6:30 p.m. update: A man who sued a woman because she was texting during a movie on their first date at an Austin theater said he plans to drop the lawsuit Friday because she paid him back the price of her movie ticket.
“I feel that Crystal met me halfway,” said Brandon Vezmar, a 37-year-old communications company owner from Austin.
Vezmar sued Crystal Cruz of Round Rock in small claims court last week asking for damages of $17.31, which was the price of her movie ticket to a 3D showing of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 at Barton Creek Square.
Cruz paid Vezmar back the money Thursday after the producers of the television show Inside Edition asked her to meet Vezmar outside the movie theater.
Vezmar said getting the money back wasn’t “the outcome he hoped for.”
“I felt ambushed because Inside Edition put me in a spot where I was forced to let the media steal the narrative as opposed to making the decision in my own time,” he said.
Vezmar said he mainly filed the lawsuit to address the issue of texting during a movie.
Cruz said Thursday she just texted three times in the movie theater to a friend who was having trouble with a boyfriend. Vezmar disagreed saying Cruz texted continuously for 15 minutes.
“I would not have filed a lawsuit over three texts,” he said.
He said he has asked his supporters on Twitter to donate $17.31 to a charity of their choice “out of respect for what I’ve done for them and the sanctity of the theater going experience.”
3 p.m. update: The woman who was sued for texting during a movie said Thursday afternoon she just repaid Brandon Vezmar the $17.31 he was asking for in the lawsuit. The money was for the price of her ticket to a 3-D showing of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” which she watched with him on a first date.
Crystal Cruz of Round Rock, 35, said she walked up to Vezmar during the taping of a television interview for “Inside Edition” on Thursday and handed Vezmar the money outside the Barton Creek Square mall theater. He said he would drop the lawsuit, Cruz said.
Vezmar declined to comment Wednesday afternoon about what happened during the interview, which was to air at 3 p.m. Wednesday. Cruz said the producers of the show asked her to meet Vezmar outside the theater for the interview.
“I got my point across,” said Cruz. “I was in front of him standing there dead in his face and I felt like clearing my name,” she said. She said she told Vezmar she sent three texts during the movie and not 10 to 20 texts like he stated in the lawsuit he filed in a small-claims court in Travis County.
“Brandon was putting me out there as a bad person who was texting constantly,” she said.
“Can we please just put this behind us?” she asked him during the interview for “Inside Edition.”
Earlier: The man who sued a woman for texting during their first date at a movie in Austin said her allegations that she left him at the theater because she did not feel safe with him are “nonsense.”
The 35-year-old Round Rock woman said she was involved in an interview Thursday and didn’t have time to talk to the Statesman. She said during an interview with KVUE-TV that Brandon Vezmar’s behavior made her “extremely uncomfortable” and she felt “I needed to remove myself from the situation for my own safety.”
She also said, according to KVUE-TV, that “he has escalated the situation far past what any mentally healthy person would.”
Vezmar, a 37-year-old Austin resident who owns his own communications company, said Thursday it was “not true” that he made the woman feel unsafe. It was their first date and they had met online through Bumble, he said. He said she asked him to drive her car to the movie and they enjoyed a slice of pizza at the Home Slice restaurant on May 6 before going to the theater at Barton Creek Square shopping mall.
“We had a nice conversation and it was very pleasant,” Vezmar said. He said they also laughed together at the previews that were shown before the movie. The woman left the theater after Vezmar asked her to stop texting during the film.
Vezmar filed a small-claims lawsuit against her in a Travis County court last week asking that she repay him the price of the 3-D movie ticket, which was $17.31.
He also said the woman’s allegations that he was trying to stalk her through contacting her sister were untrue. Vezmar said he reached out to the woman’s sister to find out the woman’s address so the lawsuit could be sent to her.
He said he never “at any step of the way wanted to bring her harm.”
The story about the lawsuit has gone viral since it was broken by the Statesman on Tuesday morning. Vezmar said he is appearing on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Thursday night to talk about what happened.
“Jimmy Kimmel Live!” did not immediately reply Thursday to a request for comment about the interview with Vezmar. Vezmar said he has also been interviewed by “Inside Edition” as well as morning talk shows in England and Australia since the story hit the news.
He said he is considering an offer by Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League to drop the lawsuit in exchange for a $17.31 gift certificate from the Austin-based theater chain. The good thing about the lawsuit, Vezmar said, is that it has provoked a lot of comment about what is “good behavior” in a movie.