Social media influencer Lil Tay is alive, her family clarified in a Thursday statement, asserting that the 14-year-old did not die as reported in multiple media outlets.
“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,” Lil Tay, whose legal name is Tay Tian, said in a statement issued by her family to TMZ. “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.”
The internet star expounded on the confusion, saying her social media account was hacked. In a statement to TheWrap, the Los Angeles Police Department said they have no information about the death of Tay Tian or Claire Hope.
“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,’” Tian continued in her response.
The Youtube star’s family shared the news of Lil Tay’s death on Wednesday in an Instagram post that has since been removed.
“It is with a heavy heart that we share the devastating news of our beloved Claire’s sudden and tragic passing,” her family wrote. The post also mentioned Tian’s brother, Jason Tian, who performed as a rapper under the name Rycie, also died.
“We have no words to express the unbearable loss and indescribable pain,” the statement continued. “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. 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.”
Tian’s stardom came about when she was 9. At the time she would post videos that included her using profanity, rapping and throwing money. Her fame eventually landed her the opportunity to star in her own series on Zeus called “Life With Lil Tay.”