The troubling allegations aimed at Kellyanne Conway by her daughter Claudia have been buttressed by almost a year of ugliness shared online.
In October 2020, the internet marvelled at the bravery of 16-year-old Claudia Conway, the daughter of Trump advisor Kellyanne, for exposing the stupidity of the Trump administration around the time of the former president’s tangle with COVID-19.
However, on January 25, Kellyanne Conway was accused of posting nudes of her daughter on Fleets, Twitter’s story feature. In a series of since-deleted TikToks, Claudia said: “I’m shaking, I don’t know what to do,” she says in one video. “Kellyanne you’re going to fucking jail,” she says in another.
The platform is now investigating the incident. Per Vox, “Yet despite an immediate outcry of support and help for Claudia, including a viral call to send a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and hashtags like #SaveClaudiaConway and #JusticeForClaudia, Claudia again turned to TikTok to send what she says is a final message on Tuesday morning.”
“I shouldn’t have made this all public,” she wrote. “Please do me a favour and stop spreading it because it hurts me more than it helps me.” Addressing past videos in which she said that if she ever disavowed something she said on TikTok, she said, “This isn’t forced, this is coming completely from me. I have faith and I know that my mother would never put something like that on the internet…please no threats, no calls to authorities.”
Claudia has since announced a break from social media, but many remain convinced that these videos were not made by her.
On January 19, Claudia posted a series of videos that allegedly showed her mother frequently cursing, belittling, and seemingly hitting her daughter. The end of this video seemingly depicts a hand hitting her face. On January 20, she wrote: “My situation is a mess but I know it isn’t my fault…I will continue to post about my experiences as a way to spread awareness.”
Claudia noted that she has been filming their fights over a long period of time. She has been articulating her difficult relationship with her mother on TikTok since last summer, especially in the wake of her support for the Black Lives Matter movement and her voiced hatred of Donald Trump.
In the wake of the videos gaining attention, Claudia published another, offering an explanation: “I just wanted to add a little context to what I just posted. I know my words are going to be twisted by the media but I just want to put it out there. I’m not looking to hate on my mom, I just think it’s important to tell my side of the story and my experience… in terms of what can be done, there’s nothing that can really be done. I’ve tried everything. My parents are too powerful and nothing happens…also I’m extremely scared after posting that, very anxious, don’t know what’s about to happen. She’s probably going to publicly say that she’s not abusive and what not, but that’s kind of what manipulators do and narcissists do. I’m not looking for attention, I’m not looking for anything, I’m just in a situation that’s really physically, mentally, and emotionally abusive and I think it’s important that everybody sees that.”
Conway also revealed that police turned up after the videos went viral. After telling the officers that she was fine (and they subsequently left), she felt guilty, “even though I shouldn’t.” In a reply to one comment, she says, “I’m really scared and it’s my mom’s birthday so I feel guilty and invalid even though I shouldn’t and my anxiety is spiralling.”
As Rebecca Jennings of Vox opined, “Claudia’s allegations and the evidence she provides that support them — of at best a dysfunctional and difficult family environment and at worst a seemingly abusive one — are undoubtedly serious. Yet so is the enormous public pressure of being a 16-year-old who wants to tell her own story while under a media microscope. Claudia still seems to be a teen girl in need of help — but that help will likely not come from even more public attention. It’s possible that we can both believe her accounts of what her relationship is like with her mother in the height of their own conflict, and also believe her when she begs for a break from the spotlight.”