'Montana' fans sue fan club over tickets
EmptyNASHVILLE -- Thousands of "Hannah Montana" fans who couldn't get concert tickets are suing the teen performer's fan club over memberships they claim were supposed to give them priority for seats.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a New Jersey woman and anyone else who joined the Miley Cyrus Fan Club based on its promise that joining would make it easier to get concert tickets from the teen star's Web site.
Cyrus, 14, is the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus and star of the Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana" TV show.
Her sold-out "Best of Both Worlds Tour" is the hottest concert ticket of the year, with shows selling out in as little as four minutes and scalpers getting four or five times face value.
The suit names Interactive Media Marketing Inc. and Smiley Miley Inc. as defendants and seeks triple damages for all members of the lawsuit and attorneys' fees.
"They deceptively lured thousands of individual into purchasing memberships into the Miley Cyrus Fan Club," plaintiffs' attorney Rob Peirce said. His Pittsburgh firm and a Memphis firm filed the suit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Nashville.
The fan club costs $29.95 a year to join, according to the lawsuit, which alleges that the defendants should have known that the site's membership vastly exceeded the number of available tickets.
Neither of the listed agents for the two companies based in Nashville could be reached for comment Tuesday. Neither a phone message nor an e-mail sent to Smiley Miley Inc. has been returned.
The document was filed on behalf of Kerry Inman, a New Jersey woman who claims that she tried to log into the site to buy tickets to Cyrus' Atlantic City, N.J., performance at the moment the tickets went on sale and was unsuccessful.
Pierce said the same scenario "has been replayed thousands, if not tens of thousands of times over the past few months."
The Web site does not guarantee ticket availability, but represents that members who log on shortly after tickets become available will have a good opportunity to get them, according to the lawsuit.
On TV, Cyrus plays high school student Miley Stewart, who lives a secret double life as a famous pop star, Hannah Montana. Her show reaches 5 million viewers a week.
Her "Best of Both Worlds Tour" began Oct. 18 and follows the release of her double album, "Hannah Montana 2/Meet Miley Cyrus," which has already sold more than 1 million copies since its release in June. The first album, released late last year, sold more than 2 million copies.