A$AP Rocky is claiming that his former associate is out for money and trying to extort him. Back in November, Rocky, born Rakim Mayers, allegedly shot his former friend and A$AP Mob member A$AP Relli (born Terell Ephron) in the hand in Hollywood. Rocky was later charged with two counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
The rapper’s lawyer Joe Tacopina, tells gossip site TMZ, “Rocky didn’t a crime. It was an extortion attempt by a former associate, who threatened to make false criminal accusations if Rocky didn’t pay him.”
Tacopina told the outlet that he has two eyewitnesses that back up Rocky’s story. He suggests that Relli was not hit by bullet fragments because no shots were ever fired. Tacopina says Relli has made up the story in a “get-rich-quick scheme.”
“What will become abundantly clear in the upcoming months, based on facts and evidence, is that Rocky is innocent of these charges,” Tacopina said.
Rocky previously pled not guilty to both criminal charges of assault with a semiautomatic firearm.
Ephron’s attorneys, Jamal Tooson and Brian Hurwitz, previously said in a statement per Rolling Stone that Relli was lured to an obscure Hollywood location “to discuss a disagreement between the two of them,” when the incident occurred.
“Unbeknownst to Mr. Ephron, A$AP Rocky was not just planning for a conversation and came armed with a semi-automatic handgun,” the statement alleges. “After arriving at the location, a conversation ensued whereby without provocation, warning, or any justification, A$AP Rocky produced the handgun and intentionally fired multiple shots at Mr. Ephron.”
Relli, who served as a talent manager and producer for the A$AP mob says that Rocky inflicted minor injuries to his left hand. Relli’s attorneys state that since the shooting, he has received “multiple death threats and irreparable harm to his career in the entertainment industry as a result of this incident.”