Claire Hope, known as Lil Tay on social media, was previously assumed to have passed away at 14. Her death was later proven false after she spoke out alongside her family in a statement to TMZ. Today, Tay accused her father, Christopher J. Hope, of faking her death on her social media account.
Amid the viral claim, Tay’s former manager Harry Tsang claims that Hope never had access to Tay’s Instagram in the first place. On the subject of who faked Tay’s death, Tsang stated that he “Does not know for sure.” Tsang went on to say, “I really don’t think the dad is complicit in this. On top of that, he doesn’t have access to the Instagram account.”
Tsang, who managed Tay at the peak of her internet stardom, found the whole situation bizarre, as he was not contacted by the authorities amid the news of her allegedly false death.
“I called the family handler at the time and he refused to confirm or deny. I knew something was fishy when that happened,” said Tsang.
Despite the initial suspicion raised, Tsang does believe that Tay is in fact alive. “I believe she is still alive based on a [later] conversation I had with the handler,” said Tsang.
Lil Tay’s Rise To Stardom
The video star turned rapper first attracted viral attention in 2018. Tay’s family released a statement regarding her passing, and claimed that her death was still under investigation. The rapper went offline shortly after her viral boom, after she was a victim of online harassment and bullying. The statement appeared on her official Instagram page as the first post in five years.
The rapper reached viral heights for her catchy bars and tagline as “the youngest flexer of the century.” Tay would frequently share humorous photos and videos holding up wads of cash. She rapidly amassed a multi-million following. Her posts on Vine and other social platforms garnered this vast audience.
The false deaths of the social media star and her brother came just over two years after her brother, Jason Tian, started a GoFundMe page dedicated to saving Tay from alleged abuse at the hands of her father. Tay’s parents are divorced, and her social media silence came after she relocated to Canada to live with her father and his girlfriend. Tian shared images of his sister’s bruised face, and raised approximately $17,000.
At the time of the GoFundMe, fans of the rapper were suspicious that Tian was exploiting his sister for money, and that she was not actually being abused. Tay’s social media break began when she moved to Canada to live with her father, which has also contributed to suspicions that he controlled her social media presence.
Social Media Reactions
Many fans immediately took Tay’s side and continue to levy allegations of child abuse and exploitation against Tay’s father.
i said it from the very beginning, it was her nasty parents
— viviana (fan) (@repmiIas) September 26, 2023
Tay’s father is yet to speak out on the allegations surrounding him allegedly faking his own daughter’s death.