Rapper A$AP Rocky pleaded not guilty Monday to charges that he pulled a gun on a former friend and artistic colleague during an argument in Hollywood.
The 35-year-old, who has two children with the singer Rihanna, faces two counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm and one of using the weapon, during confrontations with Terell Ephron on November 6, 2021.
The rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was reportedly arrested in April 2022 at Los Angeles International Airport after arriving on a private plane from Barbados, where he and Rihanna had been on vacation.
Ephron – also known as ASAP Relli – told an earlier court hearing he and other members of the New York-based ASAP rap collective felt success had made Mayers arrogant. Ephron said he told Mayers he had "failed everybody."
"I just wanted him to hear my side," he told the earlier hearing, testifying that Mayers had pulled a gun on him and said "I'll kill you right now." He claimed Mayers had fired his gun, with the bullet grazing his hand.
Mayers' lawyer, Joe Tacopina – who has represented former US president Donald Trump – told reporters outside the Los Angeles court that his client is hoping the case will go to trial by September. "I want to get this done and over so he can start enjoying his family and move on," Tacopina said.
"We're going to be quiet and we're going to try this (case) in a courtroom and when we do, facts will come out that show that he's truly innocent and he's a victim in this case."
A$AP Rocky shot to fame in the first half of the last decade with two mega-selling albums: "Long. Live. A$AP" and "At. Long. Last. A$AP."