SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — A Scottsdale woman who went viral in early July for recording herself ripping masks off a rack at Target says the incident was the result of a diagnosed but untreated mental illness.
Melissa Rein Lively recorded the rant on July 4 at a Target in Scottsdale. She can be seen throwing masks off of their hangers as she goes on a profanity-laced tirade, adding “No! I’m not doing it! I’m not doing it!
When confronted by Target staff, Rein Lively screams, “What? I can’t do it because I’m a blonde white woman?” She then references a “$40,000 Rolex” along with more profanity.
“I’m certainly embarrassed,” Rein Lively said Thursday. “When I saw how I was acting and realized I had lost complete control over my actions I knew it was time to get help.”
Rein Lively says a doctor diagnosed her with bipolar disorder in 2019 but says she did not take the medication the doctor recommended.
She said the video at Target and a subsequent video shot at her home when Scottsdale Police came to take her in for a mental health evaluation were wake-up calls.
She says she is now receiving treatment and medication for her mental health issues.
“I am deeply sorry for my actions and anyone I hurt or offended in the process,” Rein Lively said via text message after the on-camera interview. “It is an honor and a privilege to represent Arizona and the business community, and I’m committed to making things right.”
Rein Lively owns and operates The Brand Consortium, a public relations firm focusing on event planning. Asked about the cynical reaction many may have that she is just a PR professional working through her own crisis management strategy, Rein Lively reiterated that her mental health struggles are real.
“Anybody who has dealt with bipolar or a mental illness or a break from reality like I experienced, they know it’s no laughing matter,” Rein Lively said.
She even said she understands the face masks, now, despite the anger she showed in the video
“I fully understand that wearing the masks and doing whatever is asked of us to get past this and keep everybody safe is crucial to continuing business,” Rein Lively said.