Lil Tay Death Hoax: Meta Confirms Instagram Account Was Hacked

The 14-year-old rapper and influencer previously told TMZ that she's 'completely heartbroken' about the rumors of her death.

An Instagram post falsely claiming that controversial 14-year-old rapper and influencer Lil Tay had died last week was the work of a hacker, Meta confirms to TMZ

Five years after becoming a viral sensation, Tay recently found herself back in the headlines when an announcement of her untimely death was posted to her Instagram page. Then, the next day, she resurfaced with a statement via her family to TMZ, claiming her account had been hacked and 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," the statement read. "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."

"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 statement continued.

Meta is backing up Tay's statement, with a spokesperson confirming to TMZ that the tech giant worked with Tay to get her account back after it was hacked. The media outlet also reports that it was contacted by an individual who claimed to be a representative for Tay's family, issuing a press release that said Tay and her brother had died at their mother's home in Vancouver. However, inquires to police in the area and family members reportedly came back empty. 

Lil Tay's former manager Harry Tsang previously told ET that he believes her brother Jason was behind the death hoax in order to raise awareness and funds via GoFundMe. ET reached out to Jason for comment.

In a statement to ET, Tsang said, "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." He added, "This situation calls for cautious consideration and respect for the sensitivities involved."

Tsang's statement came after Lil Tay's father, Christopher Hope, told Business Insider he could not comment on the family's Instagram post. 

Last week, a statement shared on her Instagram account said that Lil Tay, 14, and her brother, Jason Tian, had died and that the circumstances surrounding their death remained under investigation.

"It is with a heavy heart that we share the devastating news of our beloved Claire's sudden and tragic passing," the false statement read. "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," the statement continued. "Claire will forever remain in our hearts, her absence leaving an irreplaceable void that will be felt by all who knew and loved her."

The fake post has since been scrubbed from Lil Tay's account, although she has not posted anything new, with her online presence virtually disappearing midway through 2018. Her most recent post remains a tribute to the late rapper XXXTentacion, who was killed in an armed robbery that year.

Tay became famous in 2018 for her controversial videos on social media, which included her driving expensive cars and flaunting stacks of cash. She also had a short-lived feud with Danielle Bregoli, also known as Bhad Bhabie.