh, the president supports you.’ That felt good. Cause for the most part, I don’t think he ever knows what’s going on in the urban communities … I was thankful for that, I can’t lie. I was also scared that it would jeopardize me being in [jail] longer.”
Although the Trump Administration appeared to take credit for his release, Rocky denies this without going into further detail about how Trump almost messed him up saying, “In reality, I had no problem saying thank you to the man, especially if he helped me.That’s the narrative they pushin’: That he got me out. And he didn’t free me. If anything, he made it a little worse.”
On July 30, 2019, Rocky pleaded not guilty to the assault charges Swedish prosecutors levied against him. While on the stand, he shared his version of the events that led up to the incident. He testified that he and his entourage were walking around and had stopped near a fast food restaurant to download an app. Rocky further explained that he and his team were thinking they could check out electric scooters to ride around Stockholm, and that’s when a pair of men approached them.
Rocky acknowledged that he saw the two men come up to them but he didn’t pay close attention to what transpired. He claims that he just heard his security turning the two away when one of his bodyguards picked up one man, Mustafa Jafari, by his neck and shoved him away, as shown in the videos that surfaced, according to TMZ.
Rocky said that he did everything he could to diffuse the situation and avoid conflict, but Jafari instigated a fight with his bodyguard.
By August 2, 2019, A$AP Rocky was released from the Swedish prison and he returned to the United States. On August 14, 2019, The Washington Post reported Rocky was found guilty of assault by a Swedish court but faced no prison time.
Swedish prosecutors, however, have denied that Trump ever contacted them on behalf of A$AP Rocky.