casket controversy

South Florida Influencer Defends Posing in Front of Father's Casket

Miami native Jayne Rivera said she doesn't understand why she's been getting backlash over the last few days

NBC Universal, Inc.

A South Florida woman known as an influencer on social media is defending herself from criticism after photos went viral showing her posing in front of the casket holding her late father.

Miami native Jayne Rivera said she doesn't understand why she's been getting backlash over the last few days.

"I’m looking at the comments, and they’re just hateful and abusive," Rivera told NBC 6 on Thursday. "I didn’t feel like there was anything wrong with what I was doing. You couldn’t see him in it."

Rivera took the photos last Sunday at a viewing for her father, Jose. The 20-year-old took pictures in front of the casket draped with an American flag for the Army veteran who served in Afghanistan.

Some of the photos showed Jayne in a praying position while others showed her posing with her knee bent.

"I don’t think it was inappropriate," she said.

But thousands on social media did think it was, blasting her with comments Rivera said contained some nasty statements.

"I shouldn’t have been born. How could I have done this? My father wouldn’t have been proud," Rivera said when repeating some of the comments.

Two days after the funeral, the influencer with over 300,000 followers on TikTok had her Instagram account shut down. A spokesperson said the account was removed for violating rules, not for the photos.

Rivera said she did nothing wrong and has the right to grieve however she wants for her father, who she said took many of her social media photos.

"It’s my father, and I can post what I want with my father," she said. "He wouldn’t be mad. My dad would not be mad. I think my dad is looking down rooting me on, saying that’s my girl."

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