LOS ANGELES — Superstar rapper Megan Thee Stallion said fellow hip-hop artist Tory Lanez ordered her to “dance” before he shot her feet in 2020 after a party in the Hollywood Hills.
Megan Thee Stallion, 27, whose real name is Megan Jovon Ruth Pete, took the stand Tuesday, the second day of Lanez’s assault trial.
She testified she felt “shock” and “hurt” and saw blood on her feet after Lanez shot her following a party at Kylie Jenner’s home on July 12 of that year, City News Service reported.
She told jurors that just after she was shot, Lanez offered her $1 million to keep quiet. She testified that Lanez, 30, whose real name is Daystar Peterson, made the offer because he was on probation, according to CNS.
She said she got back into the vehicle with Lanez and two other people because she was wearing a thong bikini and felt her manager would know what to do if she could contact him. She also testified she didn’t know Lanez had a gun that night, the news service reported.
Police stopped the vehicle and ordered all of the occupants out. Megan Thee Stallion said she told police she had injured her feet on glass when they asked why she was bleeding, according to the news agency.
She was taken by ambulance to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and doctors discovered bullet fragments in her feet, she said, which required surgery to remove.
“I couldn’t walk for a while” she testified. “I still have nerve damage. I can’t really feel the side of my left foot. The back of my feet are always sore, but I just push through it.”
Shortly after the incident, in July 2020, she posted a statement on Instagram saying that she was recovering from being shot and that she wanted to set the record straight about her injuries.
She wrote that she was injured in a “crime that was … 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 bullet,” she said. “I’m incredibly grateful to be alive and that I’m expected to make a full recovery, but it was important to me to clarify the details about that traumatic night.”
Los Angeles police initially said Lanez was arrested on a charge of having a concealed weapon in a vehicle, and they did not have information about Megan Thee Stallion’s claims of having been shot.
In October 2020, Lanez was charged with “assaulting a female friend.” Lanez was charged with assault with a semi-automatic firearm and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said.
Lanez has pleaded not guilty. If he is convicted, he could face more than 22 years in prison.
Lanez’s attorney, George Mgdesyan, said Monday his client is looking forward to being exonerated.
“It’s been 2½ years almost. Mr. Peterson has patiently waited for his day for trial. And here we are. I believe once everybody’s heard parts and pieces of the case, once the whole case comes about, I think we’re confident the jury will find my client not guilty and he’ll be exonerated of all the charges,” Mgdesyan said.
Mgdesyan said prosecutors recently added a third charge, discharging a firearm with gross negligence.
“The third count was a lesser count. So clearly, I think that the people see the weakness in their case, and they’re concerned that the first count, which is the assault, is an intentional act and count three is a negligent discharge, which is an accidental negligent discharge,” he said. “So it’s not an intentional act. Clearly, I think that the people have added that because they’re afraid they may lose count one.”
Police say they arrived at a Hollywood Hills residence where gunshots were heard before an SUV left. Megan Thee Stallion’s foot seemed to have been cut by broken glass in the SUV when officers found the vehicle, where a gun was also found.
Megan Thee Stallion later publicly accused Lanez of having shot her in an Instagram Live video in August 2020. “Yes … Tory shot me,” she said. “It’s not that I was protecting anybody. I just wasn’t ready to speak.”
Megan Thee Stallion spoke to Gayle King in April in her first television interview about the alleged shooting.
She said the incident happened in a car with Lanez, a driver and a friend. As they drove away from the party, an argument escalated, she said, and she stepped out of the vehicle. She said that’s when Lanez began shooting at her.
The incident occurred in the summer of 2020, while protests continued across the country in reaction to the murder of George Floyd and assaults on other Black people who were injured at the hands of police.
Megan Thee Stallion said that when helicopters and police cars descended upon the scene, she downplayed her injuries out of fear of law enforcement.
“I didn’t want them to kill any of us or shoot any of us. So I just said I stepped on glass,” she said. “For some reason, I was just trying to protect all of us, because I didn’t want them to kill us. Even though this person just did this to me, my first reaction still was to try to save us. I didn’t want to see anybody die.”