Lawyer Shawn Chapman Holley entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of her client Tory Lanez as the matter was brought for hearing in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom today. The artist is charged with counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle. In that incident, Texas rapper Megan Thee Stallion was allegedly shot.
The case was brought before Judge Miguel Espinoza, who approved a protection order against the artist. However, the artist’s lawyer questioned the protective order and said Megan’s recent comments in a major U.S magazine are prejudicial to Lanez and the case.
“I’m just really seeking clarification from this court. I’ve had conversations with this office, as the court may be aware, both of the individuals involved in this case both my client and the complaining witness, are public figures. Both of them have recording careers and very active social media accounts.
This week, for example, there was an interview published in a major magazine in which the complaining witness spoke about allegations in this in this case that from my vantage point, are prejudicial, not limited to my client but to the proceeding itself.”
She added that although the court cannot control a witness nor restrict them from exercising their First Amendment rights, “the protective order potentially, arguably prevents my client [Tory Lanez] from responding in a way that could be perceived as a communication with the complaining witness. He is very mindful of that. It is very difficult, as you might understand, for him to read these things to which he strongly objects and denies, but wants to be in full compliance with this court’s order and is therefore not speaking out in a way that would refute these allegations.”
The court order states that Lanez, whose real name is Mr. Daystar Peterson, must have no personal or electronic contact with the protected persons named in the order.
Holly, however, seemed to want the judge to address Megan’s recent interview or place a gag order on her.
However, the judge said Lanez’s attorney should seek guidance from the court if he wants to say or do something that he isn’t sure might be in violation of the protective order.
According to the prosecution in the case, the protective order prohibits harassing, threatening, or intimidating the witness, and this extends to using social media, which Lanez had used in the past during a live video to say Megan Thee Stallion was a liar and causing his fans to verbally attack her across social media.
“And our understanding is that after the post was right there in Instagram, like the video that you’re talking about, the facts of the case, which I discussed specifically the witness for the victim and implied certain things about the victim lying, although I am mindful he has certain First Amendment rights, knowing that he does have a large platform. By tagging the victim the victim is exposed especially his captive audience to a lot of these comments, so I would ask, I know that the defendant is not here, but certainly if he continues to do so, I would suggest that he certainly discuss that with counsel prior to posting anything that could potentially be construed as possibly intimidating behavior.”
She added that the prosecutor in direct contact with the victim has been subjected to threats stemming from the case as well.
The matter is set for hearing on January 20, 2021.