When Miami police showed up at Courtney Clenney's condo on the afternoon of April 3, officers said they found her holding her bleeding boyfriend in her arms.
Christian Obumseli, 27, who had been stabbed in the chest, was pronounced dead at nearby Jackson Memorial Hospital. Clenney, 26, was charged with his murder last week, the alleged culmination of what investigators described in their arrest warrant affidavit as an increasingly "violent and toxic" relationship.
The model — who goes by Courtney Tailor on OnlyFans and Instagram, where she's followed by 2 million people — has maintained that she acted in self-defense.
But authorities allege in the affidavit obtained by E! News that, though both parties participated in "multiple incidents of domestic violence" since November 2020, it was Clenney's behavior that escalated and ultimately resulted in murder.
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Calling the charges an "absolute injustice," Clenney's attorney Frank Andrew Prieto told E! News when his client was arrested in Hawaii on Aug. 10, there was "clear evidence" that she had been defending herself on the night in question.
"Obumseli attacked her and choked her that evening; Courtney had no choice but to meet force with force," Prieto said. Moreover, he added, Clenney had been entirely cooperative with law enforcement and would have been willing to self-surrender to authorities "in an effort to begin the legal process of clearing her of the charges."
"Courtney was in Hawaii seeking treatment for her PTSD and related issues to this case," the lawyer continued. They would "vigorously defend Courtney," he said, "and clear her of this unfounded and baseless charge."
Clenney was denied bail and remains jailed in Hawaii on a count of second-degree murder with a deadly weapon, pending extradition. Her first court hearing in Miami is scheduled for Sept. 12.
In a statement posted to social media, Obumseli's brother, Jeffrey Obumseli, called Clenney's arrest "progress."
On her OnlyFans page (which is currently inactive), Clenney — as Courtney Tailor — described herself as a "proud Texan" and "full-time fitness model and foodie." Along with her dogs, Jesse and Ranger, "I just moved to Miami so I need your positive vibes! Scary BIG change for this lil texas girl."
"Creating new stomping grounds," she captioned an Instagram photo geotagged in Miami on Jan. 14.
Authorities said she and Obumseli dated for more than two years before he died. Friends of the pair said that they met in Austin and moved to Florida together.
They were living at the One Paraiso Residences, a luxury building in Miami, in a three-bedroom unit on the 22nd floor with a view of Biscayne Bay.
The "We in Miami" podcast released a clip on April 8 of what was described as an interview with Clenney recorded "weeks before" the stabbing. In response to the host's observation that she looked as if she only dated rich guys, Clenney said, "Let me clarify: I only date rich Black guys."
She also said that she made "a lot" from OnlyFans each month, replying "yeah" when the host guessed six figures. "It's not too bad," she said. "I'm grateful."
According to the August 2022 arrest warrant affidavit, Clenney was previously arrested in Las Vegas in July 2021 on suspicion of domestic battery against Obumseli during an argument at the Cosmopolitan hotel. She was booked into Clark County Detention Center and admitted to throwing a glass in the direction of his head and having thrown objects at him before, per Las Vegas Metropolitan Police records, but the Clark County D.A. dropped the case the following month.
Incidents of violence between the pair began escalating with Clenney "throwing and/or using weapons on various occasions," the affidavit states. According to investigators, One Paraiso security and other staff documented numerous complaints from fellow tenants as far as two floors above the couple's unit, and there had been "so many incidents of arguing" that management was "moving toward legal action" to evict the pair.
Security camera footage that was released by the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office shows an altercation that occurred between the pair on Feb. 21 inside the elevator at the One Paraiso.
In the 66-second video obtained by E! News, Clenney gets into the elevator and starts jabbing at the touch-screen numbers, then smacks the panel as Obumseli joins her inside.
She proceeds to hit him with an open palm on his shoulder and swats and pushes at him a few more times (they appear to be exchanging words, but there's no audio), then grabs and pulls on his hair from the back of his head. He holds up his arm seemingly to ward her off, then uses one arm to pin her to his side so she can't move her arms for a few seconds while he punches a number on the screen, then lets her go. She starts smacking at him again and he puts his hands up, eventually appearing to push her toward the other side of the elevator. Her hand makes contact with his face again right before the doors open, and then she smacks at his back with both hands as she follows him out.
"The defendant was aggressively attacking Christian," Miami-Dade State Attorney Kathie Fernandez Rundle told reporters of the scene unfolding in the video, at an Aug. 11 press conference, during which she called their relationship "extremely tempestuous and combative."
"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.
Prieto called the video "irrelevant and likely inadmissible."
"The video does not depict the events leading up to what was captured in the elevator," he said in a statement after its release. "Obumseli was the abuser, the worst kind of abuser. He would manipulate and abuse Courtney in private when he thought nobody was around."
Larry Handfield, an attorney representing Obumseli's family, countered that the video from the elevator "was just an isolated glimpse of a pattern of conduct that was demonstrated by the defendant in this case."
Since moving into the One Paraiso in January, the duo had separated "various times," investigators noted in the arrest affidavit, most recently in March when Clenney made Obumseli leave while her mother, Deborah Clenney, was in town from Texas. When mom left, Obumseli moved back in on April 1, and "arguments began almost immediately," the affidavit details, resulting in Clenney contacting police--who, in turn, observed that she "appeared intoxicated" when she made her report. No arrests were made.
The Miami Herald reported in April that some sources were saying Clenney and Obumseli were broken up when he died but he kept returning to the building anyway, while others told the paper they were still together.
Key fob records reviewed by investigators showed that Obumseli went out at around 1:15 p.m. and arrived back at their building at 4:32 p.m. with sandwiches from Subway, per the affidavit. At the same time, Clenney was wrapping up an Instagram video, posting shortly before Obumseli returned. She called him at 4:01 p.m. and again at 4:33, right before he walked in the door.
Her last Instagram post is what appears to be a live Q&A she shared as a Reel on April 3.
Deborah told police in a recorded statement that she talked to her daughter on the phone twice between 4:43 p.m. and 4:56 p.m. She said she heard Clenney yelling at Obumseli to leave and accusing him of "lying." Deborah did not say anything to police about her daughter being attacked or claiming she was attacked.
Investigators concluded, per the affidavit, that Obumseli was stabbed sometime during that 13-minute window.
At 4:57 p.m., Clenney called 911. Per the affidavit, she was heard on the call saying, "I'm so sorry, baby," and a man could be heard in the background saying he couldn't feel his arm and he was dying.
(Meanwhile, neighbors had called building security to report a disturbance, and security subsequently called 911 as well at 4:46 p.m.)
Clenney told police that Obumseli had shoved her against the wall by the neck, then threw her to the ground. When she got up, she said, she grabbed a kitchen knife and threw it at him from at least 10 feet away, piercing his chest.
Noting that she ultimately provided police with "several inconsistent accounts" of events, the arrest affidavit states that Clenney also told police, "I really don't know if this was justified at all." Investigators also noted that she didn't have any injuries to indicate she was attacked.
In an April 8 statement, Miami Dade Police relayed that Obumseli and Clenney had a "physical altercation" the night he died. She was interviewed by police and subsequently released.
"When the investigation is completed, the State Attorney's Office will review the police department's evidentiary presentation and take appropriate legal action in accordance with the law," prosecutors said at the time.
Meanwhile, Obumseli's family wasn't buying Clenney's version of events.
"We have every reason to believe that his death was the result of unwarranted and unprovoked violence," Jeff Obumseli wrote in a statement posted to social media April 10. "We want to see that justice is served."
Referring to old tweets of Obumseli's that resurfaced in the wake of his death that were disparaging toward Black women, Jeff wrote, "As a family, we strongly disagree with the ignorant and repulsive tweets from my then-high school aged brother that have recently surfaced. However, the tweets do not diminish our demand for a thorough investigation into Toby's murder or negate the necessity for justice." (Toby is short for Obumseli's middle name, Tobechukwu.)
In the statement, Jeff also accused law enforcement of treating Clenney differently due to her "privilege as a wealthy white woman. Within 24 hours following Toby's death, the detective on the case prematurely concluded this was not a crime of violence. But the information provided is deficient and the lack of transparency strongly suggests foul play is involved."
Miami detectives said in the days following Obumseli's death that they were actively investigating what happened.
Handfield, the family's attorney, told Rolling Stone the killing was "unprovoked" and, "to add insult to injury, the person responsible for killing [Obumseli] is walking around free and has not been arrested for causing the death of this young man." He also alleged that the person in question was receiving "special treatment."
Prieto, Clenney's attorney, said in a statement obtained by E! News on April 14 that making accusations about special treatment was "irresponsible."
"There is competent and substantial evidence that Courtney is the victim of domestic violence," Prieto said. "There is no doubt the two of them had a tumultuous relationship; moreover, there is evidence that Courtney was a victim of physical, emotional, and mental abuse at the hands of Obumseli. That night was no different and Courtney had the right to defend herself out of fear for her life."
At the same time, he said, Clenney was "filled with absolute grief and despair" over Obumseli's death.
She "is mourning the loss of Mr. Obumseli, in private, out of respect for his family," Prieto said. "There is nothing we can say to alleviate the pain his family is going through; however, their calls for justice and an arrest in this matter are misplaced."
The attorney also told the Miami Herald, "This is a tragedy for all involved, but it was not criminal conduct. Courtney was defending herself and the investigation will reveal exactly that."
An autopsy performed by Miami-Dade County Chief Medical Examiner Kenneth Hutchins determined, however, that the knife had fatally punctured an artery in Obumseli's chest. Hutchins concluded that the wound could not have been made the way Clenney said it was, but rather by a "forceful downward thrust." He ruled the death a homicide.
Miami police presented those findings to the State Attorney's office and the investigation kicked into a new gear, according to the arrest affidavit, resulting in all of the aforementioned information about Obumseli and Clenney's relationship.
When Clenney was charged, Handfield told CBS Miami, "We always believed that with a thorough and fair investigation that this day would become a reality. This is such a relief for the family, but it gives restored hope that even though delayed, justice will still come."
In an appearance on "Dr. Phil" in May (before the medical examiner's findings were released), Handfield and members of Obumseli's family reiterated their beliefs that Obumseli was the one being abused.
His cousin Karen Egbuna recalled him being "really excited" when he met Clenney, but "once they started dating, Toby stopped coming around."
Asked if Obumseli had a history of being violent, including with past girlfriends, they all shook their heads.