“I can’t go to jail, I'm already on probation,” Megan recalled what Lanez said to her that night. She added that Lanez said, “I’ll give you a million dollars. Don’t tell on me.”
The 27-year-old Grammy winner, whose full name is Megan Pete, offered emotional testimony on Tuesday after prosecutors called her to the witness stand. After years of facing attacks on her credibility from people on social media — and now Lanez’s defense attorneys — she recounted under oath once again that Lanez shot her in the feet after they argued.
“I can’t believe I have to come here and do this,” Megan said, holding back tears.
Later in her testimony, she broke down as she talked about the impact the incident had on her. She described seeing cruel and hateful messages about herself online every day since, including some that said she deserved to be shot. She added it has hurt her reputation in the music industry.
“I can’t even be happy,” Megan said. “I wish he would have shot and killed me if I knew I had to go through this torture.”
Lanez, 30, whose real name is Daystar Peterson, faces charges including assault with a semiautomatic firearm and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle. On Dec. 5, prosecutors filed a third charge for discharging a firearm with gross negligence. If convicted, he could face 22 years in prison. He has pleaded not guilty to all three charges.
According to prosecutors, Lanez and Megan got into an argument while riding in an SUV after leaving a pool party thrown by Kylie Jenner in the Hollywood Hills on July 12, 2020, prompting Megan to ask to be let out of the vehicle. After she got out, Lanez shot her three times, prosecutors said as his trial began on Monday.
In her testimony on Tuesday, Megan said she turned her head when walking away from the car to see Lanez’s arm over the open window when he shot at her. She recalled hearing screaming, she said, and she fell to the ground and tried to crawl into the driveway.
Megan said she was only wearing a bikini and had gunshot wounds in both her feet when police arrived and told her to walk to them for questioning with her hands up. Initially, she told police she had stepped on glass — a lie she said she told because of her fear of police brutality, just weeks after then–Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd.
“I didn’t feel safe in the car. I knew I just had got shot but I don’t feel safe with police either,” Megan said. “I didn’t want to see anybody die,” she added.
Defense attorneys for Lanez have so far focused on the lie she told at the scene and questioned the credibility of her testimony and other statements. They said she also lied when she said she didn’t have a sexual relationship with Lanez while speaking with CBS’s Gayle King. As the defense questioned her on Tuesday, they also tried to draw attention to the logistics of the alleged shooting, including how Lanez could fire a gun at her while he was inside the car.
Megan explained repeatedly that Lanez was partially inside and outside the car after she exited, and she then turned her head back to see him yell, “Dance, bitch” at her before he opened fire.
Prosecutors showed the court footage of her in the ambulance, handcuffed to a gurney, in the moments after they said she was shot. Megan, still on the stand, appeared to become emotional, blowing her nose into a tissue.
She said she never saw Kelsey Nicole, then her personal assistant and friend, holding the gun. Prosecutors said Monday that Lanez and Nicole tested positive for gunshot residue, the chemicals released when a gun is fired.
Outside the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday, people turned out to support Megan and Lanez.
Jaki Murillo from the Young Women’s Freedom Center, an organization that supports women and girls impacted by incarceration and domestic violence, said Black women and Latina women are unfairly questioned when it comes to the violence they face. That’s no different for Megan, even as a celebrity, she added.
“We are here and want you to feel supported by the women in your community,” Murillo told BuzzFeed News her message was to Megan before court began. “I just hope she speaks her truth, whatever that looks like.”
Meanwhile, Ceasar McDowell, CEO and founder of Unite the People, a group that fights for prison and sentencing reform, showed support for Lanez, who has been on the advisory board of the nonprofit organization for over three years.
“We don’t like how people are so quick to convict him in the media,” McDowell told BuzzFeed News. “As soon as the incident happened, people were quick to convict Tory.”
Megan will continue to testify Tuesday afternoon under questioning from Lanez’s defense attorneys.