NEW YORK – A 10-year-old Mariah Carey (search) fan got her wish to talk to the diva after a prankster sent the girl a nasty e-mail claiming to be the singer, the pop star's spokesman said Thursday.
The incident began when Michelle Katz's grandmother, Dee Hofland, wrote an e-mail to what she thought was Carey's official Web site. Writing on behalf of her granddaughter, Hofland asked for an audience with the singer. Michelle, who is blind, idolizes the singer and was crushed after Carey canceled the St. Paul concert the girl and her grandmother had hoped to attend.
But the response Hofland received was appalling — and not from Carey or anyone who works for her, insisted the singer's publicist, Cindy Berger, who called the e-mail "completely bogus."
"Miss, with all due respect, I have my own problems. I have no time to accommodate everyone else’s," the e-mail to Katz read. "My sister is suffering HIV right now. Is anyone worried about my problems? Some people can be so damn selfish. Next time you e-mail me with any requests, you will be reported. Have a great day! m.c."
Carey called the girl directly after learning of the experience, according to Berger.
"Mariah spoke to the little girl’s father, Bill Katz, and he put the little girl, Michelle, on phone," Berger said. "Mariah assured her that e-mail response she got came from a bogus Web site, not an official site."
Now Katz may get her wish to meet the pop diva in person. "Mariah is looking forward to meeting Michelle and her family backstage at a concert during her Charmbracelet tour," said Berger.
Hofland said her granddaughter admires Carey so much she has learned to play some of her songs on the piano.
"Mariah is her imaginary friend. She takes Mariah everywhere with her," Hofland said. "When I pick her up, Mariah Carey is in the car. She absolutely adores her."
The fake e-mail, which came from an AOL address, is being investigated by AOL, according to Berger.