One of the most dramatic rivalries in the rap world will likely come to a culmination in the coming months, after Megan Thee Stallion and Torey Lanez face each other in court starting Monday. The two California-based rappers were involved in a dispute in summer 2020, which the former claims turned violent with threatening gun shots wounding her feet. Lanez vehemently rejects the three charges against him, and has expressed willingness to clear them in court.
While both are famous names in the music industry in their twenties, the duo could not have come from more different backgrounds. Lanez, whose real name is Daystar Peterson, was born in Canada before spending his late-teens in New York. Peterson left education during high school to focus on his outdoors rap career as an amateur artist and gradually made a name for himself in the field.
On the other hand, Megan Thee Stallion, or Megan Jovon Ruth Pete, was born and spend her early life in Texas under the care of her mother, a local singer with the stage name of ‘Holly-Wood’. Pete gained her fame in the online sphere, and still continues to pursue her educational aspirations, graduating college last year.
The lawsuit in question surrounds an alleged incident which occurred on July 12 in Hollywood Hills. It started in the form of a dispute when the two were travelling with Pete’s friend Kelsey Harris and a bodyguard at night. Harris was shocked to discover that the two rappers had had intimate sexual encounters and the ensuing argument spiraled out of control. When Pete left the car, gunshots were fired at her feet, unexpectedly injuring her, before she was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where doctors discovered bullet fragments in her feet.
The lawsuit was first filed in October 2020, and accuses Torey Lanez (Peterson) of assaulting ‘Megan P’ (or Pete) with a semiautomatic weapon. The charges were later expanded to include one count of carrying a loaded, concealed firearm in a vehicle, and most recently, discharging a firearm with gross negligence. Peterson has so far come off confident about his position with regards to the incident, going as far as to waive a jury trial on the latest account. His defense attorney, George Mgdesyan, contended in court Monday that the shot in question was fired by Pete’s friend Harris, and that the lawsuit was a result of ‘jealousy’. He also alleged that the filing of the third charge, which involves a much milder offense, is a sign of weakness on the part of the prosecution.
Meanwhile, Pete on her part accused Peterson not only of firing the shots and wounding her that night, but also of offering her and Harris $1 million each if they kept silent about the incident. Her testimony in court Tuesday ran full of emotions, as she expressed her ‘shock’ and ‘hurt’ after Peterson injured her two years ago. According to her statement, the bullet left a lasting impact on her left foot, and the harassment she has faced online since her decision to come out publicly has damaged her reputation in the music industry. At one point, Pete declared: “I wish he would have shot and killed me if I knew I had to go through this torture.”
The suit has generated much media attention and controversy online, with both rappers using their massive internet platforms to slander each other over the dispute. Pete has sharply criticized her skeptics online and in The New York Times, implying that she was being dismissed because of her gender and skin color. Nonetheless, some have questioned the integrity of her statements, including the fact that she repeatedly denied being in a relationship with Peterson on public platforms, before conceding the point in court testimony Tuesday. She also told the court that she did not know for sure if Peterson actually carried a firearm in the car at the time of the incident.