Lil Tay has vanished, again. The nine-year-old Instagram star dropped off the grid earlier this year, but now, new details suggest she’s no longer living with her mother Angela Tian. Instead, she’s thought to be living with her father, a man named Christopher John Hope in Canada. But, what are the actual facts? The whole situation is hardly clear-cut, and most of the details read like one-sided speculation. As per a few peculiar Instagram posts, it appears that Lil Tay been banned from social media by her formally estranged father. Here’s what we know so far.
Sometime early in 2018, Lil Tay became a viral sensation almost overnight when she began posting pictures and video of herself cursing and throwing money at a camera for her two million Instagram followers. While many wrote the whole thing off as a joke, it’s humor was debatable, and others naturally took offense to the child’s antics. But, on June 6th, the nine-year-old vanished from social media entirely.
It made some sense. The backlash against the viral sensation was pretty much instantaneous. Parents, writers, a relentless cesspool of internet denizens, and most people with a pulse were quick to call out the nine-year-old for everything from fake flexing to cultural appropriation. Being the optics nightmare that it was, Lil Tay actually took all of the content on her Instagram down and pushed forward with something of a rebrand. The “new” Lil Tay was a bit calmer and traded in Ferraris with a rapper’s bravado for dance classes and a burgeoning music career. Around July 5th the nine-year-old went radio-silent for the second time. But, before dropping off she posted a cryptic Instagram story that simply read “help me.”
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Part 1: June 2nd @freeliltay__ 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. He banned her off of social media because he was afraid she would expose the TRUTH to the world, the truth of what he has done and hasn’t been punished for. For the past few months, he has been trying to destroy Tay and her mother’s life for his own financial gain… I am someone who previously worked with Tay and have seen everything unfold since the beginning. I will not stay silent about this any longer, Christopher John Hope is trying to grab at her fame, money and ultimately take Tay away from her mother who has loved and cared for Tay all her life, something Christopher John Hope has never done. #FreeLilTay
On October 21st, a “representative” for Lil Tay, someone who claims to have worked closely with her, began posting from her Instagram account, sharing information regarding an alleged legal struggle between Hope and Lil Tay’s mother. No one has any clue who this person is, but Lil Tay’s Instagram bio says that the account is now run by the vestiges of her management team.
“Let me reveal the truth that millions of people have been asking about for months…,” the anonymous poster wrote in a video caption. “…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 representative went on to say that Hope has banned his daughter from social media out of fear that she will “expose the TRUTH to the world.” Allegedly a court order was issued in Hope’s favor which required Lil Tay to be at his residence by June 3rd at 4 PM. Though Hope hadn’t interacted with his daughter much in recent years, the post claims he “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.” Their explanations of the situation were written as captions beneath a handful of video and pictures of Lil Tay and her family. In one such video, Lil Tay can be seen in tears, decrying her father for living “six minutes away” but never visiting her at all.
The posts then go on to outline, in detail, a large handful of instances in which Hope’s abusive behavior was most apparent. On top of cheating on his Ex-wife Tian with multiple women (Hope allegedly had two wives at the same time), the post says that “once they separated he often slept with different women with Tay in the same bed.”
“He wouldn’t feed her or make her proper meals and would mainly leave Tay with Richanee Alcover’s [an alleged con artist and Hope’s new partner] sister Chezca to care for her while he went out with Richanee Alcover and her son…” The post reads. ”…She would scream at Tay and forcefully lock her in a dark closet for hours at a time for no reason, all with the knowledge and permission of Christopher John Hope.”
According to the poster, instances like these are what resulted in Lil Tay needing to see a therapist every week and Tian gaining full custody of her. Still, none of the eight posts to Lil Tay’s Instagram actually explains what the basis for the custody switch is. After neglecting his daughter for years the post claims that Hope is doing all this for “his own financial gain.” There is, what the poster says is an official court affidavit outlining Hope’s behavior, but neither Hope, Lil Tay, or Tian have spoken out about it. While the whole situation seems a little jarring, all of the posts are notably lacking verified facts and it’s literally impossible to make heads or tales of any of it. The lack of verification seems odd because something like a court affidavit is highly verifiable. Beyond the room for doubt, if what her representative says about Hope is true—well then this whole scenario should be cause for serious alarm.
Two more posts were made from her account on the morning of October 22nd. One of them depicts Hope with a distorted voice-over claiming that he has filed another expedited court order to put his daughter into foster care and have her mother arrested. The aforementioned post has since been deleted from the Instagram account as well as at least one of the videos posted yesterday
“This is not something you want to do Chris,” the distorted voiceover said. “I have a lot more dirt on you and this is just the beginning.” And the rest of the world is waiting to see what happens next.