Rapper Tory Lanez guilty of shooting Megan Thee Stallion, US jury finds
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Rapper Tory Lanez was found guilty Friday of shooting Megan Thee Stallion in the feet during a drunken argument after a celebrity party near Hollywood in 2020.
A trial in Los Angeles heard how he had ordered her to "Dance, bitch" as he shot at her several times while she stood on the road.
Lanez, 30, faces a possible 22 years in jail after being convicted of assault with a semiautomatic firearm, discharging a firearm with gross negligence and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle.
Jurors took just a few hours to return their verdict after a trial that had heard how the "WAP" hitmaker had been in a car with Lanez, his bodyguard and her friend Kelsey Harris after a party at Kylie Jenner's luxury home in July of 2020.
Megan Thee Stallion -- whose real name is Megan Pete -- told the court how she and Lanez had developed an intimate relationship in the months before the incident.
Harris, who only learned of the sexual relationship that night, had a "crush" on Lanez, she told the court, and an argument then erupted in the car, with Megan Thee Stallion demanding to be let out of the vehicle.
The "Savage" singer said she saw Lanez pointing a gun at her and opening fire "after he said, 'Dance, bitch.'"
"I'm in shock. I'm scared. I hear the gun going off and I can't believe he's shooting at me," she told the court.
"I did not know he had a gun that night."
In pain and bleeding from both feet, Megan Thee Stallion -- who was wearing only a thong bikini -- eventually agreed to get back into the car.
"He started apologizing," she said, and said to her: "'Don't say anything and I'll give you a million dollars.'"
Police stopped the car a short time later, and Megan Thee Stallion was taken to a hospital, initially telling police she had cut her feet on broken glass.
She testified that she had been reluctant to tell police what had happened because she feared what they would do.
"At the time, we are at the height of police brutality... I felt like if I said this man has just shot me, they might shoot first and ask questions later," she said.
- 'Disrespected' -
Prosecutor Kathy Ta said the row had come to a head because Lanez felt Megan Thee Stallion had "disrespected" his musical career.
"The defendant had a bruised ego because Megan was more successful than him," Ta told jurors in her closing argument this week.
"She's just disrespecting his rapping... He had a massive ego and could not handle being disrespected."
Lanez's lawyer, George Mgdesyan contended the investigation had been botched, and that police had jumped to conclusions.
He insisted Harris was "the one who shot her friend" and that it had been a "case about jealousy" that had also involved a fistfight between the two women.
On the stand, Harris, who had been brought in as a prosecution witness but turned hostile on the stand, testified that she did not know who fired the shots, despite having left a voicemail message on the night of the incident in which she said: "Tory shot Meg."
She denied receiving "hush money" from the defendant.
Lanez -- whose real name is Daystar Peterson -- is scheduled to be sentenced on January 27.
He was remanded in custody immediately after Friday's hearing.
Megan Thee Stallion told the court during the trial she felt she had "been turned into some kind of villain," in the wake of the shooting, with the male-dominated rap world frequently seeming to be against her, and critical of her decision to press charges against Lanez.
The case has provoked discussion of misogynoir -- a term coined to denote the specific prejudice Black women face -- in the mostly male world of hip-hop.
Commentators have highlighted Megan Thee Stallion's uncompromising lyrics, in which she speaks openly about her agency and her own sexual desires -- something that some see as at odds with the subservient role often expected of women in the genre.