On August 25, Florida rapper XXXTentacion released his debut album, 17, which entered at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart. The music arrived amid online debate over the criminal case against the 19-year-old, whose real name is Jahseh Onfroy. Last October, prosecutors charged him with aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and witness-tampering. If convicted on all four counts, XXXTentacion could face substantial prison time. He has pleaded not guilty. He has also denied the charges in various interviews, saying the woman was attacked by someone else and wasn’t pregnant, among other contentions. A trial is set to begin on October 5.
The gravity of the charges is clear, but the particulars that led to them have remained murky. Now, Pitchfork has obtained a 142-page transcript of testimony by XXXTentacion’s reported victim, delivered over two and a half hours in January at a public defender’s office in Miami. (XXXTentacion’s lawyer, his manager, and spokespeople for his label, Empire, have not responded to requests for comment.) In the deposition, the woman said she suffered a grim pattern of routine abuse and offered harrowing details about what she said happened in the final days before the charges.
Based on that deposition, the following is a chronological summary of what she described:
• The reported victim met XXXTentacion online and went to a movie theater with him once before she attended one of his shows in late May 2016. On that particular evening, he came up from behind her in the crowd, grabbed her neck, and walked away silently. Later that same night, he hugged her and invited her to a party at the house where he was living in North Miami. At the house, he told her he liked her and suggested she could move in with him. The next day, she left her ex-boyfriend’s place and began cohabitating with XXXTentacion.
• The first incident of domestic violence occurred about two weeks later. He slapped her and broke her iPhone 6S, because she had complimented a male friend on his new jewelry. (XXXTentacion later repaired the phone.) Later that day, XXXTentacion left the room and returned with two grilling implements—a “barbecue pitchfork” and a “barbecue cleaner,” she said—and told her to pick between them, because he was going to put one of them in her vagina. She chose the fork. He told her to undress. He was lightly dragging the tool against her inner thigh when she passed out. He did not penetrate her with it.
• Following that incident, XXXTentacion began to act violently toward her often. Around July 2016, the couple moved to Orlando. When asked during the deposition to “pinpoint the days he threatened to kill you,” the reported victim responded, “Well, when we lived in Orlando, it was literally like every day.”
• About a week and a half into their stint in Orlando, the woman and XXXTentacion were on their way to a show together. They listened to one of XXXTentacion’s songs in the car and she sang along with his verse. Then she hummed along with a verse from a featured artist on the track. After that, XXXTentacion fell silent and left her in the car outside the venue. Inside, they got into a fight. When they arrived home after the show, he took her into the bathroom. “And he was asking me why I was singing his friend’s part of the song, if I like him, why do I like him, like do I ever look at his Twitter,” she said.
Then, XXXTentacion head-butted her, punched her, stomped on her, and put her in the bathtub, where he continued hitting and kicking her. “He also wanted to cut out my tongue because I was singing the song,” she said. She tried to run away down the street. He tackled her, causing her head to hit the pavement. She suffered black eyes, a lump on the back of her head, scratch marks, and bruises, including a large bruise on her ankle where he stomped her.
• Also while living in Orlando, he hit her with white plastic clothes hangers. “He broke a good 30 hangers on my legs,” she said. Around this time, he tried cutting her hair, and he held her head under running water in the bathtub.