Screaming Fights and Breaking Glass: Former Neighbors of Accused Murderer Courtney Clenney Recall Red Flags

courtney-clenney-christian-toby-ubumseli - Credit: Christian “Toby” Obumseli/Instagram
courtney-clenney-christian-toby-ubumseli - Credit: Christian “Toby” Obumseli/Instagram

OnlyFans model Courtney Clenney stands accused of murdering her boyfriend Christian Obumseli earlier this year in their Miami apartment. According to Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, the killing was the culmination of a “violent and toxic two-year relationship” in which Obumseli was a victim of domestic violence. Earlier this year, multiple friends of the couple also told Rolling Stone Clenney had been the aggressor in an abusive relationship with Obumseli. Clenney’s attorney Frank Prieto acknowledged to Rolling Stone that the violence in their relationship may have gone “both ways,” but he has repeatedly said Clenney was a victim of domestic violence and that she acted in self-defense when she killed Obumseli on April 3 with a single stab wound to the upper chest. Prieto declined to comment on the specific allegations in this article but says he is preparing to use every resource he can to defend her against the murder charge. “​​She has told us she was in fear for her life and was left with no other choice but to defend her own life in the manner in which she did,” he tells Rolling Stone.

Although Clenney, whose OnlyFans account was deactivated on Thursday, will face the murder charge in Miami-Dade County, sources tell Rolling Stone the troubling behavior at their apartment building began before their January 2022 move to Florida, back when they lived in Austin, Texas. Three neighbors who lived in the same apartment complex as Clenney and Obumseli paint a picture of a couple who could be pleasant and friendly at times but on frequent occasions got into screaming altercations in their unit and in common spaces, prompting 911 calls. (In April, Rolling Stone filed a public records request with the Austin Police Department for 911 calls to Clenney’s unit but has not yet received the records.) Multiple sources describe Clenney as the dominant force in the arguments and Obumseli as trying to deescalate the situation. Some sources, including a fourth neighbor who did not witness any arguments, say Clenney was often visibly under the influence of alcohol or other substances. (Clenney’s lawyer has acknowledged her struggles with substance abuse.)

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Around June of 2020, Clenney signed a lease for the 11th-floor penthouse unit of one of the four residential buildings in the Berkshire Riverview complex in the East Riverside neighborhood of Austin. Populated almost exclusively by twenty-something young professionals, the Riverview is outside the busiest part of the city, but just across the river from downtown, with quick access to music and nightlife. According to one resident of the property who requested anonymity, Clenney had a way of making her presence felt almost immediately. “Everybody knew when she was there, when she’d arrived,” she says. Clenney was known to host loud parties and would openly share the fact that she ran an OnlyFans account for a living, the resident recalls. She could be extremely generous with her money. “Honestly she was a very nice person. She was bubbly and wanting to just have a good time to make people happy,” she says. “She was quick to buy people stuff, like a housewarming present. She didn’t show up empty-handed.” However, the resident says Clenney’s substance use caused her demeanor to change. “When she was intoxicated or using, it was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

According to another neighbor, who moved out of the Riverview in the fall of 2020 and does not recall witnessing arguments on the property, Clenney frequently appeared to be under the influence. “We crossed paths during her move-in; she was headed out to walk her dogs and I was walking my dog and I stopped to say hello,” she says. “And she was just obliterated, completely drunk out of her mind, slurring her words.” It was daytime in the middle of the week, she recalls. “I was like, is she celebrating moving into the penthouse? It [struck] me as strange, and when I tell you — I never saw her sober again.”

When exactly Clenney and Obumseli began their relationship is unclear. Two childhood friends of Obumseli’s told Rolling Stone they thought he began seeing her in early 2020. Friends who knew the couple in Austin say they got together after a group trip to Tulum late in the summer of that year. Three neighbors in the Riverview agreed, however, that by the fall of that year, Obumseli was living there and they had witnessed he and Clenney arguing.

The Riverview resident who recalled Clenney’s bubbly personality also described her and Obumseli’s relationship as “extremely toxic.” On more than one occasion, she says, she saw Clenney get physical with Obumseli in common areas on the property. “There were multiple times where she was kind of hitting him, not aggressively, [but] like how you’d punish a dog, when you tap them on the head once or twice,” she says. She claims she never saw Obumseli hit Clenney or act violently toward her, adding that he always appeared “passive” when they were together. “She would walk in front, and he would always walk behind her, basically not even looking at people.” She also says Clenney frequently “undermined” Obumseli in conversation with others, and says she heard her mention more than once that their relationship would not last, and she was just dating him for now. “It was just the way she would talk about it, and right in front of him,” she says.

One day in March of 2021, that resident says she intervened in a more serious argument between Clenney and Obumseli in the garage of their building. “I heard a bunch of screaming as I was going to my car, like a girl screaming, and I couldn’t make out what it was,” she says. She ran towards the sound. “I saw them two going into their building. He was opening the door and trying to get her in. Not pushing her, but saying ‘Go,’ and she was swinging. I started yelling, ‘Hey!’ and she went inside and slammed the door.” The resident walked up to Obumseli, who began apologizing, she says. “He was like, I just wanted to make sure she got home safe. She’s really, really drunk. I’m so sorry. I’m leaving right now,” she says. “He could have been like, ‘Mind your own fucking business’ or something really rude, but he was walking with his head down, tail-between-the-legs type of thing.” As he walked past her, the resident says she saw he had marks on his face that looked like scratches, and his shirt was torn at the collar. Because Clenney had disappeared into the building, she says she did not see whether Clenney showed any signs of injury.

On another occasion, she says, Clenney dropped a hard-sided suitcase filled with Obumseli’s belongings off the balcony. It landed in a retention pond and “shattered,” she says, after which she saw Clenney walking the grounds, looking for it. “She couldn’t physically get it because it was in the middle of a retention pond.” A friend of the couple who spoke to Rolling Stone in May also recounted the suitcase story, and said that Clenney had later apologized to Obumseli by buying him Louis Vuitton luggage.

That wasn’t the only item to plummet from Clenney’s unit, neighbors say. Aidan Nesvisky, who lived one floor below the penthouse between 2019 and June of 2022, posted a TikTok earlier this month reacting to Clenney’s murder charge in which he said a painting of a tiger had dropped from Clenney’s balcony and landed on his. The TikTok included a clip of surveillance footage released by prosecutors of Clenney repeatedly hitting Obumseli in an elevator in their Miami apartment building. Nesvisky tells Rolling Stone he’d heard yelling, slamming doors, and breaking glass from the Austin unit starting a few months after Clenney moved in. The incident with the tiger painting – which Nesvisky estimates was about two feet by three feet in size – happened in the summer of 2021. “They were arguing and someone threw a painting off the balcony,” he says. “I was sitting in the living room with my girlfriend and one of my other friends and it just came crashing down. It was super scary.” His roommate kept the painting.

According to Nesvisky, the sounds of shouting and slamming doors from upstairs never abated. “We were thinking, maybe one of them will move out, maybe the other one will move out, maybe they’ll just break up, but it just continued until they moved out,” he says.

After a resident leaves, Nesvisky says it’s typical for the Riverview to put up a fresh coat of paint and clean the floors, but he noticed after Clenney and Obumseli departed, renovations on their unit went on for several weeks. “The building had to send out apologies to us for how much work had been going on and how much of a hassle it was having workers go up and down for weeks,” he says. “They had a whole team of people up there.” Property management at the Berkshire Riverview declined to comment for this article.

Another neighbor who lived on Nesvisky’s floor, and who wanted to remain anonymous, said on multiple occasions she heard “explosive” fights and Clenney screaming “bloody murder” in their unit as well as on the elevator. A handful of times, she says, she would be waiting for the elevator outside her unit on the 10th floor and she would hear raised voices coming from the shaftway. Then, when it reached her floor, Obumseli would get out and walk toward the stairs instead of going up to the penthouse or down to the lobby, depending on the instance. “The second the elevator opened, they both would go silent and he would get off and make his way to the staircase, and either he would give me kind of a head nod or just not even acknowledge me,” she says. “It seemed like he wanted to remove himself from the situation.”

Clenney was arrested Aug. 10 in Hawaii where her lawyer, Prieto, said she was attending rehab for substance abuse and PTSD. She has been extradited and was booked into a Miami jail on Friday. Prieto has asked that evidence be sealed in the case to ensure Clenney gets a fair trial. A judge has yet to rule on that request.

This article was updated on Aug. 26 at 5:22 p.m. ET to reflect Clenney’s extradition to Miami.

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