Lil Tay claimed the Instagram post announcing her death was the result of a hack, but her former manager Harry Tsang thinks there’s more to the story.
“I think she’s still alive, and I think it was fake,” Tsang told Us Weekly on Thursday, August 10. “I don’t believe anything that they say about the hacking. I’m glad that she’s OK.”
Fans were shocked to hear of Lil Tay’s alleged passing on Wednesday, August 9, after her five-year absence from social media. “It is with a heavy heart that we share the devastating news of our beloved Claire’s sudden and tragic passing,” read a statement shared via her official Instagram account. “We have no words to express the unbearable loss and indescribable pain. This outcome was entirely unexpected, and has left us all in shock.”
The statement also claimed that Tay’s brother, Jason Tian, recently died as well and claimed both deaths were “still under investigation.”
One day later, however, TMZ spoke to Lil Tay, who told the outlet she is alive and the statement was posted by an unknown third party.
“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,” she said on Thursday. “All day yesterday, I was bombarded with endless heartbreaking and tearful phone calls from loved ones all while trying to sort out this mess.”
Lil Tay also claimed that the statement did not get her name right. “My legal name is Tay Tian, not ‘Claire Hope,’” she said. (In 2019, New York magazine reported her full name as Claire Eileen Qi Hope and her birthdate as July 29, 2007, which would make her 16 now.)
After Tay’s alleged death made headlines, Tsang told Insider he could not “definitively confirm or dismiss the legitimacy of the statement” that was seemingly issued by the Tian family. “This situation calls for cautious consideration and respect for the sensitivities involved,” he said on Wednesday. “My commitment remains focused on delivering updates that are both reliable and appropriately timed.”
Insider noted on Thursday that a cryptocurrency coin named for Lil Tay appeared online less than one day after the Instagram statement announcing her supposed death. The currency was launched on the BNB Smart Chain with a total supply of 100 coins, but so far no one in the Tian family has claimed responsibility for its creation.
Tsang, for his part, told Insider that he’d previously been working on a Lil Tay cryptocurrency but said this coin was not his project. “I gave a warning to everyone already,” he told the outlet. “That is not us. We just took down the website and everything.”