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'Hannah Montana' Fan Club Members Sue Over Sold-Out Concerts

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Thousands of "Hannah Montana" fans who couldn't get concert tickets could potentially join a lawsuit against 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 - a native of Flatwoods, Ky. - 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 class-action lawsuit names Interactive Media Marketing Inc. and Smiley Miley Inc. as defendants and seeks triple damages for all members of the lawsuit and attorneys' fees. The plantiff doesn't yet know the size of the class, but based on the popularity of the Web site, it could number tens of thousands of people, according to the lawsuit.

"They deceptively lured thousands of individuals 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 tickets.

Neither of the listed agents for the two companies based in Nashville could be immediately reached for comment Tuesday. Message left for Smiley Miley Inc. were not immediately returned.

Cyrus' publicist, Meghan Prophet, said in a statement that fan club members had an opportunity to buy pre-sale tickets, and more than 70,000 club members obtained them as a result of their membership.

"The Mileyworld Web site expressly states that Mileyworld does not guarantee every member a concert ticket," Prophet said. "Mileyworld members had far greater access to concert tickets than the general public and other fan clubs, and the claim that the vast majority of Mileyworld members were unable to obtain concert tickets is simply false."

The lawsuit 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.

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.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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