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She Tore Down Masks in Target, Now Blasts 'Classless' Act

Melissa Rein Lively blames mental health struggles for July 4 incident in Scottsdale, Ariz.
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2020 11:31 AM CDT
Updated Aug 2, 2020 12:40 PM CDT

(Newser) – "This s---'s over!" Melissa Rein Lively ranted in a video posted last month, ripping face masks for coronavirus protection off their rack at an Arizona Target and throwing them on the floor. The self-recorded clip—in which Lively also shows off a Rolex watch she says is worth $40,000—went viral, garnering more than 10 million views after Rex Chapman featured it on his Twitter feed. A longer version is still up on Lively's Facebook page. Now Lively, the founder and CEO of a PR firm, is calling what she did during the July 4 incident in Scottsdale "unbelievably inappropriate," "classless," and "completely out of character," and she says her mental health struggles are to blame, per USA Today. "I think mental illness has been really something that has not been addressed as a result of this pandemic," she says. "Because what happened to me was scary and it changed my life forever."

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"I felt I had absolutely no control over my actions," she adds. Lively says cops questioned her and let her go after the Target incident, and she returned home, only to have her husband call police out of concern for her mental state. She says she went to a mental health center for more than a week. MarketWatch notes health authorities have expressed concern about people's mental health during the pandemic, spurred by health fears and job losses. Heavy.com reports Lively has had other disturbing social-media posts, including ones in which she uses the n-word and says she's a QAnon rep. The Phoenix New Times also notes she had restraining orders taken out against her last year by the co-founders of her former company. Lively says she's lost all her clients and her husband filed for divorce, though in a Wednesday post she notes she's "deeply committed to repairing my marriage, family and personal and professional relationships and pursuing treatment is the first step." (Read more face masks stories.)

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