Jay-Z Charged With Felony Assault, Lawyer Maintain Rapper's Innocence

Rapper Jay-Z has been arrested and formally charged with felony assault in the second degree for allegedly stabbing a record executive at a New York City nightclub on Wednesday night.

Jay-Z (real name Shawn Carter) voluntarily turned himself to authorities at the Midtown South Precinct in Manhattan last night, and was subsequently arrested and taken to Central Booking for processing and arraignment.

The rapper's attorney, Harvey Slovis -- who also represents Sean "Puffy" Combs -- told MTV News on Friday morning that Jay-Z was released at approximately 2:15 a.m. ET on $50,000 bail. A court date has been set for January 31 for the case.

Despite the arraignment, Slovis maintained to MTV News that his client was innocent of the charges. "To think that this guy, who is as gentle as can be, has anything to do with this is crazy," Slovis said.

As we first reported Thursday morning, police pegged Jay-Z as one of several people they wanted to question about

the stabbing of music executive Lance "Un" Rivera at New York's Kit Kat Club Wednesday night (see "UPDATE: Jay-Z Turns Himself In To Police For Questioning, Denies Involvement In Stabbing").

Rivera was stabbed twice in an altercation at the club during a Q-Tip record release party, and was treated at New York's St. Vincent Hospital and released Thursday afternoon.

When police first expressed interest in questioning Jay-Z about the incident, the rapper's lawyers maintained Jay-Z's innocence, and continued to do so Thursday evening.

As the rapper was being held by police, Jay-Z's legal team addressed the press gathered outside of Midtown South and reiterated its stand that Jay had nothing to do with the stabbing.

At that time, Slovis also stated that the rapper had not been evading the police on Thursday, as other media outlets had speculated.

"We came in,"

Slovis said, "we're cooperating with the police. [Jay-Z] didn't do anything, and I'm sure this will all be resolved shortly." [RealVideo]