In newly released footage, Courtney Clenney appears berating and slapping the boyfriend she’s accused of murdering
In a secret cell phone recordings, Courtney Clenney she can be heard berating her boyfriend Christian Obumseli, insulting him, calling him a racist slur and apparently slapping him. The footage was taken by Obumseli with his mobile phone shortly before April 3, when Clenney he fatally stabbed him with a six-inch kitchen knife in the couple’s luxury Miami apartment. Clenney was accused of Obumseli’s murderbut she claims she was acting self defense. Three short videos were submitted in the discovery phase murder case against Clenney and first published by Miami Herald. The rolling stone received recordings lasting between one and seven minutes.
In the five-minute video, which appears to have been shot in the couple’s apartment, the lens is mostly blocked, but Clenney can be heard demanding Obumseli find her cellphone and scolding him for talking to another woman. “Shut up and let me slap you, dumbass,” she says, screaming into the phone repeatedly, her voice hoarse and hoarse. “Find my freaking phone and charge it,” she says. “You always wanted to fuck her,” she says, referring to the woman Obumseli apparently talked to without telling her. “I was riding my bike and she passed me,” says Obumseli. “And I said ‘Hi, you and Courtney are talking live.’ My bad, I forgot to tell you that. That doesn’t make you act—and call me a fucking n—r.” Clenney replies, “You’re a fucking n—-r.” Then there’s the sound of a slap. Later in the video, Obumseli calls Clenney a pet as he seemingly continues to looking for her phone “Do you remember where you had it last time, CC?” he calls out to her, “No! Find him,” she replies.
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“Decide if you’ve stopped shutting me down or not,” Clenney says in the second clip, a minute-long video that appears to have been shot in the lobby of their apartment building, One Paraiso. She interrupts Obumseli when he tries to speak. “I apologized, but you hit me,” he says finally. He lowers his voice to a whisper. “Shut up, bitch,” she said. “Don’t fucking say that.”
The police body camera footage taken in the same lobby was also recently released in a discovery. It shows Clenney talking to officers who responded to a 911 call from building staff just days before the stabbing. A former employee of the building said The rolling stone Clenney “pushed” Obumseli out of the elevator that night, and the employee on the video told police that Obumseli “rushed” towards Clenney in the lobby. In the video, Clenney alternated between anger and despair, telling police she wanted to be “exonerated” and wanted a restraining order against Obumseli. Clenney’s lawyers said ua TV interview that video proved her defense, while Obumseli’s family lawyer called it “self-serving.”
The latest footage provides the first opportunity since the investigation began for the public to hear the pair’s interaction, providing further insight into their troubled dynamic in a case that hinges on who was the victim and who was the abuser. When announcing Clenney’s arrest, prosecutors released surveillance footage of Clenney pushing and punching Obumseli in an elevator at their residence, but there is no sound.
Clenney’s lawyers say the newly released footage illustrates the couple’s toxic relationship but lacks context. “She will not be judged for her lifestyle, past fights or filmed pranks,” her legal team said in a statement to The rolling stone. “She is going to trial because she defended herself from a violent fight with her ex-boyfriend, for whom she feared for her life; Courtney is a victim of domestic abuse. The ‘evidence’ tapes without any context will prevent our client from getting a fair trial, where the evidence will show that Courtney acted in self-defense.”
Larry Handfield, a lawyer for Obumseli’s family, described the footage as “shocking” to Herald. “I see it as a consistent pattern with someone who is disordered and out of control,” he said. “She is the aggressor and the abuser in this whole relationship.”
On the eve of Clenney’s arrest, reporting by The rolling stone indicated that friends of the couple believed Clenney was the aggressor in an abusive relationship with Obumseli, who they claimed they never saw violent towards her. When Miami-Dade State’s Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle announced the charge of murder against Clenney in August, she said Obumseli died as a victim of domestic violence. Clenney’s lawyers argued that she stabbed him in self-defense, before trying to help him. “She tried to provide first aid as best she could; she called 911,” Clenney’s attorney Frank said Prieto said The rolling stone in May. “She was covered in his blood trying to save his life.”
In the longest clip, which runs for more than seven minutes, Obumseli can be heard pleading with Clenney to get back in the car amid the sounds of traffic and honking. A bystander tries to calm her down. Clenney sounds extremely upset and says she wants to kill herself, then explains to a man who pulls up in the middle of the chaos that she got into an argument with someone in another car. “I opened the door and got out and hit him, and then [Obumseli] said, ‘Go apologize to that man,'” she says. “I feel like I have nowhere to go but my head.”
When Clenney stabbed Obumseli, she was questioned by police and then “Baker Acted,” meaning she was involuntarily committed for mental health treatment. Clenney’s lawyer, Prieto, said The rolling stone at the time it was because she was threatening to harm herself. Afterward, Obumseli’s family questioned why it took authorities more than four months to make the arrest. They believed that he was receiving special treatment because she was white and Obumseli was black. At the time of Clenney’s arrest, Prieto stated that she was inside rehab for PTSD and substance abuse.
In the video, which was taken on the side of the road, Obumseli and a bystander ask Clenney to take a breath and relax. “CC just stop please,” says Obumseli. “Fuck you,” she screams. “You make yourself look good in front of people.” He says he’s sorry for trying to get her to apologize to the person she hit in the other car. “Fuck you,” she repeats. “You just told me to fucking apologize to a hottie.” Before the video ends, slaps can be heard. “Stop hitting me,” says Obumseli. “It’s okay, just stop!”
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