Hip-hop sweetheart Megan Thee Stallion and Canadian rapper Tory Lanez had a short-lived but storied relationship with a tumultuous ending. A California jury found Lanez guilty on charges connected to assaulting Thee Stallion on Friday, Dec. 23.
Lanez faces 22 years in prison and possible deportation to his home country of Canada after serving his sentence.
Megan Thee Stallion and Tory Lanez Relationship
The pair first sparked dating rumors in 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Megan Thee Stallion, whose real name is Megan Pete, made a cameo on Lanez’s Instagram Live show that emerged from the need to isolate amid the spread of the contagious virus.
Megan appeared comfortable while she sat in a chair barefaced as the “Say It” rapper-singer hyped up viewers on his Instagram page.
Lanez first started the spontaneous Instagram Live sessions that he’d dubbed “Quarantine Radio” in April 2020. It began with twerking competitions among random women, but soon celebrities like Bryson Tiller, Chris Brown and Drake appeared on the show.
Unlike other celebrities who made appearances on group calls with Lanez, real name Daystar Peterson, Stallion was in the same room brushing shoulders with the male rapper. The female rapper had apparently invited him to her house. She later denied that the pair was a couple, claiming they were just friends, but soon any semblance of even a friendship between Megan Thee Stallion and Tory Lanez ended in gunfire.
The summer 2020 ordeal left Megan’s feet bloodied and exposed the nature of the two rappers’ relationship.
What Happened At Kylie Jenner’s Pool Party?
Many times when Megan and Tory would appear on Instagram Live, drinking and dancing would be involved.
Things were no different the evening the two rappers were lounging at reality TV star Kylie Jenner’s house for a fireside pool party on July 12, 2020. Megan told Gayle King in a “CBS Mornings” interview that she, Jenner, Lanez and her friend Kelsey Harris “were just hanging out” and were at the Hollywood Hills house all day.
Thee Stallion gave fans a peek into the party through Instagram Live. Stallion appeared inebriated, slightly slurring her speech alongside Jenner in tiny bikinis. Lanez glided from another side of the pool and leaned on both women’s shoulders to say something to her viewers, but Stallion stopped him in his tracks.
“Tory, don’t wet my phone,” she said. The short interaction would be placed under a microscope, later examining the depth of the relationship. Some say it was a prelude to what happened next.
Megan Thee Stallion, Kelsey Harris and Tory Lanez In A Love Triangle
Los Angeles Police officers responded to a shooting incident in Jenner’s neighborhood of Hollywood Hills around 4:30 a.m., shortly after Lanez, his driver, Stallion and Harris left the party.
The details of what happened in and around the vehicle the group was traveling in during the wee hours of the morning after a long day of drinking and hanging out poolside vary based on who you ask.
Both Harris and Megan said it was inside the Cadillac Escalade where it was revealed that Lanez was having a sexual relationship with both women. Tory told Megan to “stop lying” to Harris about them.
A ‘Verbal Disagreement’ with Tory Lanez
Thee Stallion referred to Harris in interviews as her friend from Houston. Both 27, they met as freshman students in college. Harris was her best friend and also her assistant. Still, the two longtime friends have not seen each other for more than two years –– since the night of the party.
Megan and Harris met Lanez at the Roc Nation Brunch in January 2020. Harris said in a court hearing that the Houston rapper tried to set her up with Lanez after the brunch. She had a sexual relationship with Lanez but found out that night that he had been intimate with both women.
Harris and Stallion left the party with Lanez’s driver, Jauquan Smith, but Harris said during court hearings that the Canadian rapper did not want to leave and was flirty with Jenner. She believes an argument ensued between Lanez and Stallion when the rapper turned back for her slippers. Things were also heated in the SUV when Lanez joined both women in the vehicle.
“Everyone’s calling each other names, taking jabs at each other,” Harris recalled.
Tory Lanez and Megan Thee Stallion Were Never Exclusive
Harris found out that night that she and her best friend were seeing the same man. The “WAP” rapper said she had a sexual relationship with Lanez, but the pair was never exclusive. She hid the relationship from Harris because she knew her friend had a “crush on” Lanez, NPR reports.
However, Megan said during a court hearing that Lanez revealed the relationship to Harris, creating tension that escalated into chaos.
The “Sweetie Pie” rapper said Lanez tried to turn the two women against each other and called them “b-tches and hoes.”
Harris told a court she stood up for her friend when the “Luv” Rapper started disrespecting her. Lanez then told Harris, “I’ll shoot you.” She taunted him, daring him to do it.
Stallion then got out of the SUV because the arguing was unbearable.
Megan told King in the April 2022 interview that Harris urged her to get back in the vehicle, but the arguing was worse when she got back in.
“And I don’t want to be in this car no more because I see it’s getting crazy,” Megan told King.
Megan Thee Stallion Shooting Incident
After the verbal spat, things escalated quickly, according to the female rapper. Lanez started shooting at her feet and told her to “dance, b—h.”
Harris said in an initial interview with investigators that Lanez got enraged after Thee Stallion told him he was only relevant because of a remix with Jack Harlow. The male rapper ordered the driver to stop the vehicle and demanded the women get out.
“This is my car,” Harris recalled Lanez saying, according to The Rolling Stone.
Stallion did not hesitate to get out of the car the second time, said Harris in a September 2020 hearing, and that’s when she heard gunshots.
“I get out of my side and no sooner do you know, you start hearing gunshots going off. I looked up maybe about the second or third gunshot. You see Tory, he’s now in the front seat. I guess he must have jumped over in a smooth transition, and he’s leaning over the door,” she said.
Thee Stallion said Lanez was standing out the window shooting. Megan told King that she was afraid for her life and had never been shot before that night.
Related: What Really Happened the Night Megan Thee Stallion Says She Was Shot By Tory Lanez? Former Best Friend Kelsey Harris Reveals She Learned of Megan and Tory’s Affair On the Night Before Shooting
“I didn’t know if he can shoot me and kill me,” Megan tearfully told King.
The Houston rapper said she fell down and crawled into someone’s driveway. Lanez’s reaction was to apologize, and according to Megan, he offered to pay her “a million dollars” to keep quiet about the shooting incident.
The Alleged Fight Leading Up to the Shooting
Megan’s friend Harris said Lanez assaulted her after the shooting, but a witness for Lanez’s defense team said he saw the two women fighting each other outside the Escalade when he looked out of his home that early July morning.
“They were pulling their hair and hitting each other. It was quite violent,” Sean Kelly testified during the assault trial.
Kelly said he also saw a man that matched the driver’s description and Lanez get out of the vehicle. The driver tried to break up the brawl between the two women before Lanez exited the car, and he heard one gunshot. Everyone started fighting, according to Kelly, until four or five more shots were fired.
At another point in his testimony, Kelly said he saw three people beating one woman who was on the ground before they lifted her into the Escalade when a police car approached.
However, Kelly’s testimony wasn’t clear on who shot the weapon. At various parts of his testimony, the eyewitness said he saw a woman shooting a gun but said he saw a man matching Lanez’s description firing a weapon as well. Still, he initially said that he did not actually see a gun but just flashes.
Megan Thee Stallion Lies to Police
Cell-phone video footage from that morning shows police officers ordering a limping Megan to walk backward with her hands up. They also order everyone else out of the car with their hands up and to the ground. However, Megan told police she had broken glass in her foot and denied being shot. Her bloody footprints painted the ground in the footage.
Lanez was arrested that night for having a concealed weapon in the vehicle. Both women remained mum, but Megan issued a statement on social media three days later airing the alleged details. She did not expose the alleged shooter as Tory until August 2020 after facing backlash on social media.
“The narrative that is being reported about Sunday’s morning events are inaccurate and I’d like to set the record straight,” she wrote. “On Sunday morning, I suffered gunshot wounds, as a result of a crime that was committed against me and done with the intention to physically harm me. I was never arrested, the police officers drove me to the hospital where I underwent surgery to remove the bullets.
“I’m incredibly grateful to be alive and that I’m expected to make a full recovery, but it was important for me to clarify the details about this traumatic night. I’m currently focused on my recovery, so I can return back to my life and back to making music as soon as possible.”
Why the Rapper Said She Lied at First
Megan said in “CBS Mornings” interview she was afraid to tell police the truth because of shooting was just a couple of months after the “George Floyd incident.” Floyd was killed on Memorial Day Weekend in 2020 by Minneapolis police. The shooting sparked global protests against police brutality.
“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, she told King.
Stallion also testified that it is unacceptable in the Black community to snitch to the police. However, even though she initially told police that she hadn’t been shot, a medical expert testified at the felony assault trial that there were bullet fragments in the female rapper’s feet after the shooting.
Tory Lanez Charged for the Allegedly Shooting
Additional charges were filed against Lanez in October 2020. Prosecutors charged Lanez with one felony count of assault with a semiautomatic firearm and one count of carrying a loaded, concealed firearm in a vehicle. He pleaded not guilty to the charges making way for the December 2022 trial.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office on Dec. 6, 2022 added a felony count of discharging a firearm with gross negligence related to the 2020 shooting.
In April 2022, the singer-rapper was arrested again for violating two restraining orders stemming from the shooting. A Los Angeles judge ruled Lanez violated the discovery protective order and temporary criminal restraining order by addressing Megan on social media and discussing DNA evidence in the case.
He was placed on house arrest in October 2022, after an altercation with August Alsina.
Rappers Openly Discuss the Shooting Incident
In September 2020, Lanez released an album titled “Daystar,” where he addressed the alleged shooting. The album included an audio clip from Megan’s Instagram Live referencing the incident. He claimed that the Houston rapper tried to frame him for the crime on the album.
“Gotta see a couple questions: how the f-ck you get shot in your foot, don’t hit no bones or tendons?” he raps.
Tory tweeted in February 2022 that “good d–k had me f—ing 2 best friends … and I got caught … that’s what I apologized 4… it’s sick how U spun it though.”
Megan also addressed the shooting in her music.
In her second studio album “Traumazine,” she raps about the ordeal in “Who Me.”
“I feel like Biggie, who shot you?” Megan says. “But everybody know who shot me, b—-.”
A Sex Scandal and a Bruised Ego
Lanez’s lawyer argued that the shooting case was about two jealous women who got furious after they found out about each other. However, Thee Stallion’s lawyer argued that Lanez exploded because she took a jab at his career.
The Canadian rapper released his first mixtape in 2009, and his first album in 2016, with two tracks, “Luv” and “Say It,” peaking at 19 and 23 on the Billboard charts, respectively.
Megan Thee Stallion’s appearance on the Billboard 100 was swifter. She released her first mixtape in 2019, and by 2020, her EP was on the Billboard 200. That same year, she released her first studio album, “Good News,” which included a remix of “Savage” featuring Beyoncé, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts the same month she first appeared on Quarantine Radio.
The Houston rapper also went on to win a Grammy and several other awards for her work. However, much of her accolades were overshadowed by the shooting case, she said. The mounting criticism was so bad to Megan that she testified that she “didn’t want to live.” She said the case was taking a toll on her mental and physical health.
Megan told the court that media coverage of the shooting case “shamed” her for her sex life. Because Thee Stallion was not forthcoming in the beginning, it raised questions about her honesty. Social media mobs would push support behind the female rapper when testimony seemed to support her claims, but critics would feel validated when any new revelations in the case painted Megan in a negative light.
“I’ve been turned into some type of villain, and he a victim,” Megan said during the trial. “This messed up my whole life,” adding that the court proceedings were being referred to as the “Megan Thee Stallion’s trial, but I am not on trial.”
While Megan said it has been overwhelming facing the “boys club” culture of hip-hop, her supporters slammed Lanez for repeatedly victimizing a Black woman and silencing her in the country that already disparages them.
Lanez’s lawyer George Mgdesyan argued that Harris was the one who shot Megan and the women were jealous and fighting over the male rapper. He also claimed that Thee Stallion was upset that Lanez was flirting with Jenner at the pool party that night, and Jenner had to ask her to leave. Mgdesyan also alleged that Megan and Harris also both swapped DNA with Brooklyn Nets player Ben Simmons.
Megan Thee Stallion’s Friend Is Less Forthcoming During Trial
Even though Kelsey Harris told investigators initially that she saw Tory shoot Megan in 2020. She took the stand and December 2022 and said she did not see Lanez pull the trigger or say “dance, b—h.”
Harris had been granted immunity for her testimony. She also fended off allegations that she was the shooter that morning.
Reports show both Harris and Lanez had gunshot residue on their hands. She also recanted her claims that Lanez threatened to shoot her that night. However, prosecutors shared a recording of Harris’ interview in September 2022 when she confirmed she witnessed the Canadian rapper shoot her ex-best friend.
Yet Harris testified in December 2022 that her testimony three months prior was not 100 percent true and she did not remember what she said previously. She did confirm that Lanez offered her “a million dollars” but denied allegations that it was a bribe.
“No. I want to make it very clear … Tory didn’t pay me anything,” Harris told prosecutors.
He reportedly also offered to pay for her lawyer, but Harris said she did not know if he did.
Prosecutors also showed the court Harris’ texts after the shooting to Thee Stallion’s bodyguard saying “Tory shot Meg.”
Still, in her December 2022 testimony, she said she did not know who shot Stallion.
The Outcome of the Tory Lanez Shooting Trial
Lawyers presented their arguments in the 10-day trial on Dec. 12, 2022, in which Lanez never took the stand.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Herriford ended the male rapper’s house arrest order on Dec. 6, 2022, ahead of the proceedings. Besides the two women, Kelly, medical experts and law enforcement, Lanez’s driver, and Megan’s former bodyguard were scheduled to testify but never did.
Lanez’s defense team initially also named Corey Gamble and Kylie Jenner as witnesses to an argument at Jenner’s house, but they did not appear in court.
Prosecutors applauded Megan’s courage in their closing arguments to look past the backlash she had faced and the overexposure of her personal life and speak out about the crime. The defense team continued to finger Megan’s former friend for the shooting.
Lanez could serve up to 22 years in prison.