Rapper A$AP Rocky was scene gleefully exiting Los Angeles International Airport Saturday, after spending over a month in a Swedish prison for aggravated assault charges he contends, with verifying footage, was a result of self-defense.
The Grammy-nominated artist’s entourage was spotted leisurely loading his luggage into SUVs, as the hugged in celebration of getting home on U.S. soil.
A verdict in the assault trial will be read August 14, but the music artist will not be required to be present.
Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, will never return to Sweden after the ordeal which could have resulted in a 6-year jail sentence, a source told reporters.
Rocky and his co-defendants, David Rispers Jr. and Bladmir Corniel, were freed Friday by Stockholm District Court.
Under pressure from President Trump, prosecutors resolved ASAP’s case to avoid “negative consequences to U.S.- Swedish bilateral relationship.”
Nikit Raspers, Rocky’s mother, claimed on a GoFundMe page while her son was incarcerated that he was “sleeping on a yoga mat with no duvet for blankets.”
“In the cell next to Rocky, there is a prisoner with severe mental illness issues who slams his head against the hard cell wall. The next cell prisoner allegedly hurls faces, which doesn’t get cleaned up.”
President Trump celebrated Rocky’s release from prison Friday, using a pun on the rapper’s stage name.
“A$AP Rocky released from prison and on his way home to the United States from Sweden. It was a Rocky Week, get home ASAP A$AP!” Trump tweeted.
Trump personally intervened on Rocky’s behalf, calling the Prime Minister of Sweden to lobby for his release to no avail. The president then ramped up his efforts to free the rapper, sending the U.S. special presidential envoy for hostage affairs to Stockholm to monitor the court proceedings and advocate for Rocky.
Special envoy Robert O’Brien, who has spent his tenure working with foreign officials to release Americans being held captive under authoritarian governments, was seen at Stockholm District Court on Tuesday.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm, Ruth Newman, issued a statement explaining O’Brien was in Sweden “to look after the well-being of American citizens, which is always our top priority.”
Prosecutors initially said Friday Rocky should be jailed for six months until the gather more evidence.
However, O’Brien warned Wednesday there will severe ramifications between U.S.-Swedish relations if the rapper wasn’t freed,
“The government of the United States of America wants to resolve this case as soon as possible to avoid potentially negative consequences to the U.S.- Swedish bilateral relationship,” he declared.
A$AP Rocky expressed gratitude for his release Friday and thanked Stockholm District’s Senior District Court Judge Per Lennerbrant for allowing him to go free.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all my fans, friends and anyone across the globe who supported me during these last few weeks. I can’t begin to describe how grateful I am for all of you,” he wrote. “’This has been a very difficult and humbling experience. I want to thank you the court for allowing me, Bladi and Thoto to return to our family and friends. Thanks again for all the love and support.”
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