The criminal trial against Tory Lanez began on Monday, more than two years after Megan Thee Stallion accused the 30-year-old rapper of shooting her in the feet after a pool party at the home of Kylie Jenner in July 2020.
The 27-year-old has been at the center of a maelstrom since coming forward with her allegations against Lanez in August 2020. Lanez was officially charged in October 2020 with a felony count of assault with a semiautomatic firearm, a felony count of carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle and for the personal use of a firearm.
Lanez — whose real name is Daystar Peterson — pleaded not guilty to the charges, previously saying that “the truth will come out.” He was barred from speaking publicly about the case and was put under house arrest after another violation of Lanez’s bail in which he allegedly attacked singer August Alsina. The Canadian faces a maximum of 22 years and eight months in prison if convicted.
Since Megan came forward, the case has played out on social media and even in music released by rappers not involved in the conflict. On his album, Daystar, released in 2020, more than two months after the encounter, Lanez refuted Megan’s allegations on the album’s first track, “Money Over Fallouts,” claiming that Megan and her team are trying to frame him.
In an interview for the July cover issue of Rolling Stone, Megan stated that at the conclusion of the trial, “I want him to go to jail. I want him to go under the jail.”
“I think it’s so crazy that people are able to get online or publish anything that is not a 100 percent fact,” Megan told Rolling Stone. “That really is messing with my life. How are you able to do it and get away with it?”
“I see people saying, ‘Damn, I would’ve shot that b**ch too.’ In some kind of way I became the villain,” she said. “And I don’t know if people don’t take it seriously because I seem strong. I wonder if it’s because of the way I look. Is it because I’m not light enough? Is it that I’m not white enough? Am I not the shape? The height? Because I’m not petite? Do I not seem like I’m worth being treated like a woman?”
Megan added, “I’m trying every day to get through it and be good. I feel so bad because I don’t feel like anybody’s taking me seriously, but I don’t want them to see me cry. I don’t want them to know that I feel like this, because I don’t want them to feel like, ‘Oh, I got you. I’m breaking you.’”
Prosecutors say that in July 2020, in the early morning hours after a party in Los Angeles, Lanez allegedly lashed out at Megan after she criticized his musical career, allegedly firing toward her feet as she walked away from the car they had both been riding in along with Kelsey Harris — Megan’s best friend and assistant at the time. The defense has disputed that Lanez fired the shots, suggesting it could have been Harris wielding the gun, whom they claim was upset that Megan and Lanez had been intimate with each other.
Keep scrolling ahead for everything to know about the trial.
Dec. 12: Trial begins with opening statements
According to Rolling Stone, on Dec. 12 Los Angeles County Assistant District Attorney Alexander Bott told jurors Lanez ordered Megan — whose real name is Megan Pete — to “dance b**ch” as Lanez allegedly fired five shots at her after she got out of an SUV during an argument in the Hollywood Hills.
Bott also revealed that key witness Harris will testify that she saw Lanez fire the semiautomatic 9mm handgun that wounded Megan in both feet.
“Kelsey will tell you that she just saw her close friend get shot by the defendant,” Bott told jurors, adding that Harris rushed to Megan’s side as the “Savage” rapper lay bleeding in a random driveway in the Hollywood Hills. Bott said Harris will testify she freaked out when Lanez approached the two women after he allegedly fired five shots.
Bott alleged that Megan and Harris were “terrified” at the scene when they agreed to return to the car before it was pulled over by officers a short time later. He revealed that Harris sent three text messages to Megan’s bodyguard, Justin Edison, in the five minutes following the shooting.
A visual of the text chain presented in the courtroom showed that Harris texted Edison “Help” at 4:27 a.m. on July 12, 2020. “Tory Shot Meg,” the next line read. “911,” the third bubble read.
Texts from Lanez to Megan and Harris, in which he apologized and said he “genuinely just got too drunk” but “can’t change what I did” were also reportedly read in court. Lanez’s defense attorneys claimed he was not admitting to shooting a gun, but to being sexually involved with both Megan and Harris.
Lanez’s lawyer, George Mgdesyan, said the argument in the car had involved Harris, who was angry when she learned that Megan had been intimate with Lanez. The defense suggested that there is a lack of physical evidence to prove the case against Lanez since his DNA had allegedly not been found on the gun.
Dec. 13: Megan Thee Stallion takes the stand to testify
On Dec. 13, the GRAMMY winner took the stand for most of the day. Her time on the stand saw the artist fight back emotions as she recounted her allegations against Lanez, and faced him in the courtroom while delivering her emotional testimony. Although Megan did not press the charges and is not on trial, her testimony is undoubtedly the biggest moment of the trial.
“I just don’t feel good,” Megan told the court after being asked by Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Kathy Ta if she was nervous, according to The Los Angeles Times. “I can’t believe I have to come up here and do this.”
Megan was directed to recount her personal relationships with both Lanez and Harris, and said that she and Lanez began arguing as they were driving away from a party at Jenner’s house with Lanez, his bodyguard and Harris. Lanez was allegedly upset with Megan because she asked him to leave the party.
Megan told the court that she and Lanez had become friends and bonded over the shared loss of their mothers in the months before the shooting. They also occasionally had a sexual relationship, which Harris learned for the first time inside that SUV, according to Megan.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Megan said that Harris had a “crush” on Lanez, and after the revelation about their sex lives, the argument spiraled out of control. Lanez allegedly called both women “b**ches and hoes,” she testified, and then the two began bickering over the state of their musical careers.
Megan criticized Lanez’s “musical skills” which is what she says led to the altercation.
“Tory was basically telling me I wasn’t s**t, and I said, ‘Actually, You ain’t s**t. This is where you at in your career. This is where you at with your music.’ And I feel like that really rubbed him the wrong way. He kept yelling and cursing,” she said, according to Rolling Stone.
Ta asked Megan to recall the events of the alleged shooting, with the “WAP” hitmaker reiterating, “I heard the gunshot. I don’t know how many, but feels like it went on forever.”
She told Ta that she heard multiple gunshots, going on to confirm that an audio recording of the shots sounded like the events of the night.
“I’ve never been shot at before in my life,” Megan said, claiming that she saw Lanez shooting “at me.”
“As soon as he started shooting, I put my head down,” Megan claimed, stating that she lowered her head because “I was scared, and I didn’t move.”
Megan told jurors that when she eventually returned to the car, Lanez allegedly promised her and Harris $1 million if they did not tell police about the incident, claiming he was on probation for a prior weapons offense.
She said once Los Angeles officers stopped the vehicle, she grew more afraid of the situation escalating and was scared they would also shoot her. The officers subsequently found the gun still warm to the touch on the floorboard near where Lanez had been seated, Bott told the courtroom, adding that Lanez and Harris both later tested positive for gunshot residue.
When asked why she didn’t initially report the alleged shooting, Megan reiterated her previous assertion that she wanted to protect everyone involved, especially during in the wake of the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
“This was at the height of police brutality… I felt like if I said this man just shot me, I didn’t know if they might shoot first and ask questions later,” she testified. She also noted how “in the Black community… it’s not really acceptable to be cooperating with police officers.”
Megan said her reasoning was two-fold because, as a woman in the music industry, “people have a hard time believing you anyway.”
After returning from a break, Megan’s time on the witness stand continued, and the artist was reportedly visibly emotional.
“I’m having a really difficult time sitting up here comfortably telling my story,” Megan told the court, according to Rolling Stone. “I’ve got to sit across from Tory … I’m really trying to come off as a strong woman. I don’t want to give them the power they’ve been taking from me going on three years.”
Megan also said that the alleged shooting — and subsequently going public with her allegations — has taken a toll on her life.
“Every man in a position of power in the music industry has taken his side…Because I was shot, I’ve been turned into some kind of villain, and he’s the victim,” Megan stated. “This has messed up my whole life.”
“Not a day goes by without being called a liar,” she continued. “This whole thing is about who I was having sex with, not who shot me, and I don’t know why.”
“I’m embarrassed because I’m a grown woman hanging with people I have no business hanging out with,” she said about her regrets over the incident. “Now look at how everybody want to view me…. How could I share my body with someone who would shoot me… Now every week there’s an article calling me a ‘hoe.’”
The rapper admitted to suicidal ideations since the incident, stating, “I don’t want to live. I wish he had just shot and killed me if I had to go through this torture.”
Ta ended her questioning by touching on Megan’s relationship with Harris, whom the rapper said she no longer has a relationship with, explaining they fell out “probably in 2020” when Harris “met with Tory after he shot me… They went and turned the story around.”
Although Megan said she told Harris she felt “betrayed” when they met up, she asserted that she has no doubt that it was Lanez, not Harris, who allegedly shot her that night.
When Mgdesyan took over for cross-examination, he asked Megan if she had lied about her relationship with Lanez during a broadcast interview with Gayle King in April, as well as to police and prosecutors, which she confirmed.
She also explained that she never told police about her claims that Lanez said he’d give her $1 million for her silence or that he told her he was already on probation.
Dec. 14: Kelsey Harris takes the stand to testify
On Dec. 14, Harris took the stand for her testimony. Despite the DA’s declaration that they had no intent to prosecute her, Harris’ attorney asserted her 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination and was granted “use immunity” by prosecutors. Judge Herriford said he determined her concerns were “legitimate.”
“I don’t care to be here today, it’s a triggering situation,” Harris said when asked if she’s having any feelings about being on the stand. She said she’s been dealing with a lot of anxiety postpartum and dealing with a death. She told jurors that she doesn’t like her name being thrown out there and called accusations that she shot Megan “ridiculous.”
Harris said Megan is painting a picture that she betrayed Megan and is a bad friend who took hush money, “which isn’t the case.”
Harris explained that she’s known Megan since their freshman year of college, dating back to 2013. The rapper asked Harris to be her assistant in 2018, a role which would involve traveling with Megan while assisting her in various duties. “She and I were very close friends, she trusted me, I trusted her,” Harris testified.
Harris went on to claim that Megan encouraged her to pursue a romantic relationship with Lanez after they all met in early 2020 at a RocNation brunch. Harris stated that she and Lanez were “more than just friends” and had romantic encounters.
On the night of the alleged shooting in July 2020, Harris claimed she, Megan and EJ — Megan’s stylist — went to Jenner’s house for a “small get-together.” She emphasized that the event was not a party, saying there were “six people total” present.
Harris said that the night started off innocently enough, but as the night progressed and people consumed alcohol, she claimed that Megan’s demeanor was “off” as she kept drinking. Harris claimed that a lot of her memory of the party was “blurry” because of alcohol consumption and she recalled passing out at one point.
When Harris woke up, she said she was told by EJ that they needed to go, but Megan didn’t want to. Harris could not recall when Lanez arrived at the get-together but recalled that Megan’s “wig was shifting and she wasn’t herself” and that Megan had been in pajamas when they left, not a bathing suit.
Harris claimed that she left with Megan but had to return to Jenner’s place because Megan forgot something. She said Megan went inside and found Lanez there, which is when a fight ensued. She claimed she doesn’t know what was said or what happened because she wasn’t inside but, when Megan returned with Lanez, Megan claimed Jenner kicked them out.
According to Harris, Megan was rambling in the car. She recalled “lots of going back and forth” and that they were “all arguing” at one point. Harris claimed Lanez was demanding that Megan tell the truth, while Megan was telling Harris not to listen to him. Harris claimed Lanez told her that he and Megan had a relationship, which kicked off an argument between Harris and Megan about the latter’s “disloyalty.”
Harris reiterated Megan’s claim that the rapper argued with Lanez about music and that Megan told him he had a lackluster career.
When prosecutors asked Harris if she recalled Lanez calling them “b**ches and hoes,” she said she didn’t. Harris also pleaded the fifth when asked whether Lanez threatened to shoot her in the car.
The DA reminded Harris that she previously confirmed both events during a September 2022 interview with the prosecution. She responded that she “guesses” she said that, but ultimately didn’t recall.
When the trial resumed after a lunch break, Harris claimed that the things she said in her deposition were “inaccurate.” She says she said certain things “to protect herself.”
The DA played back several parts of her deposition for her to “recall” what it is she said, such as saying Lanez reached for the center console, but Harris continued to say she didn’t remember.
Harris claimed that the car carrying her, Megan and Lanez pulled over twice after leaving Jenner’s home. The first time, she claimed, Megan and Lanez got out to talk outside the car and reentered “happy and as if nothing happened.” But eventually, more arguing commences, this time between all three, she said.
Harris once again claimed she doesn’t recall the exact words and said “it’s a blur,” to which the DA responded, “when you spoke to us in September, it wasn’t a blur was it?”
She continued, saying she remembered Megan and Lanez “hitting each other over their careers as artists” and that, at one point, she and Megan argued about “her backdooring me.”
When asked if this was the stop where she heard shots, Harris asked to take fifth again, but Judge Herriford told her she had to answer the question. Harris continued to say she didn’t remember. When asked if she received any bribes from Lanez, Harris responded that she “wouldn’t say bribe,” refuting the phrasing used by the DA. “Not just me, I wouldn’t say bribe,” she said.
When asked if Lanez offered her $1 million not to say anything, Harris said she “assumes” the money was about the shooting but Lanez never said explicitly what it was for. “I guess if that is what you want to call it,” she responded when asked if Lanez’s alleged offers to fund a future business and pay for her attorneys were in exchange for Harris keeping silent.
But Harris noted that she doesn’t want any connection or correlation to Lanez and rejected his alleged offers for money, saying that she told him “I don’t need you to do anything for me.
Harris was once again asked about the car’s second stop, claiming that she and Megan got out of the car at the same time and that she hadn’t been looking around while exiting the car, which is when she heard shots. She doubled down on her position that what she said in her deposition was “to protect” herself, but they were “not all true.”
The DA replayed Harris’ deposition in which she said she heard five or six gunshots soon after getting out of the car and when she looked up, she saw Lanez hanging out of the driver’s side. On the stand, Harris refuted her previous testimony, saying “it was a night of alcohol” and she doesn’t recall saying that.
Harris claimed that she never said Lanez was the one who shot Megan and all she heard were shots that night.
When asked by the DA whether she was holding the gun, shot Megan or had any part in it, Harris said she didn’t. The DA followed up by asking who apologized for the shooting, to which Harris responded that she “doesn’t remember” an apology from that night.
Although Harris admitted she went to check on Megan after hearing gunshots, she claimed not to know where the blood she saw came from and couldn’t recall whether Megan was bleeding.
The DA asked Harris if she remembered saying that Megan seemed like a “deer in the headlights” and that she saw Lanez aiming the gun downward toward Megan, which Harris subsequently denies remembering. She admitted to saying she was “in defense mode.”
Harris continually doubled down on her statement that she said things that were not true during her deposition, claiming her “mind isn’t here.”
Dec. 15: Kelsey Harris returns to the stand to testify
Harris returned to court on Dec. 15, but before jurors heard from the ex-assistant, Dr. Lee Haruno, chief resident of orthopedic surgery at Cedars-Sinai, took the stand.
Dr. Haruno reportedly walked jurors through X-rays showing the wounds to Megan’s feet, sharing that they identified four metallic bullet fragments embedded in her feet, and removed what they could during emergency surgery that night in July 2020.
According to Rolling Stone, Judge Herriford ruled that the defense can call LAPD Det. Ryan Stogner to ask why he didn’t pursue Harris as a possible shooter, but cannot bring up that he’s on administrative leave, or anything about him being arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, reportedly saying that line of questioning about the off-duty incident behind Stogner’s arrest would be “far more prejudicial than probative.”
When Harris returned to the stand, the DA reportedly clarified to the witness that her use of immunity does not cover perjury before asking her if Megan was shot that night in 2020. “Again, her team told me she stepped on glass,” Harris testified.
The DA pointed out that Harris sent a text saying that Megan was shot moments after it happened. “That’s my assumption,” Harris responded, saying that while she did hear gunshots that night, she didn’t seeing Megan limping.
Lanez’s lawyer, Mgdesyan, began his cross-examination of Harris, asking if she’d had any contact with Lanez or his lawyers or felt intimidated in any way, and she responded no.
“I would actually like to make that very clear. I’ve seen some things and I’m tired of that line. So, no,” Harris added when asked if Lanez had paid her anything.
Mgdesyan reportedly began to ask questions implying the prosecution had pressured Harris to testify, which Bott argued had opened the door to playing the full 80-minute recording of Harris’ interview from September to defend the integrity of the prosecution. Judge Herriford is considering whether to allow the tape be played for jurors.
Harris continued to testify that most of the occurrences of that night were “blurry” because the group had been drinking at Jenner’s home prior to the alleged assault.
“Kelsey, I understand it was alcohol,” Mgdesyan said during cross-examination, before asking if there had been a physical fight between her and Pete. “We probably just, like, bumped into each other,” she responded.
It was reported that after some deliberation, Judge Herriford will in fact allow prosecutors to play Harris’ entire interview for the jury. That is set to happen either Saturday morning or Monday.
Read more about the ongoing trial against Lanez below.