After some time away from the spotlight, Megan Thee Stallion is back on the scene in a big way as Elle's May 2023 cover star.
The rapper was photographed by Adrienne Raquel for two covers. In one, she's seen wearing a body-hugging Dolce & Gabbana black crop top, skirt and opera gloves. For the other, she wore a netted, caped look with matching booties designed by Alaïa.
Both of her looks were styled by Law Roach, who recently announced his retirement from celebrity styling.
For the publication's accompanying cover story, Megan broke her silence regarding rapper Tory Lanez, who was convicted in December on three felony counts -- assault with a semiautomatic firearm, discharging a firearm with gross negligence, and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle -- for shooting Megan in the foot following a party in July 2020.
Lanez's sentencing hearing was originally set for January but was delayed several times after he obtained a new team of attorneys.
His lawyers have filed a motion for a new trial, claiming some of the witness statements and evidence presented during the original trial were prejudicial against Lanez.
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Megan, whose real name is Megan Jovon Ruth Pete, opened up to Elle about everything from surviving being shot to healing and moving forward.
"I don't want to call myself a victim," she said. "As I reflect on the past three years, I view myself as a survivor, because I have truly survived the unimaginable. Not only did I survive being shot by someone I trusted and considered a close friend, but I overcame the public humiliation of having my name and reputation dragged through the mud by that individual for the entire world to see."
Referring to the fallout from the trial -- including "memes, jokes, and sneak disses," as well as the "conspiracy theories that I was never shot" -- Megan added, "I wish I could have handled this situation privately. That was my intention, but once my attacker made it public, everything changed."
The "Body" rapper added that although she maintained a positive exterior throughout the trial, she became depressed and no longer felt like making music.
"I was in such a low place that I didn't even know what I wanted to rap about," she said.
The rapper said she spent the last few months off of social media, taking time for herself -- "spending time with my dogs, hanging out with my manager, Farris, and doing a lot of praying" -- and "getting more comfortable with saying 'no' to protect my peace."
"Talking about being shot still makes me emotional," she said. "I've started journaling as a way to better process my thoughts, hopes, and fears. Prayer has also played a therapeutic role in my healing, because I can have honest and unfiltered conversations with God without any judgment. But that's the process of healing: It's an ongoing process with moments of fear and uncertainty mixed in with blissful realization."
She added, "I've been dragged through the mud, but I'm so happy that I'm able to finally come out of it with a new perspective."