Lil Tay's father does not have a problem with his daughter's quest for fame. He does, however, have a problem with those in the 11-year-old's life who he believes have been exploiting her for their own personal gain and now he claims to be trying to get Tay's priorities in order, and also let her be a child.
Christopher Hope quietly stepped in amid his 11-year-old daughter's meteoric and controversial rise to social media fame. Having recently gained custody of his daughter, Chris says he had been a major presence in her life up until recently when her Instagram career took off at the hands of her brother, Jason, and mother, Angela Tian, and he was edged out of her life.
"I have been a major, significant part of my daughter’s life since she was born. In the last two years this changed (due to what my daughter was told by other people, and the actions of other people, not anything that I did), but she has always remained a source of pride and I have done my best to be the father she needs," Hope tells The Blast. "I do regret not being able to fight past the other people in her life, who did not want me to be a part of her life, in the last while. I felt I had to step in this year because I felt it was my responsibility to try to keep her safe and keep her future from being ruined by people who just want to make money from her," he added.
Hope, who is an attorney in Canada, came to light for the first time over the weekend after Tay's Instagram account was reactivated after months of silence and a slew of allegations, including abuse, were levied against the 11-year-old's father. He fired off a cease and desist to Jason, claiming he's behind the posts and has allegedly encouraged others to “conduct criminal extortion and harassment.”
Now that Tay, whose real name is actually Claire, is in the custody of her father, education will be her focus, instead of Instagram. "People have to remember that my daughter is just a little girl. She needs to go to school and be happy and healthy. She does not need to make money for other people. Because she wants to sing and act, I will support her in that."
As far as Tay's Internet fame, Hope says he'll keep encouraging her, despite the inappropriate turn her social media persona has taken. He says, "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. 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."