As Derek Chauvin’s murder trial continued Thursday, the girlfriend of the late George Floyd told the court how she and Floyd met, prayed together and struggled with substance abuse.

Courteney Ross shared details with the jury about Floyd’s personal life and drug use, the latter of which is central to Chauvin’s defense, Reuters reported.

Ross and Floyd met three years before his death. She was with her daughter, waiting in a Salvation Army homeless shelter lobby to meet the girl’s father.

Floyd, then working as a security guard, saw she was distressed and went to console her.

“It’s one of my favorite stories to tell… Floyd has this great, deep, southern voice, raspy, and he was, like, ‘Sis, you O.K., sis?’” she said.

“It was so sweet,” Ross said, dabbing a tissue to her eyes. “At the time I had lost a lot of faith in God.”

The pair had their first kiss later that night and remained together more or less continuously until Floyd’s death. Ross reminisced about Floyd’s love for his mother and two daughters.

A mural and memorial to George Floyd at the Minneapolis intersection where he died
A mural and memorial to George Floyd at the Minneapolis intersection where he died GETTY IMAGES / Brandon Bell

More relevant to Chauvin’s defense was her description of the couple’s struggle with prescription painkillers.

“It’s a classic story of how many people get addicted to opioids,” she said. “We both suffered from chronic pain. Mine was in my neck; his was in his back.”

Chauvin’s lawyers are arguing that his death was not actually the responsibility of the police officers that knelt on his neck for almost 10 minutes, but rather a drug overdose.

Floyd’s autopsy revealed the presence of fentanyl in his system, and Chauvin’s lawyers asked Ross about a non-lethal overdose Chauvin had checked himself into the emergency room for.

Ross said they had quit, then relapsed, several times.

“Addiction, in my opinion, is a lifelong struggle,” she said. “It’s not something that comes and goes, it’s something I’ll deal with forever.”

Prosecutors say they will present evidence to contradict the defense’s narrative, arguing that Floyd’s drug tolerance precludes an overdose. They have also said that his drug use overall is irrelevant to Chauvin’s charges.