A TikTok star has hit back at those who criticised her for posting on social media following the tragic death of her six-week-old baby.
Veruca Salt, 25, shared the heartbreaking loss of her son, Cash, in an Instagram story on Tuesday, sharing the infant died “in his sleep” on Monday morning.
“I don’t know what happened, he is having an autopsy this week but it is unlikely that I’ll ever have an answer,” the influencer, whose real name is Kimberley Summer Hartley, wrote.
On Wednesday, Ms Hartley called out those who commented on a TikTok video she posted following her son’s death, showing herself in tears.
“No hate, but I don’t know how people can make TikToks just after their kids have died. Like setting voice-overs, editing … I would be in bed for weeks, an absolute mess … RIP,” one person wrote.
Responding to the comment in a separate video, the grieving mother said others don’t understand how “insane” she is feeling right now while grieving the loss.
“I was literally talking about this with my friends, like it won’t take long to do something for people to say ‘that’s not how I would act’ from people who are literally imagining how it would be,” she said.
“You have no idea, because your baby is not dead. Mine is, and I found him like that, and it’s not happening to you.”
The 25-year-old went on to say her bed is the last place she wants to be right now, “because God forbid you f****** fall asleep”.
“Every time you wake up you’re going to forget, and you’re going to go get your baby, and he’s not going to be there.”
Ms Hartley, who lives in Queensland, said those in her position wouldn’t want to be at home because they would be confronted with reminders of their baby “all over the house”.
“You have no idea the things that are going on in my head every five seconds,” she said.
“I feel insane. I feel crazy. And you don’t get it.”
Others were quick to support the grieving 25-year-old, reminding her that her “emotions are beyond valid”.
“I am so very sorry for you, I have been sad all day for you,” one person wrote.
“From one grieving mumma to another, they don’t and won’t understand until it happens to them,” another shared.
“I found my three-month-old son dead in his crib six years ago. Turned up being “SIDS”. You are not alone mama. He is always here,” said another.
Ms Hartley later uploaded a new video on Thursday morning, writing: I feel bad (because) I’m so dehydrated I physically don’t have any tears left”.
In a TikTok video before her son’s death, Ms Hartley revealed she was taking Cash to hospital because “he hasn’t pooped in seven days”.
“My baby’s looking for the boob even though you just had a boob – he’s starving,” she joked to her 730,000 followers on Sunday as Cash appeared to giggle.
After returning from hospital, the 25-year-old reassured her fans her baby was “fine”.
Queensland Police later confirmed the baby’s death, stating they were called to a Southport unit at 6.13am on Monday.
“It’s still under investigation and we’re awaiting autopsy results,” Gold Coast police superintendent Craig Hanlon said. “It’s obviously a tragic situation and our hearts go out to the mother and the family.”
Police said initial investigations indicated the baby’s death was not suspicious.
Ms Hartley gave birth to Cash on December 19.
The young social media personality first announced her pregnancy in June 2023, sharing a photo of herself doing a baby reveal, cutting into a cake with blue in the middle.
Ms Hartley, who has been a sex worker since she was 18, previously said she had turned to OnlyFans, telling followers they should sign up to help her financial situation.
She has openly spoken about sex work, sharing the job has provided her with freedom and confidence.
“Sex work taught me that no matter who you are or what you look like – skinny, fat, caucasian, a person of colour, cis, trans, anything – there will always be a large group of people who find you beautiful, even if you don’t,” she said previously.
“I now love my job. I love being able to do what I want when I want and having as much freedom as anyone could ask for.”