What’s Tea: The Trial Case of Megan Thee Stallion and Tory Lanez
Updated: Dec 28, 2022
What has been happening in the trial surrounding the shooting of Megan Thee Stallion?
The trial regarding the shooting of Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion, real name Megan Pete, began last week, and it has been nothing short of a frenzy.
In July 2020, video surfaced of Megan getting a police car with bloody feet. At first, reports initially said that she was injured by broken glass. Tory Lanez, real name Daystar Peterson was arrested for possession of an unregistered firearm. Peterson was also in the car with both Pete and her former friend Kelsey Harris.
Pete later claimed that she was shot in her feet and, at the time, she did not specify who shot her. The next month, in August, Pete took to Instagram Live and claimed that Peterson shot her. Peterson was officially charged in October 2020 with one count of assault with a semiautomatic firearm and one count of carrying an unregistered weapon.
Last week, Pete took the stand as a witness for the first time. She describes that she and Peterson had an intimate but not an exclusive relationship in 2020. The relationship wasn’t known to Harris, who allegedly had a crush on Peterson.
Pete knew Harris had a crush on the Canadian rapper, so she hid her and Peterson’s relationship. During her testimony, Pete was asked why she hasn’t revealed the nature of the relationship until now. She admits that she was embarrassed and that it was “disgusting at this point.” She wonders how she allowed herself to share her body with someone who would do this to her.
During the night of the shooting, Peterson allegedly exposed his relationship with Pete to Harris, and he proceeded to put the two women against one another. Pete testifies that she got out of the car and Lanez yelled at her, saying “Dance, bitch!” He then fired five shots at her from the passenger side of the car, hitting her feet.
Initially, Pete had told police that she stepped on glass rather than admit that Peterson shot her. As to why she did that, Pete said that she didn’t feel safe with the police. During her testimony, she says her wariness of police grew during the 2020 socio-political climate following George Floyd’s murder and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests.
She also had concerns about the potential impacts on her rap career.
“This whole situation in the industry is like a big boy’s club … I’m telling on one of y’all friends, now you’re all about to hate me,” said Pete.
Pete essentially refers to how snitching can be frowned upon within the hip-hop community. She didn’t want to implicate Peterson due to this notion upheld throughout the industry.
Another controversial aspect of the trial is Pete’s former friend, Kelsey Harris. Lanez’s defense team has put the blame onto Harris, saying that she fired the gun instead of Lanez. Harris took to the stand for two days last week, and her testimony caused people to scratch and shake their heads.
Harris claims that she’s said things in her September interview with prosecutors that were untrue. In that September interview, she recounts the shooting in great detail. For one, she wasn’t sure where Peterson got the gun, but she admits that he fired it in Pete’s direction. Harris said that Pete was walking with her back to Peterson, and after the third or fourth shot, Pete turned around to face Peterson.
“I would describe it as like a deer in headlights,” said Harris, regarding Pete’s reaction to Peterson shooting her.
The jury heard the entire 90-minute interview on Friday. The interview was authenticated by Jody Little, a senior investigator with the district attorney’s office. Little attended the interview with Deputy District Attorneys Alexander Bott and Kathy Ta.
Harris’ testimony in the trial seemed a bit wishy-washy, especially regarding the alleged $1 million bribe attempt from Peterson. Harris says that Peterson mentioned $1 million, and that it could have been related to the case, but she wouldn’t consider it a bribe. Harris made it clear on Thursday that she never took a bribe from Peterson.
Judge Herriford allowed Harris to invoke her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and that she will receive immunity from prosecutors for her testimony. Harris had requested immunity almost immediately after taking to the stand. Despite the immunity, Harris refused to answer any questions regarding Peterson’s actions the night of the shooting — hence the 90-minute interview with prosecutors being played in court.
Prosecutors made it clear that, though she wasn’t facing criminal charges, she wasn’t exempt from being charged for perjury.
Another aspect of the trial regards Pete’s missing bodyguard, Justin Edison. According to Complex, Edison was supposed to appear in court on Friday. Pete’s attorney, Alex Spiro, confirmed the news in a statement to Complex.
“We recently learned that Justin Edison went missing right before he was scheduled to appear in court,” Spiro said. “The LAPD is currently looking into his disappearance, and welcome any information about his whereabouts.
According to TMZ, the LAPD has not opened a missing persons case for Edison. He is the person that Harris allegedly sent a text message to following the shooting. The messages allegedly read “Tory shot meg” and “help.”
Follow Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) for the latest updates on the trial.