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Woman who went viral for trashing face masks at Target reveals she was institutionalized and her husband filed for divorce afterward


'I felt I had absolutely no control over my actions'

Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Melissa Rein Lively, who went viral in early July for destroying a face mask display at an Arizona Target, says she is now in treatment for mental illness.

What's a brief history here?

Lively, the CEO and founder of an Arizona-based public relations firm, visited a Scottsdale Target on July 4.

When she arrived, she found that she was infuriated at a nearby mask display.

She began filming herself while shouting and knocking all of the masks from the rack, yelling, "Finally, we meet at the end of the road. I've been looking forward to this s**t all my f***ing life."

Targeting the mask, she continued, "I'm not playing any more f***ing games. This s**t is f***ing over. This s**t's over."

Employees intervened and demanded she stop.

"Why?" Lively snapped. "You let everyone else do it. ... I can't do it because I'm a blonde, white woman? That's wearing a f***ing $40,000 Rolex? I don't have the f***ing right to f*** s**t up?"

She left the store, but it wasn't long after that local police visited her at her home.

During her questioning over the incident, Lively said police officers are targeting her because she's Jewish.

"This is a Nazi f***ing game!" she shouted.

In June, Lively appeared on a Scottsdale radio show, where she discussed government intervention in the COVID-19 crisis.

"Where does government overreach take place and where does personal responsibility begin? When is it appropriate for a mayor or a governor or a federal government or anything to put restrictions on what people can do and what businesses can do?" she asked at the time.

What's she saying now?

In a recent interview with USA Today, Lively said that she lost all of her clients and her husband after her videos went viral.

"I think mental illness has been really something that has not been addressed as a result of this pandemic," she told the outlet during a candid conversation. "Because what happened to me was scary and it changed my life forever. I felt I had absolutely no control over my actions."

Lively revealed that the off-camera ramifications of her Target meltdown were far more dramatic than what was first filmed.

Following her interaction with local officers, Lively was taken to a psychiatric facility, where she was held for more than a week for evaluation and treatment.

She explained that she was under extreme duress as a result of the pandemic, which she said triggered a "manic bipolar episode."

"I can absolutely see that how I acted was unbelievably inappropriate to to mention classless and just completely out of character for how I conduct myself, professionally and personally," Lively explained.

Lively says she's now working hard on her mental health and trying hard to make things right.

"It's going to take a long time for me to rebuild the trust from people, you know as I get my life and career back on track," she said. "I love what I do and am passionate about what I do and I'm going to fight this."

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