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Is a Lil Tay custody battle playing out on Instagram? Or is this just promotional drama?
Over the weekend, a series of videos and photos appeared on her account, detailing drama with her father, Christopher John Hope. The caption on the first video, in which Tay can be seen doing the Robot, states: “Let me reveal the truth that millions of people have been asking about for months, this was Lil Tay the last time she was happy, 2 hours before Christopher John Hope, her abusive absentee father (will go into further details in next posts) who hasn’t been in her life for years, handed her a court order forcing her to go to his home in Canada in which she was constantly abused by Hope and his wife.”
The posts are allegedly from “someone who previously worked with Tay” and has “seen everything unfold since the beginning.” They go on to claim that Hope is a polygamist and that one of his wives was abusive toward Tay, and that Hope would often lock Tay in a closet while he was away and forced her to watch scary movies. There are also videos of Tay crying after being told she would have to go live with her father.
View this post on Instagram
Part 2: June 3rd @freeliltay__ The court order that was issued, required Tay to be at Christopher John Hope’s residence by 4:00 pm on June 3rd. Tay and Angela were forced to rush to his home or else he would have Tay’s mother arrested. This was Tay’s first encounter with Christopher John Hope in a very long time and it was very difficult for her to stand face to face with the person that abused her for many years, but she had no other choice. This horrible man threatened Tay’s Mom to have her arrested, sued and have Tay placed in foster care if she did not obey to the court order. But where was he before Tay was famous??? #FreeLilTay
A post shared by #FREELILTAY (@liltay) on
Another post alleges that Tay was working with late rapper XXXTentacion in June, and that he had purchased tickets for Tay and her mother to come to Florida “on June 18th,” but her father wouldn’t let her go. The post alleges that because Tay couldn’t go on that very specific date, XXXTentacion instead “decided to go to the motorcycle dealership last minute after Christopher John Hope stopped everything.” XXXTentacion was shot and killed at a South Florida motorcycle shop on June 18 during an armed robbery.
There’s been quite a bit of speculation about Tay’s parents; her mother has appeared in interviews and videos and was reportedly fired from her job as a Vancouver real estate agent after appearing in one. In September, after Tay’s Instagram account went dark, someone posted an update that just said, “Help me,” in addition to a series of bizarre, racist images. This is the first reference to her father.
The last post, from early Monday morning, has since been deleted, but it featured a distorted image of Hope and voice warning that “This is just the beginning,” which could certainly signal that this potentially manufactured drama will be siphoned into a new reality show or project; over the summer, Tay teased one reality show titled Life with Lil Tay.
After the Daily Beast published a piece on Tay’s alleged manager Alex “Loyalty G” Goller Gelbard in September (which we reported on), someone named Harry Tsang reached out to the Daily Dot to clarify that he was now Tay’s manager and that she was “about to make a comeback.” Tsang previously worked with Woah Vicky, the YouTuber whose fight with Bregoli (which featured Lil Tay) went viral before being deleted.
We’ve reached out for comment.
H/T the Blast
Audra Schroeder is the Daily Dot’s senior entertainment writer, and she focuses on streaming, comedy, and music. Her work has previously appeared in the Austin Chronicle, the Dallas Observer, NPR, ESPN, Bitch, and the Village Voice. She is based in Austin, Texas.