Courtney Clenney has long claimed she killed her boyfriend in self-defense during a domestic dispute. But if there was any lingering doubt that she was an aggressor in their relationship, audio released this week may put it to rest.
The Miami State Attorney’s Office charged Clenney, a 26-year-old OnlyFans Model, with second-degree murder in August after she allegedly stabbed her-then boyfriend Christian Obumseli in the heart during an argument inside a 22nd-floor Miami condo. At the time of the incident, Clenney told an emergency dispatcher that Obumseli “has a stab wound on his shoulder.”
Later, she told police that she had thrown a knife she grabbed in self defense at Obumseli—when he was 10 feet away—during an argument. An autopsy report revealed that Obumseli suffered a “stab wound to the chest… and that the knife punctured the subclavian artery.”
One thing prosecutors and defense attorneys agree on is that Obumseli was killed after a volatile relationship that included allegations of domestic violence. But seemingly unbeknownst to Clenney, her boyfriend was recording some of their arguments before she killed him, including one in which the 26-year-old influencer can be heard uttering a racial slur.
In several videos, which are usually obstructed by Obumseli’s hand or phone, he is heard apologizing and apparently trying to de-escalate the situation.
“Shut up and let me slap you, dumb ass,” Clenney is heard yelling in one five-minute recording, as Obumseli apologizes for greeting a mutual female friend while on a bike ride. Clenney then calls Obumseli the N-word during the argument in which she is also heard screaming at the top of her lungs and ordering him to find her phone.
“You’re a n—–. I want you to get away from me,” Clenney yells at one point in the recording.
In another video, the couple appears to be in the lobby of the One Paraiso luxury condo complex—where Courtney is heard telling Obumseli to decide “whether or not you are done gaslighting me.”
“Courtney, that’s a fucking threat, I asked you something,” Obumseli responds. “I don’t know and I apologized, but you hit me.”
In a firm whisper, Clenney answers, “Shut the fuck up, bitch.”
The recordings, first reported by the Miami Herald and obtained by The Daily Beast, provide a fresh window into Obumseli and Clenney’s relationship before the April 3 killing.
Clenney’s defense attorneys—Frank Prieto and Sabrina Puglisi-Puglisi—told The Daily Beast on Wednesday that “snapshots of ‘evidence’ without any context will prevent our client from receiving a fair trial, where the evidence will show that Courtney acted in self-defense.”
The lawyers stressed that “the evidence makes it very clear the two were in a toxic and dysfunctional relationship, from which Courtney had asked for help from both police and her family to leave.”
“She’s not going to trial for her lifestyle, her previous arguments, or recorded rants,” the lawyers added. “She is going to trial for defending herself against a violent struggle with her ex-boyfriend for which she feared for her life; Courtney is a victim of domestic abuse.”
Attorney Larry Handfield, who represents Obumseli’s family, did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment, but in a statement to the Herald, the attorney said he found the “audio to be shocking.”
“I know it’s going to be very, very painful when [his relatives] hear this … I see it as a consistent pattern with someone who is unhinged and out of control. She is the aggressor and abuser in this whole relationship,” Handfield added.
As The Daily Beast previously reported, just two days before the killing, Clenney told police that Obumseli was “stalking” her after she broke up with him—and relaying that she wanted a restraining order against him. “I broke up with him…he slept in my elevator room. Which is stalking, but I wouldn’t have ever called the police,” Clenney told a Miami Police officer on April 1, according to body-camera footage. “He wouldn’t leave me alone… I want a restraining order.”
But prosecutors plan to argue that Clenney was the primary aggressor in the relationship ahead of her second-degree murder trial next month. Clenney has pleaded not guilty.
Obumseli’s secret recordings were on his iPhone and were expected to be played to the jury to make the prosecution’s case. When announcing Clenney’s charges in August, Miami State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle also played surveillance footage from the condo’s elevator that showed Clenney repeatedly hitting Obumseli.
“The violent and toxic two-year relationship of Christian Obumseli and Courtney Clenney did not have to end in tragedy with Christian’s murder as a victim of domestic violence,” Rundle said at the time.
Another disturbing episode in their relationship is revealed by another recording, in which Clenney apparently abruptly left their car during an argument. Obumseli can be heard pleading with her to get back in the vehicle—before Clenney is heard talking to a male who seems concerned with her mental state.
The man, who was not seen in the video, tries to calm Clenney down, indicating he saw her “banging” her head. Later, Clenney suggests the fight with Obumseli began after she got into an argument with another driver.
Clenney is then heard screaming once more at Obumseli—while he and the unknown man try to calm her down.
“Fuck you! No, you make yourself look good in front of people!” Clenney is heard screaming, prompting Obumseli to apologize and insist “it’s my fault.”
Clenney continues to berate Obumseli, before slaps can be heard when the pair get back in the car.
“Stop hitting me!” Obumseli cries out.