UNITED STATES: Lil Tay, whose actual name is Claire Hope Eileen Qi, a 14-year-old viral internet star was reported to have died unexpectedly in a statement published on her official Instagram page on Wednesday (Aug 9).
It started when her family posted a statement on Instagram, disclosing the surprising departure of the 14-year-old who had been absent from public attention for the past 5 years.
Although the statement lacked a specified source, it indicated that both Tay and her brother had experienced untimely deaths.
Regrettably, no details were provided concerning the circumstances or timing of these incidents. The statement simply acknowledged that the situation is currently under investigation.
The mystery surrounding the death of the viral internet sensation, Lil Tay, grew more intricate on Wednesday night, as both her father and former managers declined to confirm her alleged death.
Two ex-managers of Tay expressed to The U.S. Sun that they harbored doubts regarding the authenticity of the statement and had faced difficulties in confirming its validity.
An ex-manager of Tay, who preferred not to be named, revealed that specific aspects of the statement seemed questionable in terms of its authenticity.
“One thing I would question is who posted that statement and why isn’t it signed by anyone from the family,” he said.
“Why is it not signed, ‘This is Tay’s mom’, or ‘This is the dad of Lil Tay’, or from an official representative? Why is there no attachment?”
“To me, that is a very telltale sign. It doesn’t make sense. Even when you have passings, there’s a group of people that come together to make the statement, usually the family, and we don’t see that here,” he added.
Upon being contacted by phone on Wednesday evening, Christopher Hope, Tay’s father, declined to offer any elucidation regarding the situation.
He acknowledged the growing questions surrounding Tay’s demise, yet he conveyed his reluctance to disclose additional details.
He also declined to affirm whether Tay resided with him during the alleged time of her passing, the source of the statement declaring her death, and whether law enforcement had been informed.
“I won’t be providing a statement,” he stated. “I won’t address that for now.”
Tay was recently thought to be residing with her father in Vancouver.
Lil Tay went viral in 2017 at the age of nine, capturing attention through explicit-laden Instagram videos showcasing her displaying stacks of money and asserting a luxurious hip-hop way of life.
Self-proclaimed “century’s youngest flexer,” she formed connections with several well-known rappers, including the now-deceased XXXTentacion and Chief Keef.
However, she disappeared from the internet five years ago due to a legal dispute between her parents over custody. During that time, unsettling claims emerged on the internet regarding her family’s circumstances and safety.
In June 2018, Lil Tay’s Instagram content was erased, and her story contained the phrase “help me,” sparking concerns of a potential abduction.
Then, a couple of months later, a sequence of messages that accused her father, Christopher Hope, of abuse, appeared on the page, apparently due to a hacking incident.
Tay’s success has mostly been attributed to her older brother, Jason Tian, but in 2019, allegations were directed towards him, claiming that he had exploited his sister by forcing her to participate in the videos and instructing her on what to say.
It remains uncertain whether Jason the sibling referred to in the statement mentioned has passed away.
Netizens’ response surrounding her death
Amidst an outpouring of condolences and prayers, a segment of fans has raised queries and apprehensions about her demise across various social media platforms.
One Instagram user articulated their confusion, stating, “They (Lil Tay’s parents) took her away from social media for 5+ years, nobody heard from her and now she’s dead?” she said, further adding that the situation needs to be investigated.
Several individuals responding to this comment shared a comparable perspective, collectively expressing a suspicion that there might be underlying circumstances that warrant attention.
Many remarked on the poignancy of her prolonged absence, only for her to resurface in such a tragic context.
In the midst of this uncertainty, another user expressed bewilderment and urged the responsible adults to break their silence, offering an authentic account of the unfolding events.