According to Rolling Stone, Rocky (real name Rakim Mayers) and his defense lawyer Joe Tacopina are both named in a new defamation suit filed by Relli (real name Terell Ephron).
A$AP Relli claims in the complaint that Tacopina has tried to make him out to be a resentful and bitter former friend who’s “trying to get money from Rocky.”
The former A$AP Mob member’s also alleges that Tacopina tried to “impugn and malign” him by making false statements to Rolling Stone, TMZ, and on a radio show last September.
Relli’s lawyer, Camille Vasquez, claims in court documents that Tacopina told Rolling Stone in September 2021 that Mayers “didn’t shoot [Ephron] by any stretch,” and described the alleged shooting as a “false scenario” and a way to garner money.
As a result of Tacopina’s remarks, A$AP Relli has apparently “suffered damage to his reputation and his personal brand; goodwill in the community as a member of A$AP Mob” and potentially lost future income “as a result of the negative publicity.” He is seeking punitive or exemplary damages, plus legal fees.
While A$AP Rocky himself has yet to respond to the new lawsuit, Tacopina told Rolling Stone that he “welcomes this litigation especially before the resolution of the criminal case.”
“It will expose the fraud committed by their client,” Tacopina said. “It’s unfortunate that these lawyers don’t know the facts of this case or the actions of their client but I will be happy to educate them.”
The suit, filed that August, claimed that Rocky had intentionally shot him. It sought monetary damages for claims of assault, battery, negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Rocky denied all allegations against him in a filing to the Los Angeles County Superior court, claiming any injuries or damages “were caused solely, directly and proximately by the negligent and/or intentional acts or omissions” of someone else.
It also accused A$AP Relli of failing to “exercise reasonable care to avoid the consequences of harm.”
“Answering defendant generally denies each and every allegation of the complaint, and specifically denies that plaintiff has been damaged in any amount or in any way as a result of any act or omission of answering defendant,” Rocky answered.
A few months later, A$AP Rocky and A$AP Relli reached a mutual agreement to pause the civil suit until the criminal case related to the shooting was resolved.
In August 2022, Rocky pleaded not guilty to felony firearms charges. He was accused of shooting A$AP Relli during a heated argument in Hollywood in November 2021.
“The argument escalated and resulted in the suspect firing a handgun at the victim,” an LAPD news release said at the time. “The victim sustained a minor injury from the incident and later sought his medical treatment. Following the shooting, the suspect and two additional males fled the area on foot.”
A$AP Rocky was arrested in April 2022 at LAX after exiting a flight with his then-pregnant girlfriend Rihanna. He was released soon after on $550,000 bond.
The preliminary hearing for the criminal case is on November 8. If A$AP Rocky is convicted, he faces up to nine years in prison.