An Instagram and OnlyFans model who claimed self-defense in the April stabbing death of her boyfriend has been charged with his murder after state prosecutors said new evidence depicts her as the aggressor who plunged a knife three inches into his chest.
Courtney Clenney, 26, was arrested in Hawaii Wednesday on a charge of second-degree murder with a deadly weapon in the April 3 killing of Christian Obumseli, 27, in Miami, authorities said.
Clenney, who goes by the name Courtney Tailor on social media, where she has 2 million followers on Instagram, gave inconsistent statements to police upon questioning. She also claimed that she only threw the knife at Obumseli, while standing more than 10 feet away, after he shoved her by her throat in their shared apartment that afternoon, state prosecutors said at a press conference Thursday.
Courtney Clenney is seen following her arrest Wednesday in Hawaii for second-degree murder with a deadly weapon. (Photo: via Associated Press)
The medical examiner who performed Obumseli’s autopsy said that such a deep knife wound, which punctured an artery, would likely be more consistent with a forceful downward thrust. Clenney also was not found with any injuries supporting her claim of being physically attacked as she described, said Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.
The couple for two years had “an extremely tempestuous and combative relationship,” resulting in multiple noise complaints, an eviction threat, 911 calls, and Clenney’s arrest, Rundle said.
Clenney was previously arrested in July of last year for domestic battery against Obumseli in Las Vegas. The couple moved into their Miami apartment in January and the following month, elevator footage shared by Rundle appears to capture Clenney repeatedly striking Obumseli as he tried to physically distance himself from her and calm her down.
This is video of a previous encounter between murder suspect Courtney Clenney and her now deceased boyfriend. The 2/21/22 incident shows her attacking him in an elevator before he pushed her away. @wsvnpic.twitter.com/Dt3B0rX9Vq
— Sheldon Fox-7 News (@fox_sheldon) August 11, 2022
Then on April 1, just two days before Obumseli’s death, police were called to their apartment due to another domestic disturbance where Clenney was described by police as appearing intoxicated, according to a copy of her arrest warrant unsealed Thursday.
Clenney’s defense attorney said he’s “completely shocked” by the arrest, telling 7News on Wednesday that there’s “clear evidence of self-defense.”
“Obumseli attacked her and choked her that evening; Courtney had no choice but to meet force with force,” attorney Frank Prieto told the Miami station. Prieto didn’t immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
Elevator footage taken in January appears to show Clenney repeatedly striking Obumseli. (Photo: Miami SAO)
Prieto called Clenney a victim of domestic violence and human trafficking, and said she was seeking mental health treatment in Hawaii for PTSD related to Obumseli’s death when she was arrested.
“Courtney was clearly defending herself. We will vigorously defend Courtney and clear her of this unfounded and baseless charge,” the lawyer said.
The couple’s relationship had been described as rocky and sometimes violent by their friends as well.
Clenney's attorney said Obumseli's death was self-defense. (Photo: Instagram)
“We’ve seen her hit him. I’ve never seen him hit her,” a friend, Ashley Vaughn, told Local 10 News days after the stabbing.
Prieto in May acknowledged to Rolling Stone that violence in the couple’s relationship could have gone “both ways,” but said that didn’t change Clenney’s self-defense claim in the killing.
“Christian was committing a crime, and she had every right to defend herself,” Prieto said.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.