Club Libby Lu sponsored the Hannah Montana Rock Your Holidays Essay Contest with a grand prize of airfare for four to Albany, N.Y., to see a sold-out Jan. 9 performance by the teen pop star, whose real name is Miley Cyrus.
The suburban Dallas child's essay opened with the words "My daddy died this year in Iraq" and gave accounts regarding Army Sgt. Jonathon Menjivar, who allegedly died in Iraq April 17. The Defense Department has no records of a sergeant by that name.
"We wrote whatever we could to win," the girl's mother acknowledged in a statement. "It said to write an essay. It never said it had to be true. I never said it was true. ... It was just an essay."
But the retail company saw it differently.
"We value honesty and integrity, and in order to uphold those values, we have made the decision we have made," Club Libby Lu Chief Executive Officer Mary Drolet said in a statement featured Sunday in The Dallas Morning News.