Thursday, 12 November 2020

PR exec who trashed Target mask display says her outburst was triggered by 'doom-scrolling' QAnon conspiracy theories and is now writing memoir called 'You Can't Cancel Me'

 The Arizona PR executive who was dubbed a 'Karen' after she was seen in a viral video destroying a rack of masks inside a Target while shouting that the pandemic was over, is turning her life around months after her 'mental breakdown episode.' 

Melissa Rein Lively, 35, made headlines on July 4 when she uploaded an Instagram video of herself throwing masks on the floor and yelling at two Scottsdale Target employees, while boasting about her $40,000 Rolex. 

Footage of the incident quickly went viral, triggering an onslaught of online abuse and death threats, leading Lively to believe her life and successful career was over. 

Speaking to The Washington Post four months on, Lively revealed she is now in a better place and is in the process of writing a memoir called 'You Can't Cancel Me - The Story of My Life.'

Melissa Rein Lively, 35, went viral in July after she filmed herself destroying a rack of face masks in a Target in Scottsdale, Arizona. She has since turned her life around, documenting her recovery on YouTube and is in the process of writing a memoir

Melissa Rein Lively, 35, went viral in July after she filmed herself destroying a rack of face masks in a Target in Scottsdale, Arizona. She has since turned her life around, documenting her recovery on YouTube and is in the process of writing a memoir 

In an interview with the Washington Post, Lively (pictured in Instagram posts) said she's now working to restore her image, adding that her outburst was the culmination of her declining mental health induced by the pandemic
Melissa Lively

In an interview with the Washington Post, Lively (pictured in Instagram posts) said she's now working to restore her image, adding that her outburst was the culmination of her declining mental health induced by the pandemic

The PR executive said she's now working to restore her image, adding that her outburst was the culmination of her declining mental health induced by the pandemic.    

Prior to the incident, Lively said her mental health had taken a hit as she had been 'consumed with doom-scrolling on the internet' and sucked in by online conspiracy theories, particularly QAnon. 

'All of this fear porn that I was consuming online was just feeding my depression and anxiety,' she told the publication on Wednesday.  

'The culmination of everything I had experienced, like all that energy, just zeroed in on the masks. And I just snapped.'

In the viral video, Lively was seen pulling down a mask display while yelling 'This s**t's over, this s**t's over, this s***t's over. Woo! I don't need this s**t. We don't want any of this anymore, this s**t's over.'

When two Target employees confronted her she claimed she was targeted because she was white.

'Why? You let everyone else do it. Why? I can't do it cause I'm a blonde, white woman? Wearing a f**king $40,000 Rolex? I don't have the right to f**k s**t up?' she fumed. 

Another video showed police coming to her home where she claimed she was a spokesperson for President Trump and the QAnon conspiracy theory, which believes there's a supposed 'Deep State' secret plot against the president. 

On July 4 Rein Lively stormed into a Scottsdale, Arizona Target and threw all the face masks on a rack onto the ground shouting: 'This s***'s over!'
When two employees asked her to stop Lively replied: 'Why? You let everyone else do it. Why? I can¿t do it cause I¿m a blonde, white woman? Wearing a f***ing $40,000 Rolex? I don¿t have the right to f*** s*** up?'

On July 4 Rein Lively stormed into a Scottsdale, Arizona Target and threw all the face masks on a rack onto the ground shouting: 'This s***'s over!' 

Cops visit Target mask attacker as she rants about Trump and QAnon
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She told the publication the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic had sent her into a 'tailspin' searching for answers, which she found in QAnon.  

'The answers are horrifying and will scare you more than reality, but at least you feel oddly comforted, like, "At least now I have the answer," she said.

'They tell you the institutions you're supposed to trust are lying to you. Anybody who tells you that QAnon is [wrong] is a bad guy, including your friends and family. It happens gradually, and you don't realize you're getting more and more deep in it.'

Lively had visited the Target store on that fateful day to buy a bottle water.

She then 'snapped' when she saw the masks display, launching into her now-viral meltdown during which she 'blacked out'. 


Lively claimed she still does not know what he had been trying to say during the incident, saying she was living in a 'fantasy land in my mind.'   

'But I take full accountability,' she said. 'I know I scared a lot of people. I know I angered a lot of people.' 

She was later hospitalized involuntarily for a week during which she received a slew of hate mail and death threats. 

Lively says she and her husband have managed to repair their marriage after he had filed for the divorce after her tirade

Lively says she and her husband have managed to repair their marriage after he had filed for the divorce after her tirade

'Rolex Karen' films herself trashing masks inside Target
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'My messages would fill up every single day with people saying, "I hope you die. Please kill yourself. I'm going to come and kill you,' she said.  

Lively received help in the months to follow, during which she also managed to repair her marriage with her husband who had filed for divorce after the tirade, she told DailyMail.com in July. 

She checked into a rehab facility in Wickenburg, stopped reading QAnon theories, and issued an apology in a statement shared with DailyMail.com. 

'For the last year and a half, I have been facing a silent and debilitating experience with mental illness as well as other health diagnoses that recently escalated my condition and its severity,' she said at the time. 

'I have accepted the medical help and professional intervention that is needed to establish mental and physical stability for myself and my family.'

Lively on Wednesday said she hopes her 'spectacular downfall' and subsequent rehabilitation could serve as a motivation comeback story for others. 

'If I can come back from this, anybody can come back from anything,' she said. 

As part of her road to recovery, Lively has also launched a YouTube channel where she has been documenting her story. 

She announced she had been interviewed over her story, in a video uploaded last week.  

'Being somebody who in my career has told the stories of thousands of people over the years, I never quite thought that this would be the way that I would tell mine,' she said. 

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