Witness on tape says she saw Lanez shoot Megan Thee Stallion
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Megan Thee Stallion ’s former close friend and assistant said in a recorded interview played for jurors Friday that she saw rapper Tory Lanez fire a gun at Megan’s feet.
The interview with prosecutors from September was played at Lanez’s Los Angeles assault trial after Kelsey Harris said on the stand Wednesday that she did not see Lanez firing the gun that left her former friend and boss wounded, and didn’t remember other key details.
“He was shooting the gun,” Harris says on the recording, describing seeing Lanez standing beside an SUV in the Hollywood Hills, leaning over the front passenger-side door and pointing the gun at the ground near Megan.
The Canadian rapper Lanez, 30, whose legal name is Daystar Peterson, has pleaded not guilty to discharging a firearm with gross negligence, assault with a semiautomatic firearm and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle.
Harris was one of four people in the SUV, along with the two rappers and Lanez’s bodyguard and driver. The four were leaving a small gathering at the home of Kylie Jenner when the incident happened on July 12, 2020. She said Megan and Lanez had gotten into a fight that devolved into insults about each other’s careers.
Prosecutors had played parts of their interview with Harris during her trial testimony. She was granted immunity in the case, though not for perjury.
Harris said on the stand that she “wasn’t truthful” about some things in the September interview.
After Lanez’s lawyers suggested in their cross-examination that Harris had been pressured to make the statements she did, the judge allowed the prosecution to make the rare move of playing the entire 78-minute recording for the jury.
Harris was cordial in the recorded interview, in contrast to her evasive, at times combative time on the stand, and the prosecutors rarely had to prompt her during her account. She said on the recording she had been drinking heavily as others in the car had, and had been getting out of the car when she heard a couple of shots fired. She then looked up to see Lanez firing more shots.
While on the stand, she denied that she herself had fired the gun, but wouldn’t say Lanez did. When confronted with a text she sent to Megan’s manager that read “Help. Tory shot meg. 911,” Harris said she only assumed Lanez had done the shooting.
Harris said on the recording that the incident left she and Megan estranged, and she had not seen her in person since. The two had been close friends for years after meeting as college students at Prairie View A&M University in Texas, and she had been at Megan’s side during her rise to hip-hop stardom.
Harris said she returned home to Houston when she was told that Megan was likely to be a long time in recovering. She and Megan had been in Los Angeles to shoot the “WAP” video with Cardi B. The track would make Megan an even bigger star than she had already become.
Harris’ description of the night on the recording generally matched Megan’s description from her testimony Tuesday, but differed in particulars. Harris said Lanez remained silent as he fired. Megan had testified that he shouted, “Dance, b——-!” at her when he shot.
Lanez’s attorney George Mgdesyan argued during the trial that no one saw Lanez fire the gun. Megan testified that she had, but Mgdesyan said the injuries to the back of her feet showed she could not have gotten a clear look at the shooter behind her.
Police were unable to recover DNA or fingerprints from the gun used in the shooting.
Lanez has had a successful run of mixtapes and major-label records since his career began in 2009, with his last two albums reaching the top 10 on Billboard’s charts.
Megan Thee Stallion, whose legal name is Megan Pete, won a Grammy for best new artist in 2021, and had No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 with both “WAP” and her own song “Savage,” featuring Beyoncé.