Former influencer and rapper Lil Tay, born Claire Eileen Qi Hope, has suddenly passed away at the age of 14, according to an official statement shared on her Instagram. However, her father could not confirm or deny her passing.
The social media personality first garnered widespread attention when she was only 9 years old. She was known for her controversial and profanity-laced videos, where she'd flash wads of cash and pose next to luxury cars. "People think it's funny, I guess, 'cause I'm 9 years old and I've accomplished so much," she once said on Good Morning America. "I'm the youngest flexer. I can do anything I like. If they don’t believe me, I don't care."
Lil Tay's last post on the platform before the shocking announcement was from 2018 – and has been inactive since then. According to the official statement, Lil Tay's death was "sudden and tragic," and her "brother's passing" has deepened their grief.
"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," her team writes. "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."
It continues, "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. Claire will forever remain in our hearts, her absence leaving an irreplaceable void that will be felt by all who knew and loved her."
There has been no announcement yet of Lil Tay's cause of death, but social media influencers are already making assumptions. It's important to note that these are based on rumors, seemingly from an edited Facebook post of someone claiming she committed suicide.
Lil Tay's Father and the Abuse Allegations Against Him
In 2021, an Instagram Story was shared on Lil Tay's account, which teased "bad news" about the young influencer. It was later revealed that she allegedly fought her father in court due to abuse. It was discovered that her mom – Angela Tian – was purportedly involved in making the viral videos and fired from her real estate job. Her brother, Jason Tian, also faced backlash after a video displayed him coaching his sister and informing her what to say. She disappeared shortly after gaining momentum online.
According to Complex, posts were shared on her Instagram in 2018 "with allegations of the abuse the young rapper has allegedly faced at the hands of her father [Chris Hope] and his wife, who have also kept her from posting online and kept her from making money, while also spending the money she made as a viral star." Her brother then began a campaign using the hashtag #SaveLilTay to raise money to help his sister with her legal fees. Her father has denied these accusations.
Another story from July 2018 was shared on her account that said, "Help me." The last post she shared on June 2018 was of her and XXXTenacion after he died. The caption read, “X you truly changed me. You were there for me when everyone wanted me to fail, you were there to give me advice, you were there. As a father figure, when I don’t have one, you were here, FaceTiming me and calling me for hours when I’m down. I can’t believe this, the evil in the world, This isn’t good Bye. I Love you Bro.”
Tian's GoFundMe from 2021 shows shocking images of Tian covered in bruises and red marks. "Lil Tay will be fighting for her life, future and freedom starting April 23, 2021. Tay is in desperate need of funds to support her fight against her abusive father, as a result of this situation she has been in a state of depression. ALL FUNDS raised through this GoFundMe will go towards Tay’s legal fees to give her the fighting chance in court to save her from a life of abuse.. Towards her future, and freedom," the page says.
It continues, "Starting April 23, 2021, Tay will be on trial in the BC Supreme Court of Canada up against her absentee father Chris Hope, who along with his wife Hanee Hope (previously known as Richanee Alcover), had physically and mentally abused her. Chris Hope is fighting to permanently gain control of her career as well as custody over her."
Tian writes that Lil Tay had been silent the past three years because Hope served their mother a court order demanding control over the influencer's finances, custody, and career. He adds their "absentee father" requested a court order to prevent his sister from speaking out "about the truth" and has "stolen millions of dollars" from Lil Tay, signing "million dollar deals" and spending millions on himself and his wife, Hanee Hope.
He further reveals the alleged abuse that Lil Tay faced, sharing images of his sister with marks on her face. He shares an instance when Lil Tay was only five, where Chris Hope and his wife told the young girl Tay "to stand between the closet door where she then slammed the door on her foot, she was left with a broken and bloody toenail."
Lil Tay's mom apparently went to the Vancouver police station, and they began to investigate Chris and his wife, but the abuse "did not stop," Tian says, as they were angered after police involvement.
"Please help save Tay, your donation will give her the opportunity to fight for her future and freedom, freedom from a life of exploitation and abuse. Tay needs you," he concludes. "Other ways you can help: share this gofundme, post and advocate using #SAVELILTAY, post saveliltay.com in your bio and posts."
There haven’t been any recent updates or news on Lil Tay’s cause of death, nor has her team addressed the alleged abuse she faced from Chris Hope.
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