Lil Tay’s mom, Angela Tian, is speaking out about fighting for custody of her children following a death hoax targeting the 14-year-old social media star.
“It has been years of blood, sweat and tears — this experience has put us in a constant state of severe depression, for myself and for both of my children,” Tian told Us Weekly in a statement on Friday, August 18. “Tay has had to talk to counselors for two hours weekly. We have dreaded every waking moment with no hope in sight for years.”
Tian and Tay’s father, Christopher Hope, have been in a custody battle for several years. In 2018, Hope got a court order that required Tay to leave Los Angeles and move to Vancouver, which prompted her social media hiatus. That same year an unknown user, who claimed to have previously worked with Tay, uploaded a post alleging that Hope was abusive and “banned her off social media.”
“There are no words to describe the years of pain and oppression my daughter and I have suffered, and we have been ruthlessly stripped of basic rights and freedoms from the opposing party due to [Hope’s] disgusting financial motivations,” Tian’s statement read. “It breaks my heart that my children had to endure this pain for so long.”
The message continued: “Years have been lost — years that we will never get back and damages that will last a lifetime. I have been financially ruined fighting for my daughter’s rights and freedom which should have never been taken away to begin with.”
Tian ended the statement by thanking her lawyers for “fighting” for her daughter’s “best interests while bringing justice to this case” while noting that Tay can now “pursue and achieve her dreams on her own terms.”
News of the custody battle came days after a post on Tay’s Instagram went viral claiming that the Internet personality and her brother, Jason, had died. The message appeared to be written by her family, but that wasn’t the case.
Hope declined to comment on reports of his daughter’s alleged death at the time. “I’m not able to give you any comment right now. I’m sorry — I can’t,” he said to the New York Post.
The following day, Tay released a statement revealing she and Jason are 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. It’s been a very traumatizing 24 hours,” she told TMZ on August 10. “All day yesterday, I was bombarded with endless heartbreaking and tearful phone calls from loved ones all while trying to sort out this mess.”
At this time, it is unknown who started the death hoax. Tay, for her part, has alleged to TMZ that her Instagram “was compromised by a 3rd party” which was used to “spread jarring misinformation and rumors.”
Us has reached out to Hope for comment.