Fans were caught off guard when a post was shared to Lil Tay’s Instagram Story teasing “bad news” about the young rapper. It was later revealed that she is reportedly fighting her father in court after years of abuse. Lil Tay, whose real name is Claire Hope, became Internet-famous in 2018 when she was 9-years-old with videos of herself flexing while holding wads of cash in her hands while sitting inside expensive cars and walking around mansions. Her videos quickly went viral and she soon amassed a large following on Instagram, which currently boasts 2 million fans. She befriended fellow viral personalities like Woah Vicky, bringing her into altercations with Bhad Bhabie and other figures in their lane. Her mother, Angela Tian, was reportedly fired from her real estate firm after it was revealed that she was involved in the making of the viral clips. Her brother, Jason Tian, also landed in hot water at the time when a video of him coaching his sister, telling her what to say in her viral clips, leaked online. Just as soon as she became an influencer by telling everyone how much richer she was than the rest of us, she disappeared.
Nothing was shared on Tay’s Instagram account since June 2018 after a judge ordered her to move to Canada with her father, Chris Hope. Last week, various posts were shared on her Instagram with allegations of the abuse the young rapper has allegedly faced at the hands of her father 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. Now her brother has launched a social media campaign with the hashtag #SaveLilTay in an effort to raise money to help his sister fight her father in court. Fans are skeptical about her brother’s intentions and her dad has denied the allegations in the past. We have yet to hear from Tay regarding her situation. This story is still developing but here’s what we know so far.
It started with a bizarre post on Lil Tay’s Instagram story
The viral star had such a strong online presence in 2018, then suddenly, she disappeared. After nearly three years of silence on social media, an ominous story was posted to Lil Tay’s story on April 21, with the words “we have bad news about Tay.” Fans began wondering what the post meant and some even assumed the worst. A story from July 2018 that was highlighted on her page also said “Help me.” The last post on her feed prior to this was shared on June 2018 following XXXTentacion’s death. “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,” she wrote at the time. “I can’t believe this, the evil in the world, This isn’t good Bye. I Love you Bro.” There’s also a report from that time that said Tay was supposed to visit the late rapper at the time of his death but her troubles with her father prevented her from doing so.
A clip of a crying Lil Tay was posted on her Instagram page
Tian started a GoFundMe campaign to help cover his sister’s legal fees and to go more into detail regarding the abuse his sister has endured and shared how her father and stepmother have reportedly stolen the money she made during her career. “Please visit the link in bio for the full story in the GoFundMe and donate and share, your donation will go towards Tay’s legal fees giving her a fighting chance at freedom in court,” he wrote on Instagram. “You are Tay’s last hope in saving her from a life of abuse. We greatly appreciate any help Tay can get. Every dollar & every share counts. #SAVELILTAY.”
The GoFundMe also states that Hope had not seen his child in over 5 years prior to her fame and reportedly owes more than $400,000 in child support. It also says that Tay’s mother has spent thousands of dollars trying to help her daughter and cover her legal fees. “My sister Tay has been silent on social media for the past 3 years because her absentee father (Chris Hope) served my mother a court order demanding control over Tay’s money, career, and custody, and as a result, it was court ordered that my sister had to return to Vancouver, Canada. He also requested through a court order to prevent her from speaking out about the truth,” the GoFundMe page says. “Since then he has stolen millions of dollars from my sister and has taken control of all her funds. He has signed million-dollar deals and taken all of Tay’s money for himself, he has spent millions buying himself and his wife (Hanee Hope) a new mansion, speed boat, nice cars, trips to spas, salons, fancy restaurants, trips to Egypt, Dubai, Mexico, Philippines, Hawaii, the UK, Paris, designer clothing and jewelry/watches from head to toe, they have been living a lavish lifestyle for the past 3 years off of Tay’s money.”
Some fans are skeptical about donating and wondered if this was a scam Tian was trying to pull in order to get money. He has addressed these concerns and said: “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.” So far, the GoFundMe page has raised $15,660 out of the $150,000 goal.
Her brother shared details of the alleged child abuse Lil Tay endured
Chris Hope and his wife have reportedly been using up all of Tay’s money
Christopher Hope was accused of abusing his daughter by a hacker using her Instagram page in 2018, who claimed he was “destroying her life” in order to reap the benefits of her money. In June 2018, Tay was court-ordered to live with her father, who shared his side of the story. “My daughter is hurting and she is angry. I regret that I was unable to stop all the negative things from happening to her,” Hope, who is a lawyer in Vancouver, told Hollywood Life at the time. “I am heartbroken about what has happened, not only to her but also to my other family members, due to past events and now, due to the lies and harassment that were posted on Instagram. I don’t know if the Instagram was hacked or not; all I know is that the person or people controlling the Instagram did things that are crimes in Canada and in California, and we will see what happens with that.”
“When my daughter’s social media began to go viral this year, I disagreed with most of the social media activity. I took legal steps to stop things which I felt were dangerous to her physical and mental health and to her future,” Hope wrote in an email. “I do not think a 10-year-old girl should be put in those situations and made to drop out of school so that she can make money for other people. Everyone else involved in this situation is motivated by money and the possibility of making money off of my daughter. I am not fighting about money; I am fighting for my daughter—for her happiness and her future.”
Tay was set to return to the spotlight with a new image with her dad’s help and support, but she went off the grid soon after that. “My daughter wants to pursue acting and singing, and I support her 100% in following her dreams. I think she was given bad advice about many things earlier this year, and she was steered in the wrong direction by various people,” he continued. “I hope my daughter is able to follow a path that will make her happy, keep her safe, and allow her to grow up into the amazing person I know she is.”