Welp, it’s official:
This is the strangest celebrity gossip story of the year.
On Wednesday, the Instagram account of Internet rapper and influencer Lil Tay reported that the 14-year old had been found dead.
No cause of death was released at the time, but a statement by Lil Tay’s family revealed that both the teenager and her brother had passed away in some manner.
Here’s the thing, though:
In a statement provided to TMZ, allegedly from Lil Tay herself, the controversial social media user is, well, ALIVE.
“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,” reads this new message.
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.”
We can understand their confusion.
On August 9, Lil Tay’s 3.3 million Instagram followers were surprised to see a posting on this young woman’s account… considering it hadn’t been updated since 2018.
Referring to Lil Tay by her real first name, this post read:
“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. 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.”
Lil Tay became famous in 2018 due to her controversial videos on social media — which included her driving expensive cars and flaunting piles of cash.
In June of that same year, amid allegations about her family situation and safety, Lil Tay’s Instagram was wiped clean… and the words “help me” were posted to her account.
We later learned about accusations against Lil Tay’s father, Christopher, who was reportedly trying to take his child back to Canada in order to profit off her earnings.
In a phone interview back then The Daily Beast Lil Tay cited a “bad situation,” but not elaborate beyond that.
On Thursday, meanwhile, Lil Tay told 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 death posting is no longer on Lil Tay’s Instagram page.
Before Lil Tay addressed the confusion, her former manager questioned the legitimacy of the death announcement.
“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,” Harry Tsang told Insider in a statement on Wednesday.
“This situation calls for cautious consideration and respect for the sensitivities involved.
“My commitment remains focused on delivering updates that are both reliable and appropriately timed.”