Editor’s Note: In a new statement published by TMZ, Lil Tay –real name Tay Tian– shuts down rumors of her and her brother’s death and explains the now-deleted Instagram announcement. Get the update by clicking HERE.
Lil Tay is trending again for the first time in years. Unfortunately, the conversation surrounding the teen is due to unfounded claims that she has passed away.
A statement published to her Instagram feed on Aug. 9 revealed the news.
Believed to be on behalf of her family, the post didn’t detail what happened to Lil Tay. Instead, it claimed that Lil Tay’s and her brother’s deaths are “still under investigation.”
“It is with a heavy heart that we share the devastating news of our beloved Claire’s sudden and tragic passing. We have no words to express the unbearable loss and indescribable pain. This outcome was entirely unexpected and has left us all in shock. Her brother’s passing adds an even more unimaginable depth to our grief. During this time of immense sorrow, we kindly ask for privacy as we grieve this overwhelming loss, as the circumstances surrounding Claire and her brother’s passing are still under investigation.”
What We Know About Lil Tay Before Her 2018 Social Media Disappearance
The statement, seemingly on behalf of Tay’s family, comes after years of since on the teen’s profile. Her last Instagram post, dated June 2018, highlighted her friendship with the late XXXTentacion.
Earlier that month, Tay had all but disappeared from her public influencer and rapper lifestyle. In the months leading up to her last post, the teen’s family had begun receiving backlash. There were accusations that she was being exploited by playing an exaggerated, bad-mouthed child persona.
Adding to the heat was a leaked video of her older brother, Jason Tian–who was reportedly 16 at the time– seemingly feeding her lines to say in a clapback video.
Lil Tay being coached what to say by her brother… SAD! pic.twitter.com/lJi7o2AXnp
— KEEM 🍿 (@KEEMSTAR) May 21, 2018
The young influencer had gained internet fame through her videos–consisting of her waving wads of money, using profanity and slurs, and stunting in luxury cars and homes.
Following the exploitation accusations and wiped Instagram account (which is no longer the case), Buzzfeed spoke to her mother, Angela Tian, and then-family spokesperson Diomi Cordero.
At the time, in June 2018, Cordero revealed that the wiped feed was intentional. Adding only that, he was “rebranding Lil Tay” and encouraging fans to “stay tuned.”
Meanwhile, her mother named her brother Jason as the “primary driving force” behind Lil Tay’s persona.
By October, the first allegations of abuse against Tay’s father, Chris Hope, surfaced on Tay’s page–including a photo of a passport claiming she was 16 and not 10.
Later that year, in December 2018, Angela and Tay spoke with, The Daily Beast, briefly explaining her absence on social media and alluding to some of the accusations against her father that would later come. Chris also spoke with the platform, denying allegations of abuse, like locking Tay in a closet.
Abuse Allegations Surrounding Lil Tay Surface In 2021
After another lengthy hiatus from social media, more abuse allegations surfaced in April 2021. It was the first post on Tay’s Instagram account since June 2018, consisting of accusations against her father
It included a video of Tay Tian crying after allegedly seeing a court order from Chris demanding “custody, money, and control of her career,” per the caption. The caption added that Tay would be “fighting for her life in the Supreme Court of Canada.”
“Tay has no money left to pay lawyers for fighting for her freedom, her father has stolen everything from her. She has been physically and mentally abused by her father and his current wife,” the post’s caption read.
It also linked a GoFundMe account titled ‘Save Tay from a Life of Abuse,’ which lists her brother Jason as the fundraiser organizer. The crowdfunding petition is still active as of Aug. 9 and shows they received about 1,000 donations totaling $17,122 out of their $19,000 goal. The most recent $5 donation came in nine months ago.
The GoFundMe also shared photos of a much-younger Tay with red bruises on her face. It also explained that Tay’s silence on social media was due to a court order for the child to return to her father’s care in 2018.
In several paragraphs, the fundraiser details gruesome alleged abuse by Chris Hope and his wife that began when she was 5. It claims Hope requested shared custody to reduce his child support payments.
From feeding her moldy food to dressing her in “old and beat up clothing,” locking her in closets, and breaking her toe with a closet door, the allegations were detailed and lengthy.
After two incidents allegedly reported to the police, Lil Tay stopped living with her father. When she gained internet fame in 2018, Hoep reportedly petitioned the court for her to relocate from L.A. back to Vancouver, Canada. He also allegedly signed multiple deals on Tay’s behalf totaling millions.
The post claimed their mother had spent hundreds of thousands fighting for custody but that their resources were depleted. Meanwhile, it accused Chris of owing $400,000 in child support.
SEE THE LINK BELOW FOR ADDITIONAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS:
Jason posted his last update on the situation in April 2021, denying any claims that he’s stealing money through the fundraiser.
It’s unclear whose care Lil Tay was in at the time of her passing and who posted the announcement. The circumstances surrounding her brother’s death–mentioned in the statement–are also unknown.
This is a BREAKING story. Check back for updates.