Tay "Lil Tay" Tian was confirmed to be alive and well on August 10. The news came 24 hours after the former viral star's Instagram appeared to indicate that the 14-year-old and her brother had passed away unexpectedly. “I want to make it clear that my brother and I are safe and alive, but I’m completely heartbroken, and struggling to even find the right words to say. It’s been a very traumatizing 24 hours. All day yesterday, I was bombarded with endless heartbreaking and tearful phone calls from loved ones all while trying to sort out this mess,” Tian said in a statement to TMZ. “My Instagram account was compromised by a 3rd party and used to spread jarring misinformation and rumors regarding me, to the point that even my name was wrong. My legal name is Tay Tian, not “Claire Hope”.”
The announcement came after a bizarre series of events surrounding her "death". This included her father appearing to refuse that Lil Tay had in fact died. During the height of her viral fame in 2018, Lil Tay had done several concerning interviews. In these, she alleged abuse on the part of her parents. Perhaps as a result of the suspicious circumstances surrounding her "death", several people have publicly questioned the idea that the death hoax post was the work of hackers.
Ex-Manager Gives Thoughts On Lil Tay Death Hoax
Henry Tsang, who claims to be Lil Tay's former manager, spoke with The New York Post. In the interview, Tsang vocally doubted the hacking story. “I think she’s still alive, and I think it was fake,” Tsang said in a phone call with The Post. “I don’t believe anything that they say about the hacking,” he said later in the call. “I’m glad that she’s ok.” Tsang also confirmed that he had not attempted to contact Lil Tay or her family. Furthermore, he said he had no intention to do so. Tsang had previously preached caution about the rumors. “I have been in communication with individuals who have an intimate understanding of the family’s situation. Given the complexities of the current circumstances, I am at a point where I cannot definitively confirm or dismiss the legitimacy of the statement issued by the family,” Tsang told the US Sun.
Tsang did not assign blame for the debacle. However, some outlets have claimed that Tsang attributes the post to Lil Tay's brother, Jason. In 2021, Jason Tian set up a GoFundMe that sought to raise $19,000 to cover legal fees in what appeared to be an emancipation case between Tay and her father, Christopher Hope. Jason claimed that Tay had suffered physical abuse from both Hope and his second wife, Hancee.