STOCKHOLM (CelebrityAccess) – A$AP Rocky pleaded not guilty to assault as his trial in Sweden opened Tuesday, a month after a street fight landed him in jail and captured the attention of President Donald Trump.
Rocky (real name Rakim Mayers) is accused with two others of beating a 19-year-old man in Stockholm on June 30.
The high profile case prompted President Trump to personally intervene on the rapper’s behalf by appealing to the Swedish Prime Minister for help earlier this month. Despite these efforts, all three men have remained in custody in Stockholm since their arrest on July 3rd.
Now, Swedish news agency TT has reported that Trump sent U.S. special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, Ambassador Robert O’Brien, to Stockholm to monitor the court proceedings and to show support for Mayers.
O’Brien was reportedly seen at Stockholm District Court Tuesday morning.
A biographical statement on the State Department’s website says O’Brien “leads the U.S. government’s diplomatic efforts on overseas hostage-related matters,” and that “he works closely with the families of American hostages and advises the senior leadership of the U.S. Government on hostage issues.”
An anonymous senior U.S. official in Washington told The Associated Press that O’Brien’s presence is part of “an effort to convey Trump’s concern about the case, support American citizens and, to, hopefully, bring them home.”
If convicted of the assault, Mayers could spend up to two years in a Swedish prison. He maintains that he acted in self-defense.