Chris Hope is a lawyer in Vancouver, Canada, who is the father of Internet rap sensation Lil Tay, who told TMZ she was the victim of a death hoax after her Instagram was hacked on August 9, 2023.
Lil Tay told TMZ on August 10, “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. 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.”
She added, “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 Instagram post that claimed to have been written by Lil Tay’s family has been deleted.
Lil Tay’s mother’s name is Angela Tian.
Before the post was deleted, Heavy contacted Vancouver police and the British Columbia coroner’s office to see if they had any information on the supposed deaths of Lil Tay and her brother. “We haven’t gotten any reports of her death here at the Vancouver Police Department. As of now, we are not aware and are not investigating,” Constable Tania Visintin, media relations officer for Vancouver police, told Heavy in an email. Of her brother, Visintin added, “Yes, we are not aware and not investigating.”
Lil Tay and her brother do not come up in the Los Angeles County coroner’s database. They previously lived in the LA area, according to their social media posts.
Here’s what you need to know about Chris Hope, Lil Tay’s dad:
1. Chris Hope Is a Commercial Helicopter Pilot & Lawyer in British Columbia
Hope’s LinkedIn page describes him as a “lawyer, author pilot.”
It shows that he has worked as a lawyer for a firm in Vancouver, Canada since 2013.
He is also a transport Canada licensed commercial helicopter pilot and a tribunal member of the property assessment appeal board, according to his LinkedIn page.
The page says that Hope also co-produced a movie called “Focus.”
He was also listed as an executive – member at large – of the Vancouver Bar Association, and as an arbitrator for the South Coast BC Transit Authority Act fare infraction appeal tribunal.”
2. Lil Tay’s Dad Defended Himself Against Accusations That He Mistreated Lil Tay
Over the years, Hope has defended himself against accusations that he abused or neglected Lil Tay. To The Cut, he explained in 2019 that he and Lil Tay’s mother had joint custody of the girl, and he learned she was making rap videos, at age 9, from her school.
He grew concerned about the content and wanted her career to go in a more professionalized direction, he told The Cut, and a struggle emerged, with the mother wanting to take the child to Los Angeles, and the father living in Canada.
The Cut reported:
Chris wanted to trademark Lil Tay, buy a domain, and settle on management. And he stipulated that a percentage of her earnings be put in a trust for her future, as is required by Canadian and California law. Since his daughter might ruin her future by acting outrageous on the internet, she’d better at least have some money saved, he figured. In the meantime, he wanted to make sure she still attended school.
At one point accusations against Hope were blamed on an online hacker. “My daughter is hurting and she is angry. I regret that I was unable to stop all the negative things from happening to her,” Hope told Hollywood Life in 2018. “I am heartbroken about what has happened, not only to her, but also to my other family members, due to past events and now, due to the lies and harassment that were posted on Instagram. I don’t know if the Instagram was hacked or not; all I know is that the person or people controlling the Instagram did things that are crimes in Canada and in California, and we will see what happens with that.”
“My daughter wants to pursue acting and singing, and I support her 100% in following her dreams. I think she was given bad advice about many things earlier this year, and she was steered in the wrong direction by various people,” he told Hollywood Life.
“I hope my daughter is able to follow a path that will make her happy, keep her safe, and allow her to grow up into the amazing person I know she is,” Hope told the publication.
3. Lil Tay’s Half Brother, Jason Tian, Accused Chris Hope of Abuse & Neglect on a GoFundMe Page
In 2021, Jason Tian took the accusations against Chris Hope to a GoFundMe page that is filled with photos showing Lil Tay with injuries to her face.
It’s called “Save Tay from a Life of Abuse.”
“Lil Tay will be fighting for her life, future and freedom starting April 23, 2021. Tay is in desperate need of funds to support her fight against her abusive father, as a result of this situation she has been in a state of depression. ALL FUNDS raised through this GoFundMe will go towards Tay’s legal fees to give her the fighting chance in court to save her from a life of abuse.. Towards her future, and freedom,” the page alleged.
It contains a series of accusations and is still live.
4. Lil Tay’s Mother, Angela Tian & Her Father Battled in Court
According to Paper Magazine, a Canadian judge eventually granted Hope full custody of Lil Tay.
According to The Cut, “Her parents have a difficult history: Numerous times since Claire was born, they’ve had to go to court to hash out their differences.”
Angela Tian gave an interview with Lil Tay to “Good Morning America” during the height of her popularity.
“No one’s forcing me to do this. It’s not true that she wants to make money off of me,” Lil Tay told the show. Angela Tian used to work for a real-estate firm, the show said. “My mom doesn’t run social media,” Lil Tay said, with her mother sitting next to her.
“She is a well mannered, and a great kid,” Angela Tian told the show.
5. The Post Claimed That the Deaths of Lil Tay & Her Brother Were Under Investigation
“It is with a heavy heart that we share the devastating news of our beloved Claire’s sudden and tragic passing. We have no words to express the unbearable loss and indescribable pain,” the now-deleted Instagram post said. “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. Claire will forever remain in our hearts, her absence leaving and irreplaceable void that will be felt by all who knew and loved her.