Lil Tay's First Public Photo Since Since Wild Death Hoax Heightens The Mystery

Lil Tay has returned to the public eye in the wake of that outlandish death hoax. On August 9, a post was uploaded to the social media influencer's Instagram page, claiming she passed away. "It is with a heavy heart that we share the devastating news of our beloved Claire's sudden and tragic passing," the now-deleted post revealed (via USA Today). The statement also claimed that her brother, Jason Tian, passed away. However, the tragic news was quickly debunked by Lil Tay herself, who told TMZ that she was alive and well. "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," she said. "It's been a traumatizing 24 hours." 

Towards the end of her statement, the young star revealed that the death claim was uploaded by a third party who compromised her account. "My Instagram account ... [was] used to spread jarring misinformation and rumors regarding me, to the point that even my name was wrong," she added. "My legal name is Tay Tian, not 'Claire Hope.'" While Lil Tay has confirmed that she is, in fact, alive, the young talent has refrained from going on any public outings. However, on September 27, that all changed when the teenage influencer was spotted for the first time in years. 

Lil Tay spotted at LAX following viral death hoax

After years of being absent from the public eye, Lil Tay was spotted alive and well at the Los Angeles International Airport. In the photo, the young social media star is wearing a black hoodie, face mask, and sunglasses. Lil Tay was also joined by her brother, Jason Tian, her mother, Angela Tian, and a handful of security guards. According to a report from the New York Post, Lil Tay did not interact with the paparazzi while exiting the airport. The young influencer's aforementioned appearance comes a few days after she accused her father, Christopher Hope, of creating the disturbing death hoax. "My abusive, racist, misogynistic woman-beating father faked my death," she wrote, per TMZ.

That same day, Christopher delivered a statement to the news outlet denying Lil Tay's claims. "The person who is responsible for that Instagram post, as well as anyone repeating the completely false and libelous accusation within it, are virtually certain to become defendants in a defamation lawsuit," he said. "Everything stated is 100% false, and I trust that this should be obvious to anyone who knows me or the long history of absurd and untrue statements made by the various people who have controlled the Instagram account." With Lil Tay reportedly set to go on Instagram Live on September 30, it's safe to say that this situation is far from over.