Meet Christian Obumseli – Another Silent Victim of TAR

Christian “Toby” Obumseli. Say his name. A Miami Herald article from November 2, 2022 describes him as a “young Black professional.” With a near-invisible social media footprint, this appears to be a fit and appropriate description of this young man. Sadly, he will forever be known as an abused and murdered victim of a social media influencer/model. Toby suffered similar abuse as Johnny Depp and Anthony Bourdain, and Gabby Petito; like Anthony and Gabby, he can no longer reclaim his life.

This tragedy erupted from the highly Toxic Abusive Relationship (TAR) of Toby and Courtney Clenney (aka Tailor), who at the time of Toby’s death was a 26-year-old Instagram model. She remains jailed on a second-degree murder charge.

For more detailed information about Courtney’s arrest and current status, read: 

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/crime/article267816837.html

Who is Courtney Clenney (aka Tailor)?

Courtney Clenney, known in internet circles as Courtney Tailor, was an OnlyFans and Instagram model (with more than two million followers) based out of Miami, Florida. Known as a party animal, she was charged twice – at age 18 and age 25 – with DWI in her home state of Texas. This is important because it reveals Courtney’s history of chaotic behavior.

The Murder of Christian Obumseli.

Christian “Toby” Obumseli was 27 years old when he was fatally stabbed at the hands of his then-girlfriend Courtney Clenney. On April 3, 2022 at around 5:00 PM, 911 responded to a call from a luxury apartment building in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood where Courtney lived with her then-boyfriend Christian.

When first responders arrived, they found Toby with a single stab wound to the upper chest. Despite rushing him to the hospital, he succumbed to his injuries. Miami Herald reporter David Ovalle stated that Courtney admitted to killing Toby within hours, claiming self-defense. She claimed to have thrown the knife at him.

On that particular Sunday, Toby left the apartment he shared with Courtney at around 1:15 PM, returning at 4:32 PM with Subway sandwiches for both of them. Courtney was on the phone with her mother, who later reported hearing Courtney yell and accuse Toby of lying about something. Toby was stabbed 12 minutes after he arrived back home, spurred by an argument where Courtney accused him – jealously – of saying “hello” to a female neighbor on a bicycle ride. Courtney’s rant came after a tumultuous, police-ridden evening the day before. 

The police investigation, with help from friends and neighbors, revealed that Courtney and Toby had a long history of domestic violence, and Courtney called police to report abuse by Toby seven times during the last month of his life.

A video later emerged depicting the aftermath of the incident, where Courtney is seen speaking with the police – covered in Toby’s blood.

During a May 10, 2022 appearance on the Dr. Phil TV show, Toby’s mother Chio stated that she learned about her son’s murder a day later when she received a phone call from someone checking on her son’s status as an organ donor. Not surprisingly, as many friends and family had noticed, Toby had become more and more isolated and estranged from healthy social connections in his life. This was surprising to all but the victim, of course, as all of Toby’s friends had described him as compassionate, loving and would be there at any time to help another friend, always putting their needs ahead of his own. Until he met Courtney.

Was Toby the victim of abuse? 

Messages saved in Toby’s iCloud chronicle the alleged abuse he suffered at the hands of Courtney before his death. In 2021 he claimed that he was stabbed in the leg very badly, and a day later he said he hit his head so hard he might have suffered a concussion. This report was consistent with the past history – she allegedly stabbed a past boyfriend with a knife.

In late January 2022, Toby took a selfie of two nasty cuts on his cheek requiring stitches, claiming that Clenney was responsible. Texts also reveal that Clenney allegedly called Toby a racial slur in the weeks before his death.

“Is love going to kill me?” Toby wrote in a text. He continued “February was the worst month I had so far. I got cheated on. I got called that word again. I got slapped in my stitches that has re-opened multiple times and it’s not healing fast enough.”

Why do we at TAR Network™ need to humanize the victims of TAR like Toby, Johnny Depp and Anthony Bourdain as men? It’s obvious that women – to name a few – Gabby Petito, Gypsy Rose Blanchard, and so many others are victims of TAR. We name these men because, as Amber Heard said during her defamation trial “no one would believe Johnny saying that I’m the abuser.”

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), one in four men (25%) will experience some form of physical abuse in a relationship during their lifetime. 

Unfortunately, there is a great chance that men will not report abuse as regularly as women, and many male abuse survivors will be ignored because gender stereotypes still exist. These stereotypes paint a picture that it would be unlikely that a man – perceived to be physically dominant and possibly aggressive – could be abused by a partner. Male abuse survivors are more common than we realize, and the ways in which they’re abused can vary greatly.

For a man, admitting that he’s being abused by his significant other can be emasculating – he can be made to feel that he’s not a real man. He may develop defense mechanisms – patterns of behavior or thought – to help minimize and explain away what he’s experiencing. It’s important to keep in mind that the man being abused is dealing with emotional, psychological, verbal, or even sexual abuse. Also, most men have been rightly taught to never use their physical advantage over women – directly or in retaliation – and other resolutions may not be as readily available.

According to Dr. Jamie, abused men may overlook or diminish forms of abuse that aren’t overtly physical, and they fail to recognize what’s happening to them. This blind spot keeps their friends and loved ones from noticing how common abuse toward men is than any of us want to believe.

Based on his texts, recordings, and conversations with people, Toby Obumseli fits the description of an abused man – a man mired in TAR. Unfortunately, he didn’t end the relationship with Courtney after being attacked and targeted early in the relationship, but he stayed hoping that things would get better. 

This case is extremely saddening. Judging by their Instagram posts, it might appear that both Courtney and Toby were living their best, authentic lives. They had an expensive, luxury apartment in Miami. They were frequently seen on social media, showing off their lavish lifestyle. 

But behind the scenes, they weren’t this happy couple that had it all. They fought like cats and dogs. Their relationship was really toxic and now that new details are emerging about the case, it doesn’t appear that they were happy at all. Perhaps Toby was unaware of Courtney’s history of aggressive behavior toward previous boyfriends. This case also makes clear that putting a stop to abuse in any relationship is complicated.

Ending abuse cannot be accomplished alone. The support of family, friends – and  likely a mental health professional – can help victims make the needed changes.

It can be done!

The first step in healing is the hardest – admitting that abuse exists is difficult for men. Once this step is cleared, change can begin. TAR Men and TAR Network™ are here to help men (and everyone else) improve their lives, break free from toxic abusive relationships, reclaim their lost identity, improve their well-being, and reconnect with their alienated children one step at a time. It provides men with resources on how to start living their life to the fullest, free of toxicity.

Rest in peace, dear Toby – you will not be forgotten.

TAR Network™ provides weekly support groups for women and men who are victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse. We intend to highlight and humanize the victims of any and all TAR relationships in the months ahead. The term/acronym of TAR was coined By Dr. Jamie, our Founder and Executive Director.

Come out of the fog and Into the light, and know that we are there for you. Join our community at TARNetwork.org to uncover a wealth of information on your journey to wellness!

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