Megan Thee Stallion Pens Essay on Tory Lanez Verdict: "People Treated My Trauma Like a Running Joke"

"Even some of my peers in the music industry piled on with memes, jokes and sneak disses, and completely ignored the fact that I could have lost my life"

Photo: Valerie Albert

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Apr 18, 2023

In a resolute new personal essay for Elle, Megan Thee Stallion has addressed the last three years of her legal battle with Tory Lanez "for the final time."

"I don't want to call myself a victim," Meg opened, unflinching in her determination to view herself as a survivor — of the shooting as well as the subsequent legal proceedings and the humiliating public scrutiny for speaking out about the assault.

She continued, "I understand the public intrigue, but for the sake of my mental health, I don't plan to keep reliving the most traumatic experience of my life over and over again. I'm choosing to change the narrative because I'm more than just my trauma."

However, the rapper noted that her trauma being treated "like a running joke" was incredibly painful to live through, and admitted that she started "falling into a depression" as she persevered.

"First, there were conspiracy theories that I was never shot. Then came the false narratives that my former best friend shot me," Meg wrote. "Even some of my peers in the music industry piled on with memes, jokes and sneak disses, and completely ignored the fact that I could have lost my life. Instead of condemning any form of violence against a woman, these individuals tried to justify my attacker's actions."

Lanez was found guilty at the end of 2022 — a verdict Meg views as something bigger than herself: "[it was] more than just vindication for me, it was a victory for every woman who has ever been shamed, dismissed and blamed for a violent crime committed against them."

"Time after time, women are bullied with backlash for speaking out against their attackers, especially when they're accusing someone who is famous and wealthy," she continued. "They're often accused of lying or attempting to make money from their trauma. From firsthand experience, I know why a lot of women don't come forward. Any support and empathy that I received was drowned out by overwhelming doubt and criticism from so many others."

In the months following the verdict, the artist born Megan Pete says she's been "healing" from the "physical and mental scars from this entire ordeal" by staying off social media, praying, taking time for herself and surrounding herself with close friends and her dogs.

"I'm excited to get back into music, because I have been so transformed," she added. "I'm playing around with new songs and new sounds that I can't wait for everyone to hear."

Lanez faces more than 20 years in prison for assault with a semiautomatic firearm; carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle; and discharging a firearm "in a grossly negligent manner."

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