Broward Mom Sues Justin Bieber for Not Meeting Her Daughter

When Justin Bieber announced he'd be stopping in South Florida on his Purpose World Tour, Melissa Matthai threw down $1,856.35 to buy two VIP tickets for her and her 14-year-old daughter. It was a steep investment, but the Broward mom justified the price since a backstage "Meet and Greet" with the Canadian heartthrob was included. Matthai's daughter is a day-one Belieber who continues to worship the baby-faced star, face tattoos and all.

But in March, the 22-year-old singer cancelled all Meet and Greets, writing on Instagram that sessions left him "drained and filled with so much of other people's spiritual energy." Matthai's 14-year-old was devastated. Then Matthai learned her money wouldn't be refunded. Now, she's suing Bieber in Broward court for damages.

"They were upset, but so was everybody," says Scott Behren, Matthai's husband and attorney. "There were girls who gave up their quinces, girls who gave up their bar mitzvahs for these tickets."

At the time, management explained to Matthai over email that she could be refunded for her ticket in full. But in doing so, she would have to give up her two premium VIP seats. There were no partial refunds. When Matthai tried to buy two more tickets, everything at the American Airlines Arena was sold out. She kept the nearly $1,900 package in order to hold on to her seats so she could see Bieber with her daughter. 

"[Bieber] refused to refund monies back to customers without them completely giving up tickets for shows that had been sold out for months," the complaint states. "Matthai attended the concert with floor seats worth $200 each on July 2, 2016, for which she paid over $900 each."

Love u guys.. I'm going to be canceling my meet and greets. I enjoy meeting such incredible people but I end up feeling so drained and filled with so much of other people's spiritual energy that I end up so drained and unhappy.. Want to make people smile and happy but not at my expense and I always leave feeling mentally and emotionally exhausted to the point of depression .. The pressure of meeting people's expectations of what I'm supposed to be is so much for me to handle and a lot on my shoulders. Never want to disappoint but I feel I would rather give you guys the show and my albums as promised. Can't tell you how sorry I am, and wish it wasn't so hard on me.. And I want to stay in the healthy mindset I'm in to give you the best show you have ever seen ;)

A photo posted by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on

Matthai wasn't the only person who was angry. After racking up nearly $2,000 each on their credit cards, fans are pissed that Bieber didn't hold up his end of the deal. But attorney Scott Behren isn't aware of any other lawsuits. 

"I wouldn't be surprised if there were other [lawsuits] in other parts of the country," he says. "As far as I'm concerned, I believe you should pay for what you actually got." 

Matthai only wanted to be refunded the price of the Meet and Greet session (roughly $700 per ticket). Now the complaint lists damages in excess of $1,800 including interest and costs. The complaint mentions breach of contract, Florida's unfair and deceptive trade practices act, and negligent misrepresentation.

Behren explains that their 14-year-old daughter had seen Bieber perform while they were on vacation in the Bahamas. That was five or six years ago, he estimates, and says his daughter was a huge fan even then.

"He was a lot smaller than he is now," Behren says. "But [my daughter] has always been a fan. She really wanted to see him because she missed out meeting him [that time] in Atlantis." 
KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jess Swanson is a staff writer at New Times. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Miami’s School of Communication and wrote briefly for the student newspaper until realizing her true calling: pissing off fraternity brothers by reporting about their parties on her crime blog. Especially gifted in jumping rope and solving Rubik’s cubes, she also holds the title for longest stint as an unpaid intern in New Times history. She left the Magic City for New York to earn her master’s degree from Columbia University School of Journalism, where she spent a year profiling circumcised men who were trying to regrow their foreskins for a story that ultimately won the John Horgan Award for Critical Science Journalism. Terrified by pizza rats and arctic temperatures, she quickly returned to her natural habitat.
Contact: Jess Swanson