LOS ANGELES — Megan Thee Stallion had bullet fragments in her feet after Tory Lanez allegedly shot her three times, prosecutors said as his trial began on Monday — evidence, they added, that should once and for all silence critics who have attacked Megan’s credibility.
Doctors pulled three bullet fragments from Megan’s feet, prosecutors said in opening statements, confirming in the court record a detail she has previously disclosed in interviews. The question is not whether Megan was shot, prosecutors said, but who shot the gun. They said evidence — and testimony from witnesses including Megan herself, which is expected on Tuesday — will show the shooter was Lanez, who allegedly assaulted her after she criticized his “musical skills.”
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 party thrown by Kylie Jenner in the Hollywood Hills on July 12, 2020, prompting Megan to ask to be let out of the vehicle. The 27-year-old "Savage" rapper told police that Lanez screamed, “Dance, bitch,” after she left the vehicle and allegedly shot at her feet multiple times.
Prosecutors said Lanez tested positive for gunshot residue, the chemicals released when a gun is fired. They added three other people at the scene tested positive including Megan’s former friend Kelsey Nicole, who was also in the car that night and said Lanez physically assaulted her.
Other evidence will include text messages and phone calls in which Lanez apologized and blamed his behavior on being very drunk, prosecutors said.
"I'm sorry from the bottom of my heart ... shit should have never happened and I can't change what I did,” Lanez texted Megan, according to prosecutors. “Cuz I genuinely just got too drunk.”
In their opening statement, Lanez’s defense attorneys said the rapper never admitted to shooting a gun but was rather apologizing for his sexual involvement with both Megan and Nicole, which they said had caused the fight.
They also questioned Megan’s credibility and said she was motivated by jealousy to lie.
According to the defense, Megan became sexually involved with Lanez after he had a relationship with Nicole. Defense attorneys said Megan had a pattern of questionable behavior while she was involved with men, who they said included rapper Da Baby and basketball player Ben Simmons. (Simmons posted a meme about "false accusations" on his Instagram story on Monday afternoon.)
Lanez only tested positive for gunshot residue because he tried to take the gun away from Nicole, his defense attorneys said. They added his DNA was not on the firearm and questioned the logistics of how he could pull a gun when he was wearing swim trunks.
In 2020, Megan initially told police officers that she cut her feet on broken glass, later explaining she was too scared in the moment to be honest about how she sustained her injuries. Months later, Lanez accused Megan of "trying to frame" him in a new album, denying all allegations in multiple songs.
Megan publicly identified Lanez as the perpetrator on social media on Aug. 20, 2020.
“You shot me, and you got your publicist and your people going to these blogs, lying and shit,” Megan said on Instagram Live. “Stop lying. Why lie? I don’t understand. I tried to keep the situation off the internet, but you’re dragging it.”
But for two years, people on social media have piled on, attacking Megan and her credibility. Lanez earlier this year jumped into a tweetstorm that included inaccurate information about the case, prompting a judge to raise his bail.
In October 2020, Megan opened up about her experiences in a guest essay for the New York Times, calling out society’s failures to protect Black women and treat them with respect.
“Even as a victim, I have been met with skepticism and judgment,” she wrote. “The way people have publicly questioned and debated whether I played a role in my own violent assault proves that my fears about discussing what happened were, unfortunately, warranted.”