It wasn't a pretty sight: Rapper Afroman punching a drunk woman who'd wandered on stage during his live show at Cress Live in Biloxi, MS on Feb. 17. Nearly seven months later, on Sept. 3, he pleaded guilty to assault and was fined $330. He's also required to attend anger-management therapy sessions.
The widely-seen video (watch below) captures Afroman (nee Joseph Forman) playing a guitar solo as the woman, with drink in hand, bumps up against him. Instead of asking her to leave the stage, he hits her with a roundhouse right. The woman goes down, then staggers to her feet. Incredibly, Afroman continues playing until first a man climbs on stage to rescue the woman and then club staff shuts down the show.
The woman - TMZ reports that she's 21 and named Haley - pressed charges against Afroman, who was then arrested for simple assault. He was released on a $330 cash bond. Haley's lawyer says she suffered head, neck and back injuries from the blow.
While Afroman's rep says his "stage space" had been infringed upon and that the right hook was a "completely involuntary reflex reaction," the club maintains that "there was security at the front point of the stage," which is not true, judging from the video. (The stage appeared to be completely unguarded.)
Afroman defended himself in a statement recorded by TMZ:
'I want to apologize for my actions. I'm enrolling in some anxiety foundation right now, trying to get it done. I love my fans. I go early these days to meet and greet them, hang out with them. It was an early show. I usually play at night and I've had my dinner and I medicate, I get right. But it was an early show, it was Mardi Gras. I had to walk like a half a mile to get to the place. I had my frustrations, to make a long story short. There was a guy on the side of the stage who was yelling at me - yelling some obscenities I really don't want to repeat. But these girls got on stage. I asked them to leave. I was trying to keep rapping. One girl left. I thought both of them left and the guy was still over there hollering from the other side of the stage. As I'm playing I'm thinking it's the guy who started to heckle my act doing something to me. When they get on stage you don't know what they're doing. You don't know what's going to happen next. I'm just trying to do my job. I thought it was that guy. I turned around and you know, man, shit… It was wrong.'
Due to the incident, several venues canceled upcoming Afroman shows.
This is not the first time Afroman's had an incident on stage. Last Dec. 27, at Thompson House in Newport, KY he tossed a fan off stage.
Last year, the 40-year-old rapper/singer teamed with up with Weedmaps and NORML to produce a "positive" reboot of his 2001 hit, "Because I Got High." The original version appeared on The Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back soundtrack and peaked at No. 13 on the charts.