A$AP Rocky brings up Auckland hotel attack as he tells court he tried to avoid Stockholm fight

US rapper A$AP Rocky brought up the day he was attacked in an Auckland hotel as he gave testimony for the first time, denying an assault charge.

The rapper, whose real name Rakim Mayers, told a Swedish court on Thursday (local time) he had tried to avoid the fight in downtown Stockholm that landed him and two of his entourage in custody and facing the charge.

Giving testimony, Mayers touched on the incident where an altercation he was involved at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland in 2016 resulted in at least one arrest and hospitalisation.

A member of A$AP Rocky's team was taken to the hospital, but soon released, it was understood.

He told the court he had been the victim of a number of attacks in recent years and that the situation in Stockholm had made him paranoid.

His home had been robbed twice at gunpoint in the last two years and that he and his security guard had also been attacked in an elevator in Oakland in the United States by drug addicts, he said.

AP quoted the rapper saying: "When I was in Auckland, my security guard was attacked by men in an elevator".

"You got to realise that my life is very, very unique and particular.

"We're in a foreign country, we're approached by two strangers with aggressive behaviour: ten months ago when I was with my cousin ... I was stabbed in my face by strangers," he told the court.

The case has drawn huge media attention, with celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Rod Stewart defending the 30-year-old performer, producer and model, and US President Donald Trump asking Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven to help free him.

Mayers was detained following the brawl outside a hamburger restaurant in Stockholm on June 30. He and two of his entourage were charged with assault causing actual bodily harm.

All three, who have been in police custody since July 3, pleaded not guilty at the start of the trial on Tuesday with Mayers' lawyer saying the rapper acted in self-defence.

The prosecution authority said it had received a request from the US Embassy that the trio be allowed to stay under guard in a hotel. It could not comply as such a decision was up to the court, a spokeswoman said.

In his testimony, Mayers said he had been scared after his group was followed by the plaintiff, a 19-year-old man, and his friend.

"We wanted to defuse the situation and get away from these guys," Mayers told the court.

"I don't know what to expect when being attacked by strangers, that's why I have security. At that moment I wasn't thinking," he said.

A video of the incident was published, which appears to show Rocky and three other associates embroiled in a physical altercation.
A video of the incident was published, which appears to show Rocky and three other associates embroiled in a physical altercation. Photo credit: Instagram/TMZ


On Tuesday (local time), Jafari told the court he had been pushed and grabbed by the neck by Mayers' bodyguard outside the restaurant and followed the rapper's group to get back a pair of headphones.

He said he was then hit on the head with a bottle - which the defense rejects - and kicked and punched by the three men while he was on the ground.

Jafari continued his testimony on Thursday morning (local time).

Mayers, best known for his song "Praise the Lord", was in Stockholm for a concert. He has canceled several shows across Europe due to his detention.

The trial is scheduled to end on Friday. The court will then announce a date for the verdict and say whether Mayers must remain in custody until that time.