Inside the mysterious “death” of 14-year-old influencer Lil Tay

She’s alive – but there’s still a cloud of controversy and tragedy surrounding 14-year-old influencer Lil Tay, whose reported death rocked the internet this week.

The social media sensation who amassed millions of followers with swear words full of swear words and photos of her holding wads of cash before she fell silent in 2018 – when she was just 9 years old – was said to be dead, according to a statement on her Instagram account on Wednesday. The post also claimed that her brother Jason Tian, ​​22, recently passed away.

“We have no words to express the unbearable loss and indescribable pain. “This result was completely unexpected and shocked us all,” the statement said.

Conspiracy theories began to surface online almost immediately, as Tay’s alleged ex-manager remained anonymous said the US Sun that they were skeptical why the statement had not been signed by anyone in Tay’s family – and the child’s father refused to confirm or deny the deaths.

On Thursday, the girl, also known as Claire Hope and Tay Tian, ​​emerged and said it was all fake.

Lil Tay sits on top of a Mercedes SUV and holds stacks of cash
Lil Tay has more than 3.5 million followers in 2018 with her vulgar videos showing cash, swearing and driving expensive cars.

Lil Tay sits on it and holds ashes
Her Internet fame waned after just a few months.

“I want to make it clear that my brother and I are safe and alive, but I’m heartbroken and struggling to even find the right words,” says Lil Tay said TMZ Thursday via a “statement from her family.”

“It was a very traumatic 24 hours. All day yesterday I was bombarded with endless heartbreaking and tearful calls from loved ones as I tried to sort out this mess.”

She further claimed her long-stalled Instagram account was “compromised” and “used to spread offensive misinformation and rumors about me…”

Lil Tay appears "smoke" a baby carrot
Lil Tay’s videos are said to have been directed by her older brother.

But the new statement did little to allay fears for Lil Tay’s health and safety, especially given the ominous reports over the years that have detailed a bitter custody battle over her and her Rumors that she was abused and exploited by family members.

Equally puzzling was her father’s reaction to a Post reporter Wednesday. Christopher Hope, a Vancouver-based attorney, only added fuel to the fire when he didn’t want to talk about his children’s alleged deaths

“Yes, you have the right person,” Hope told The Post, adding, “Sorry, I can’t really tell you anything or help you.”

A photo of Lil Tay showing an obvious bruise on her cheek
A 2021 GoFundMe created by Tay’s brother Jason claimed the girl was abused by her father and stepmother.

    A photo of Lil Tay.
The Post was unable to reach Lil Tay’s father, Christopher Hope, to question him about allegations that Tay was abused in his care.

deepen the mystery Rolling Stone reported on Thursday that the news coincided with the launch of a Little Tay crypto project, apparently overseen by the girl’s manager, Harry Tsang. In addition, Tsang told Rolling Stone that he didn’t think there had been a hack – and that it could be the work of Tay’s brother.

“The actions of Liltay’s brother, who is known for his propensity for extreme measures, lead me to hypothesize that there is an alternative motive behind this incident,” Tsang told Rolling Stone. “It is conceivable that the intent behind these events was an attempt to illicitly extort money from loyal supporters and unwitting bystanders.”

The LilTay Token website was shut down after the girl showed up and said she was alive.

Homepage for LilTay Token, showing a cartoon of Lil Tay
Rolling Stone reported that the alleged hack coincided with the launch of a Lil Tay crypto project — although the LilTay token site was shut down after the girl surfaced and said she was alive.

Lil Tay rose to internet fame in 2018 with videos showing the child talking trash and displaying large wads of cash in luxurious settings.

Many of Lil Tay’s clips consisted of her pulling up in an expensive car like a Ferrari or Rolls Royce – complete with one Dog with sunglasses on the passenger seat.

In one video, she kicks in and damages the door of a cream-colored Rolls while boasting that she threw “400 luggage carriers” at this car and drove it around Beverly Hills without a license.

It’s a theme that runs through her videos.

    Lil Tay.
Lil Tay said it was her idea to make videos for her Instagram account and she wasn’t influenced by her family.

“This is a message to all you broken ass haters, you don’t do it like Lil Tay,” she said in a video she shared Show a stack of cash and get into an expensive-looking sports car. “That’s why all the damn haters hate me. It cost me $200,000. I’m only 9 years old. I don’t have a driver’s license, but I still drive this sports car, shit.”

In 2019 The New Yorker magazine summarized the absurd story of Lil Tay: “She grew up in Atlanta and was ‘broke as hell’ but worked very hard at ‘moving bricks.'” Eventually she got into Harvard and then dropped out. At one point … she claimed to be “partially black.” Now she lives in ‘the hills’ (which one? She didn’t specify).”

In reality, Tay Tian is a little girl living in Vancouver. Her mother worked as a real estate agent and her father is a lawyer. It was reportedly Jason, the brother, who created the character Lil Tay and taught his sister what to say.

Lil Tay and her father Christopher Hope
Lil Tay, seen here when she was younger, with her father, Christopher Hope, from Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Christopher John Hope/Facebook

In 2018, a reporter for “Good morning America” interviewed Lil Tay and her mother Angela Tian, ​​quizzed them about Lil Tay’s on-screen vulgarity and reported that her family benefited from her videos.

“Nobody’s forcing me to do this,” Lil Tay said while her smiling mother sat next to her. “That’s not true [Angela] wants to earn money with me.”

She quickly socialized with other internet celebrities, including rapper Bhad Bhabie, filmed a video with rapper Chief Keef, and according to New York magazine’s profile, her family went through a series of managers and fell short of a six-figure music deal for Tay.

slice of pizza.
Jason Tian claimed Tay got moldy old food from her stepmother, including this pizza.

But Lil Tay, who was said to be homeschooled, has stopped posting on her verified Instagram account in June 2018 after just six months, with big names influencing her “career”.

Snoop Dogg criticized the child’s use of the N-word “but”. Bow Wow defended her, “She probably just saw it as a form of entertainment. She was just playing a role.”

Videos showing Tay showing off cash at luxury properties were reportedly filmed in homes listed by her mother, a real estate agent, and at least one of the expensive cars she was spotted in reportedly belonged to her boss Mother. According to ViceAngela’s boss explained that she resigned from her job before she could be fired.

Fake obituary for Lil Tay
The obituary on Lil Tay’s site is said to have been the result of a hack.

In 2021, it seemed like Lil Tay’s life had taken a very sinister turn.

Her brother Jason organized a GoFundMe titled for his younger sister “Save Tay from a lifetime of abuse” and outlined a litany of nightmarish accusations.

Hope had previously said of such allegations: “If there is any abuse [of Lil Tay]it didn’t take place at my house and it had nothing to do with me.”

Jason accused his father and stepmother, Hanee Hope, aka Richanee Alcover, of physically and mentally abusing Tay and attempting to gain custody of her, only to exploit and hurt her.

Lil Tay and her mother, Angela Tian, ​​next "Good morning America."
Lil Tay and her mother, Angela Tian, ​​were sitting on an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America in 2018 when the girl said her family didn’t want to make money off her.

The son said Christopher Hope owed Angela Tian thousands of child support payments but refused to pay them and he was given half custody of Tay just to reduce his payments.

Jason also accused Hope of bringing women home and having sex with them naked while Tay slept in the same bed. He claimed Hope gave the girl “things like moldy bread, moldy chicken with little maggots and parasites, month-old pizza, leftover soggy white bread with ketchup, cold-burned, rock-hard toast, and sometimes just…crackers for lunch.”

The Hopes also beat Tay and temporarily locked her in a dark closet, Jason said. The GoFundMe page included photos of Tay allegedly showing bruised cheeks inflicted by her father, moldy food and a police report filed on Tay’s behalf in Vancouver.

The Post was unable to reach Christopher Hope or any member of Tay’s family to comment on these allegations or other matters involving Tay and Jason Thursday.

When Tay’s mom appeared on Good Morning America, she presented a portrait of her daughter in contrast to the little girl’s online image.

“She’s well mannered and a great kid,” she said. When asked about Tay’s smutty videos, Angela simply replied that her daughter “is passionate. passion and a dream.”

Caroline Bleakley

Caroline Bleakley is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Caroline Bleakley joined USTimeToday in 2022 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with Caroline Bleakley by emailing

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