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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Rihanna’s partner A$AP Rocky charged over shooting in Hollywood

A$AP Rocky and Rihanna welcomed their first child, a boy, in May this year (Reuters)

Rapper A$AP Rocky has been charged with assault with a firearm in connection with a shooting in Hollywood last year.

The star, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, is alleged to have pointed the gun at a former friend during an argument in November.

Prosecutors say he later fired the weapon twice in the direction of the victim, who sustained a minor injury.

The 33-year-old, who has had two US number one albums, could face up to nine years in prison if found guilty.

The rapper, who had a baby with singer Rihanna in May, is due to appear in court on Wednesday to answer two charges of assault with a semi-automatic firearm with allegations of personally using a firearm.

His lawyer had no immediate comment on the charges.

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said: “Discharging a gun in a public place is a serious offence that could have ended with tragic consequences, not only for the person targeted but also for innocent bystanders visiting Hollywood.

“My office conducted a thorough review of the evidence in this case and determined that the addition of a special firearm allegation was warranted.”

News of the shooting broke in April when the star was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport as he returned from a holiday with Rihanna. He was released three hours later after posting bail of $550,000 (£421,000).

Police found multiple firearms at Mr Mayers’ home while serving a search warrant following his arrest.

Terell Ephron, who is part of the A$AP Mob hip-hop collective, identified himself as the victim and sued his former friend last week, alleging assault and battery, negligence and emotional distress.

Mr Ephron, also known as A$AP Relli, alleged that Mr Mayers had “lured” him to an obscure location in Hollywood to discuss a disagreement.

The lawsuit claims that, after a verbal altercation, Mr Mayers “pulled out a handgun and purposefully pointed it in the direction of [Mr Ephron] and fired multiple shots”.

Mr Ephron was “struck by bullet projectile/fragments” in his left hand and required medical attention, according to the court papers. He is seeking at least $25,000 (£20,750) in damages.

Mr Mayers was previously given a two-year suspended sentence for his role in a brawl in Stockholm in August 2019.

As A$AP Rocky, he was one of the biggest breakout stars of the 2010s, earning eight platinum singles in the US including Wild For The Night, Everyday, LSD and A$AP Forever.

He rose to fame after being championed by Drake, and has worked with artists including Alicia Keys, Lana Del Rey, Skepta, Selena Gomez and Kendrick Lamar.

Last year, he confirmed he was in a relationship with Rihanna, calling her the “love of my life” and “the one”.

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