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Prosecutors: Tory Lanez Shot Megan Thee Stallion After She Insulted His Music
The Canadian rapper, whose given name is Daystar Peterson, faces assault charges in the 2020 shooting, but his defense is claiming the other woman in the car that night carried out the attack in a jealous rage.
Both prosecutors and lawyers for rapper Tory Lanez laid out for a Los Angeles jury on Monday their theories of what happened the night Megan Thee Stallion was shot in 2020.
Los Angeles County Assistant District Attorney Alexander Bott alleged that Lanez, Megan Thee Stallion and her now-former friend and assistant, Kelsey Harris, left a pool party together in the early morning hours of July 12, 2020, riding in a Cadillac Escalade being driven by Lanez employee Jauquan Smith, who had brought a handgun.
Everyone had been drinking, Bott said, and a heated argument ensued in which Megan Thee Stallion insulted Lanez's music, sarcastically calling him a "beautiful artist," according to TMZ and Rolling Stone. Though Megan The Stallion has previously denied that Lanez and she were a couple — "That man was never my ex… never my man" she told Rolling Stone this year, though she's said she considered them close friends — Bott told jurors that the two "had been intimate" at some point prior to the shooting.
He suggested that their reported tryst made Megan Thee Stallion's insult more bruising to Lanez's ego.
Amid the argument, Megan Thee Stallion exited the vehicle and Lanez allegedly leaned out the window, shouted "Dance, b*tch" and shot at her feet with the gun Smith had with him, per Bott's statements. Megan Thee Stallion later had surgery to remove bullet fragments and repair her injuries.
In a surprise revelation, Bott revealed that Harris — who has been publicly silent since the incident, as her relationship with Megan Thee Stallion reportedly fell apart — would testify to witnessing Lanez shoot her friend and that he then drunkenly assaulted her as well.
"She’ll tell you the defendant physically assaulted her at that point," Bott said of Harris after the shooting, according to Rolling Stone. "He pulled her by her hair, and he either punched her or slapped her.”
Harris also texted Megan Thee Stallion’s bodyguard, Justin Edison, within minutes of the shooting as supported by alleged messages prosecutors showed in court on Monday.
"Help," read the first, sent at 4:27 a.m.. “Tory Shot Meg,” the second read. “911,” the third message read.
The following day — after Lanez reportedly sent Megan Thee Stallion a series of text messages apologizing for "what I did" that night and apologized to Harris in a recorded jailhouse phone call — Edison went by the Canadian's L.A. residence to retrieve some of his employer's belongings. Bott said Lanez reportedly repeated his apology to the guard and added that he was firing at the air and the ground, but not at Megan Thee Stallion directly.
Lanez's lawyers, in their opening statement, didn't contest that Megan Thee Stallion was shot, but suggested she could not have seen who was shooting behind her and pointed the finger directly at Harris.
Defense lawyer George Mgdesyan told the jury that the case boiled down to "jealousy," claiming that Megan Thee Stallion got jealous at the party after seeing Lanez hitting on her friend, Kylie Jenner, and that he didn't want to leave — and that Kris Jenner's fiancé, Corey Gamble, would testify to it.
Mgdesyan then said the fight spilled over in the car when Lanez allegedly revealed to both women that he had slept with the other, and Harris got upset because Megan Thee Stallion had previously slept with her purported love interests, including rapper DaBaby and Brooklyn Nets player Ben Simmons. (Simmons has seemingly denied his connection to the case, TMZ reported. DaBaby, who had worked with Megan Thee Stallion in the past but had a falling out over his public support for Lanez, claimed in a song released this September to have slept with her before the shooting.)
Lanez's lawyers also claim Harris, who was wearing a bathing suit, got out of the car and attacked Megan Thee Stallion first and hinted that she was the shooter, noting that she also had gunshot residue on her hands.
Prosecutors claim that Harris got out of the car to tend to her friend after the shooting, resulting in the gunshot residue.
Megan Thee Stallion was due to testify on Tuesday about the incident. Lanez is facing charges of assault with a semiautomatic firearm – personal use of a firearm, intentional discharge of a firearm and negligent discharge of a firearm, to which he's pleaded not guilty. He could face more than 20 years in prison and deportation if convicted.