January 1, 2008 Alfred Branch Jr.
According to a report by ABC News, Texas mom Priscilla Ceballos is denying any wrongdoing for allegedly helping her six-year-old daughter fake an essay about her father dying in Iraq in order to win Hannah Montana concert tickets.
Ceballos’s daughter, Alexis Menjivar, beat out more than a thousand other young fans for tickets to the Jan. 9 concert in Albany, NY, according to the news agency, for an essay that said her dad had served in Iraq and was killed by a roadside bomb. Her father, officials with the contest found, did not serve in the military, is alive and simply lives in another town. The contest for four tickets was sponsored by girls salon Club Libby Lu, which has subsequently given the tickets to another child.
The Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus tour has been a lightning rod of controversy for the last several months, leading to lawsuits and politicians calling for investigations. Parents have been under enormous amounts of pressure to obtain tickets, many of which were withheld by promoters and venues.
“We never said anything like this was a true story. Never,” Ceballos told ABC News. “It was just an essay. We do essays all the time. You know, my daughter does essays at school all the time. I never lied and said that the essay was a true story.”
In a statement on the Club Libby Lu website, the company’s CEO, Mary Drolet, apologized for the mistake. “Club Libby Lu has been evaluating the situation surrounding our Hannah Montana Rock Your Holidays Essay Contest and is extremely sensitive to the fact we’re dealing with a 6-year-old little girl. We wanted to take ample time to gather all the necessary facts in order to make an appropriate decision regarding whether or not we would award the Hannah Montana concert tickets and other prizes to the Ceballos family.
After awarding the grand prize, we unfortunately learned that the statements made in the essay were untrue. Club Libby Lu greatly values honesty and integrity. In order to uphold these values, we have decided to withdraw the award initially given to the Ceballos family.
Consequently, we will award the prize to another winner already identified. With this decision, we hope to revive the intended spirit of the contest, which was designed to make a little girl’s holidays extra special. In order to protect the family’s privacy, we have decided to not disclose the name of the new winner,” Drolet wrote.