Arizona Woman Who Destroyed Target Mask Display in Viral Tirade Admits She Needs Help: 'Had Absolutely No Control'

Melissa Rein Lively, the woman who recorded herself destroying an Arizona Target's face mask display earlier this month, said she sought mental health treatment after the incident.

"I think mental illness has been really something that has not been addressed as a result of this pandemic," she told USA Today in exclusive comments to the outlet on Thursday. "Because what happened to me was scary and it changed my life forever. I felt I had absolutely no control over my actions."

Rein Lively, who founded and serves as CEO of a public relations company based in Scottsdale, said she lost clients and her husband filed for divorce since the video went viral, according to USA Today. She reportedly spent time at a mental health treatment center in the weeks that followed its release.

Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledge the coronavirus pandemic's varied impacts on mental health. The agencies continue to publish information and resources for anyone experiencing anxiety or depression during the health crisis.

Rein Lively gained notoriety online earlier this month, after she videotaped herself pulling face masks off a Scottsdale Target's display rack and throwing them onto the floor. The video went viral on social media July 5 and was viewed more than 10 million times by Thursday afternoon.

In it, Rein Lively seemed to voice her opposition to mask use, despite public health guidance that notes it likely reduces the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Local officials in Scottsdale and its surrounding county passed mandates that require residents to wear face coverings in most public spaces about two weeks prior.

"No, I'm not doing it," said Rein Lively in the video, removing dozens of masks from the display. "We don't want any of this anymore. This is over."

When two Target employees approached Rein Lively and asked her to "please stop," she refused.

Face Masks
A man walks past a store selling face masks in Manchester, U.K., on July 24. An Arizona woman who recorded herself destroying a Scottsdale Target's face mask display addressed the behavior in comments to USA Today on Thursday. Anthony Devlin/Getty

"Why? You let everybody else do it," Rein Lively said in the video. "Why can't I do it? Because I'm a blonde white woman?"

Her behavior inside the Scottsdale Target store mirrored numerous incidents recorded at grocery stores and retail establishments across the country, wherein customers resisted face mask mandates with erratic, threatening and periodically violent objections.

Newsweek reached out to Rein Lively for additional comments, but did not receive a reply in time for publication.