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Arizona PR exec who destroyed Target mask display apologizes and says she had a ‘mental breakdown’

The Arizona PR executive who was dubbed a ‘Karen’ for filming herself destroying a rack of face masks inside a Target while shouting that the pandemic is over now says she regrets the outburst and is seeking help. 

Melissa Rein Lively made headlines on July 4 when she uploaded an Instagram video showing her throwing face masks on the ground and yelling at two Target employees in Scottsdale, Arizona, while boasting about her $40,000 Rolex.

Lively, who runs a public relations company, says she was going through a mental breakdown ‘due to stress related to the pandemic’ and is apologizing for the incident.

‘I want to deeply apologize for my words and actions that took place earlier this month,’ Rein Lively said in a statement to

She revealed that her husand initally filed for divorce and she lost all of her public relations firm’s clients following her tirade.

‘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.

‘I have accepted the medical help and professional intervention that is needed to establish mental and physical stability for myself and my family,’ she added.

The outburst was just one of many that have emerged across the country with citizens refusing to wear facemasks and throwing fits in public in defiance of the order designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  

In the viral video Rein Lively filmed herself pulling down a mask display in a Target while yelling ‘This s***’s over, this s***’s over, this s****’s over. Woo! I don’t need this s***. We don’t want any of this anymore, this s***’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***ing $40,000 Rolex? I don’t have the right to f*** s*** up?’ she fumed. 

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

Social media users later pointed out she used racial slurs multiple times on her platforms.

Rein Lively revealed her husband Jared Lively called the police and she was subsequently taken in for a psychiatric evaluation and spent more than a week in a mental health facility. 

‘Everything that I was kind of doing was facetious and sarcastic and I realize now the world, obviously, took everything I was saying seriously like I really believed that,’ she said to USA Today.

‘I was not arrested, I was taken in for a mental health evaluation. That was something that like really opened my eyes to this whole process.’

Speaking to she said she’s been working with doctors to understand how the episode unfolded. 

‘I have learned there are several serious underlying conditions that were untreated and triggered an episode due to extreme stress by the pandemic and everything else going on,’ she said.

‘I really can’t express how scary the whole situation was and how out-of-control I felt and I wanted to share this so people know they are not alone in facing mental illness,’ she added.

The executive says she’s now seeking help and has no problem wearing a mask.

She added she and her husband Jared have mended their relationship but have received death threats since the incident. 

She said they ‘have since made the decision to work through this health challenge together as a family.’

‘I will be entering an intensive treatment program to address these health concerns from a mental, physical and spiritual level. I am deeply committed to repairing my marriage, family and personal and professional relationships and pursuing treatment is the first step,’ Rein Lively said.

She also issued an apology for her co-workers and family, saying she’d regret her outburst ‘for the rest of my life’.

‘For those my actions directly impacted, I am truly sorry for breaking your trust and flat out letting you down. Nothing gave me more pride and honor than the opportunity to represent my community and work in the professional realm that I did, I will regret those choices and the impact they had on my family, clients and friends for the rest of my life,’ she said.

She said she’s speaking out with the hopes to spread awareness on mental illness.

‘Kanye West says being bipolar is his superpower. I intend to make it mine too. For now, I am just taking to day by day and doing what’s right for my mind, body and soul,’ Rein Lively said.

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