A woman who went viral for filming herself attacking a mask display at Target now says she regrets her actions. Melissa Lively, known online as “QAnon Karen,” made headlines earlier this month after throwing a tantrum inside an Arizona store.
Footage of the incident shows Lively shouting expletives while tossing face masks on the floor.
“Target, I’m not playing any more fucking games,” she says. “This shit is fucking over.”
Lively was eventually confronted by two Target employees and asked to stop.
“Why? You let everybody else do it, but I can’t do it because I’m a blonde white woman?” Lively responded.
Police were eventually called to the location and Lively was allowed to leave without arrest. But the meltdown didn’t stop there.
Later that day, Lively began livestreaming on Instagram a confrontation with law enforcement at her home after her husband, Jared Lively, called the police. The husband, who has filed for divorce, had reportedly been concerned about his wife’s mental health.
Footage of the second encounter, which ultimately led to Lively being taken into custody, shows the woman ranting about the deep state, President Donald Trump, and QAnon.
“I was hired to be the QAnon spokesperson,” she says. “Call Donald Trump and ask him if you don’t believe me.”
Speaking with USA TODAY, Lively now says her behavior was caused by mental health issues brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think mental illness has been really something that has not been addressed as a result of this pandemic,” Lively said. “Because what happened to me was scary and it changed my life forever. I felt I had absolutely no control over my actions.”
Lively also revealed that she stayed in a mental healthy facility for more than a week after police took her in for a psychiatric evaluation.
“I can absolutely see that how I acted was unbelievably inappropriate not to mention classless and just completely out of character for how I conduct myself, professionally and personally,” she said.
Not everyone is so certain that mental health is to blame. Adrienne Bryant, who had previously worked with Lively, stated that the woman had made racist and conspiratorial posts on social media long before the meltdown.
“I don’t want to discount mental health,” Bryant said. “But mental health is not her escape of who she is as a conscious being.”
Lively’s husband likewise suggested that mental health wasn’t all to blame for her behavior.
“There’s a lot of people that have a manic episode like this,” he said. “They just don’t film it.”
Lively says she is now working to fix her damaged reputation both in her personal and professional life.
“It’s going to take a long time for me to rebuild the trust from people, you know as I get my life and career back on track,” she said.
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H/T USA TODAY