TikToker Zoe Laverne says she sold photos of her new baby to pay for hospital care, after almost dying during childbirth
- 20-year-old TikToker Zoe Laverne gave birth to her first baby at the beginning of October.
- She was criticized when she offered fans "exclusive" photos of her new daughter, Emersyn, for $15.
20-year-old TikTok star Zoe Laverne was criticized earlier this month after she gave birth and offered her fans "exclusive" photos of her new daughter for $15. In an interview with Insider, Laverne said this was a way to earn money while her baby, Emersyn, was in hospital.
"I knew that when Emersyn came early, I was going to be in the NICU [neonatal intensive care unit] for a while," Laverne told Insider. "Which means my income from socials was going to be put on hold for a little bit."
Selling the photos "was a way to make money to pay for her extended stay in the hospital and spend more time and focus on her," she added.
Laverne, who has 21 million followers on TikTok, rose to fame as a teenager. Her on-off relationship with her ex-boyfriend Cody Orlove became a huge part of her internet career. They split for a final time in June 2020. In February this year, Laverne announced she was expecting a baby with her current boyfriend Dawson Day.
Laverne said she doesn't think people understand the work of social media influencers - how it's her job to make money on the internet.
"Many celebrities post photos of their children and make a living being 100% available to the public all the time," she said. "I still have to work to make sure I can pay for my child while also going to the ICU every single day."
In an Instagram post shortly after giving birth, Laverne said she was given an emergency C-section, and almost died. She told Insider this is why she and Day decided to get married earlier this month. Laverne has changed her name on her social media profiles to Zoe Laverne Day.
"We wanted to get married just so Emersyn could come home to a mom and dad who are married," she said.
On Monday, Laverne told her followers on Instagram that Emersyn was discharged from the hospital.
Laverne is no stranger to controversy. In September 2020 she was accused of getting close to a 13-year-old fan called Connor. A video later leaked of the pair kissing, and Laverne said she had developed "feelings" for the boy, but denied allegations of "grooming."
This spurred an intense backlash against Laverne and her mother, who appeared to be supporting her. Laverne didn't post on social media until she announced her pregnancy in February.
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