Rapper Tory Lanez has been charged with assaulting Megan Thee Stallion, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday. Though the news release issued doesn’t name Megan specifically, the circumstances of the July 12 incident — Lanez shooting at the feet of the victim several times after exiting an SUV in the Hollywood Hills neighborhood — match what the female rapper has described on Instagram, where she also named Lanez as the shooter.
Lanez, whose real name is Daystar Peterson, was charged with two felony counts: for assault with a semi-automatic firearm, and for carrying a loaded and unregistered firearm in the vehicle. If convicted, Lanez, 28, faces a maximum of 22 years and eight months in prison.
Representatives for Megan and Lanez haven’t returned The Washington Post’s requests for comment.
The charges arrive after a harrowing few months for Megan, who, despite her immense popularity, faced cruel jokes about the shooting after it was first publicized online. On July 17, she tweeted about how Black women “are so unprotected” and often think of others before themselves: “It might be funny to y’all on the internet and just another messy topic for you to talk about,” she continued, “but this is my real life and I’m real life hurt and traumatized.” Her message resonated with many Black women, according to The Post’s Bethonie Butler, who wrote that they might “recognize her treatment as a representation of the vitriol they often encounter when they are victims of violence.”
Megan, 25, has continued to advocate for the safety of Black women, most recently as the musical guest on this past weekend’s episode of “Saturday Night Live.” During her performance, she called out Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron in a message that appeared on the wall behind her, criticizing how his office handled the Breonna Taylor case, in which the officers who shot Taylor were not charged with homicide.
“We need to protect our Black women and love our Black women, because at the end of the day we need our Black women,” Megan said while performing “Savage.” “We need to protect our Black men and stand up for our Black men, because at the end of the day, we’re tired of seeing hashtags of our Black men.”
Lanez kept relatively quiet on the shooting until releasing the album “Daystar” in late September, which he announced with a tweet: “To my fans … I’m sorry for my silence … but respectfully. I got time today.” He maintained his innocence on the 17-track surprise album, which Variety described as a “self-defensive diatribe,” with direct lyrics such as “How … you get shot in your foot / don’t hit no bones or tendons?” Though he racked up streams, according to the magazine, “full-album sales were exceptionally weak.”