Megan Thee Stallion testified Tuesday that Tory Lanez and his supporters are trying to turn him shooting her into a sex scandal that victimizes him, lamenting the tabloid-style coverage of Lanez’s criminal assault case that shames her “for being a grown woman having sex” and speculates about her sex partners.
“I don’t understand why that matters…I’ve been turned into some kind of villain, and he a victim,” Megan said as Lanez looked on from the defense table in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom. “This has messed up my whole life.” She said people call Lanez’s trial “the Megan Thee Stallion trial” but, “I am not on trial.”
Asked how the shooting has affected her physically, Megan said she underwent physical therapy but to this day “can’t really feel the left side of my foot” because of damaged nerves.
“The back of my feet are always sore, but I still just push through that,” she said.
The three-time Grammy winner also shared her shame over having to publicly admit she had sex with Lanez, testifying, “Because it’s disgusting.”
“At this point, how could I share my body with somebody who would shoot me?” Megan said. That and the pushback from within the industry and, “I feel disgusting. I feel dirty. I feel like I don’t matter.” She said she feels like she “can’t even hold a conversation” for an extended period and referenced the vitriol she constantly endures from people who support Lanez.
“I wish he would have just shot and killed me if I knew I was going to have to go through this torture,” Megan said. She also testified that her relationship with her partner has suffered because of the vitriolic drama she faces.
“Tory has come out and tells so many lies about me,” Megan said, adding that he and his supporters are “making this all about a sex scandal” while no one defends her.
“I feel like a sick bird,” she testified.
Megan also said her career has been harmed, mentioning she’d done a song with Beyoncé — the chart-topper “Savage” — before the shooting that was overshadowed by the drama. Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Kathy Ta asked her about Lanez’s status as a rapper, then drew a curt response when she said, “Would you say your career was bigger than his?”
“Yes. Yes, it was,” Megan answered, with Judge Herriford overruling an objection from Lanez’s lawyer George Mgdesyan.
Dressed in a bright purple suit with bob-style hair, the 27-year-old rapper walked into a packed and already rapt courtroom about 11:18 a.m. as the first and only witness on the second day of trial. A group of supporters rallied outside the courthouse earlier with a “We Stand With Megan” banner. Fans lined up in the hallway outside the courtroom hoping for a rare public seat, with one woman clapping and shouting “Megan! We love you! We love you!” as she exited the courtroom. Lanez’s courtroom supporters included his five-year-old son, who watched Megan testify from the right corner of the gallery’s first row and was carried through a crowd of photographers on his father’s back after trial ended for day.
Two of Megan’s supporters talk about why they’re here.
“People of color being victims of domestic violence, they are often villainized.” pic.twitter.com/i0FeZk0Wt4
— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) December 13, 2022
Tiffany talks about the need to support Megan Thee Stallion as a domestic violence survivor.
“I just feel like no woman should have to go through that. No Black woman should have to go through that.” pic.twitter.com/ezzBJSUmq3
— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) December 13, 2022
Mgdesyan is arguing Lanez is wrongly accused and it was instead Harris who fired five bullets at Megan after she exited an Escalade in the Hollywood Hills on July 12, 2020, after leaving a pool party at reality star Kylie Jenner‘s house. He said in his opening statement the women were jealous and fighting over Lanez, alleging Megan was upset about his interest in Jenner and that Jenner had asked Megan to leave her home. Megan denied in testimony being asked to leave by Jenner or caring of any possible romance between Lanez and Jenner, but she did say the fight that prompted her to leave the Escalade included Lanez telling her “to stop lying” to Harris, which she said regarded their past sexual relationship. Megan said she knew Harris had a crush on Lanez, and Megan didn’t want her to know “I’d dealt with him in any way.”
“I never dated anyone Kelsey dated in my whole life, and Kelsey never dated anyone I date,” Megan said.
Megan repeatedly said Lanez as the gunman in her testimony and said she didn’t see Harris when she heard Lanez say, “Dance, bitch” and turned to see him holding a gun. She told Mgdesyan during cross, “No one else has a gun – just your client” and drew a sketch to indicate where she was standing and in which direction she walked, at Mgdesyan’s request. She drew laughter from jurors and the gallery a few times, including when Mgdesyan pressed her about a Louis Vuitton bag found in the Escalade and she answerd she didn’t know if it was hers because “I have a lot of bags.”
Laughter also erupted when Mgdesyan asked her about Harris being upset with Megan for “cheating on the man she liked” and Megan replied mockingly, “I cheated on the man she liked?”
Mgdesyan also pressed Megan about answering no when Gayle King of CBS News asked in a televised interview if she’d been intimate with Lanez, and about not mentioning Harris when she first told police she’d been shot on July 12 after previously saying she’d stepped on glass. She’d previously explained under questioning from Ta, “at this time we were at the height of police brutality,” referencing George Floyd‘s murder and recounting how she feared indicating to the police who’d pulled them over at gunpoint that there was a gun in the car.
“I don’t know if they gonna shoot first and ask questions later…I don’t want to die” and she doesn’t want anyone else to die.
Ta played footage of Megan inside the ambulance, crying. She grabbed a tissue from a box on the witness stand and wiped her nose as it played.
“At that moment, I’m just realizing I’m shot. I’ve really just been shot,” she testified.
Ta asked Megan why she didn’t tell police she’d been shot.
“Within the Black community — in my community — it’s not acceptable to be cooperating with police officers. That’s #1,” Megan answered, adding that “#2” is her fear of police violence.
She also explained why she didn’t tell medics, saying “when you come out as a woman and say, ‘This man did this to me,'” you can end up being maligned. She referenced a “big boys club” within the hip-hop industry that reacts “like I’m telling on one of y’all’s friends, and now you about to hate me.”
Ta displayed text messages Lanez sent Megan at 8:59 p.m., beginning with “Meg” and saying he knew she probably would never speak to him again, but that he’s sorry from the bottom of his heart and “I love u and I hope ur OK.”
Megan said, “I was sick” after reading the texts and thinking to herself about Lanez, “Why are you bothering me? Why are you being weird? You know you shot me.”
Megan said the shooting followed Lanez angrily calling she and Harris names – “we bitches and hoes” – and her exiting the Escalade. But she also realized when she was outside that she was in a thong and looked “crazy” at a time when “I’m literally on the brink of being so famous right now.” She didn’t want bad publicity and wanted to get back in the car, but she heard Lanez and Harris “really screaming to the top of their lungs at each other.”
“No, I’m over it. I don’t want to be in the argument anymore,” Megan testified. “I started walking away from the car and I hear Tory say, ‘Dance, bitch.'” Gunfire immediately followed, she said.
“I’m in shock. I’m scared. I hear the gun going off. I can’t believe he’s shooting at me,” Megan said. She said she “froze” when she saw the gun and saw Lanez with his arm over the car window, appearing taller than he is. Megan answered “5-foot-3 or 5-foot-4” when Ta asked Lanez’s height, which prompted light snickers in the gallery.
When gunfire rang out, “I just felt shock,” Megan said. “I felt hurt, but I wasn’t really sure this is actually happening.” She saw blood all over her feet and “it gets blurry from there.” She saw Lanez and Harris approach but didn’t support Lanez’s attorney’s argument that the two were fighting, saying “it looks like they bumped into each other.”
“At this point, I’m in shock. Everything feels blurry,” Megan testified. Ta displayed a photo of the driveway where Megan went after being shot as Megan identified the blood stains as her own.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David Herriford overruled several relevance and speculations objections from Mgdesyan during Megan’s testimony about her thinking, saying it was relevant to show her state of mind. But the judge sustained other objections, including striking from the record Megan asking in cross-examination why some consider it acceptable for Lanez to have featured himself chopping up horse legs. She was talking about Lanez’s music video for his song “Cap,” believed by some to be an obvious reference to the victim in a criminal case that could put him in prison for nearly 23 years.
While questioning Megan, Ta played police helicopter footage showing a shirtless Lanez spread out on the street while Megan limps and hobbles around with her hands up, and, later, footage of Megan sitting on the ground with her bloodied legs stretched. The prosecutor also displayed photos of Megan’s wounded feet during testimony, played a video of her crying in an ambulance while handcuffed in an ambulance shortly after the shooting and displayed hateful tweets and an Instagram page that Megan described for the jury as one dedicated solely to hating her.
“I see these tweets and Instagram posts every day,” Megan said. “Every time I see something new, ‘Oh, that bitch should have got shot in the head…Too much twerk.’ … ‘Who care, she fucked everybody, she should have been shot.”
Jurors also saw a recording of an Instagram live video Megan did in which she discussed the shooting, with a written transcript handed out as an aid.
Ta revisited previous areas of testimony after the 90-minute break, first establishing with Megan that she’s a private person who was having a hard time on the witness stand. Megan said in Mgdesyan’s that she’d spoken with prosecutors during the break.
“I’m having a really difficult time sitting up here and trying to comfortably tell my story,” Megan said, emotional but not crying. She said she was having to “sit across from Tory” and his family and people who’ve been spreading lies about her, but at the same time, “I want to come across as a strong woman..don’t let them take my power.”
Megan’s voice cracked with emotion early in testimony when Ta asked if she knew someone named Daystar Peterson, which is Lanez’s legal name. She answered, “Yes.”
She identified him as wearing “a white shirt and a tan jacket” and said she knows him because “we used to be friends.” Asked how long she’d known Lanez, Megan answered “Not that long. I’m pretty sure I just met him that year.” She felt like “we got closer, we used to hang out all the time.”
Megan said after her mother died, “I was just looking for people” to fill a void and become her family. She was searching for “someone I could trust” and she realized she and Lanez had “a lot in common.”
Asked if she’d ever been “intimate” with Lanez, Megan answered in the affirmative and said they weren’t exclusive. She called Kelsey Harris someone who was her “best friend” and later added that she’d known her since her freshman year of college in 2013. Megan hired her as an assistant as her career soared. “She just come with me everywhere helped me out. … We were best friends. We did everything together.”
“Has that relationship changed?” Ta asked.
“Yes,” Megan answered. She testified that she cut ties with Harris after Harris contacted Lanez after the shooting.
Asked about the pool party at Jenner’s, Megan said she went to Jenner’s home in the early evening of July 12, 2020, and cooked in the kitchen as everyone was drinking outside.
“I brought the food out and we just continued to party,” she said. She invited Lanez to come over, saying she didn’t remember what time she contacted him but “it was really late.” She decided she wanted to leave because “I was wearing a wig and it started slipping, and I was ready to go.” But Lanez, she said, “didn’t want to leave. He had an attitude.”
“I felt like he had an attitude because he wasn’t ready to leave the party,” she said. But they eventually left in an Escalade with Lanez’s driver, and Megan said a fight erupted in the car when Lanez said something about Megan needing “to stop lying to your friend,” apparently about Lanez and Megan’s intimacy. She also said Lanez had been “basically just telling me that I wasn’t shit” and she retorted by criticizing his music career, which she said “really pissed him off.”
Trial continues Wednesday about 10:30 a.m. Pacific time in Los Angeles.
Follow reporter Meghann Cuniff on Twitter for live updates from the courthouse.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]