Both A$AP Rocky and his assault accuser speak in court.
Today marks the second day of A$AP Rocky's assault trial, which follows yesterday's courtroom events - you can catch up on what transpired on Day 1 right here. This time, both Rocky and his accuser Mustafa Jafari, 19, spent time taking the stand. The latter found himself on the receiving end of cross-examination from Rocky's lawyer Slobodan Jovicic, recounts of which were documented and shared by BBC News correspondents Larissa Kennelly and Maddy Savage. To start, Jafari maintained that he was "looking for a friend," when he stumbled upon Rocky's entourage outside a restaurant; as he tells it, he had no idea that Rocky was a well-known personality, as he failed to see any swarming fans in the vicinity.
Though Jafari alleges to have been beaten with a bottle, a frame-by-frame analysis of all available video footage, complete with strategically drawn red circles, seem to indicate a lack of makeshift weaponry. Moreover, Rocky's lawyer questioned whether approaching a group of strange men while "looking for a friend" did not exactly feel like "sober behavior." In other words, the man was drunk and/or stoned, and seemingly looking for trouble.
On Rocky's turn to speak, he explained that he and his team intended on touring Sweden via electric scooters, a journey that brought them outside Max's Restaurant. It was there he crossed paths with Jafari, and the rest has come to be revealed through an unfolding video narrative. As Rocky explains, his bodyguard ultimately moved to forcibly distance Jafari, who retaliated with the headphone strike.
Feeling threatened by Jafari's subsequent pursuit, Rocky did pick up a bottle in self-defense. As he tells it, however, he soon realized it was a mistake and discarded it. Yet by this point, the situation was already on the verge of escalation, and as we know, a violent fight did indeed break out.
Despite his bodyguard's best efforts, Jafari was persistent and continued to follow the men down an alleyway. At this point, prosecutors appear to focus on Rocky's bottle, sharing footage of him hiding the weapon in his sleeve. He maintains that he hid the bottle as a safeguard, but kept it hidden as to avoid provoking the already agitated accuser. Eventually, Rocky attempts to contextualize his behavior, explaining that his celebrity status has brought him close to a rogue's gallery of weirdos. As such, it's difficult for him for his to remain calm in situations of this nature. Following Rocky's words, the court called a break.
Back on. The procedures opened up with Rocky being questioned about his "edited" Instagram footage. Rocky assures that the edits were made for a specific reason. "Us melanin Americans tend to use the n word excessively," he explains. He also distinguishes that while a bottle was picked up, one was never used during the fight itself. As of now, the updates are ongoing, so we'll be sure to keep you posted with further developments.