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Court Orders Airline To Pay For Psychotherapy For Influencer Who Was Denied Boarding

Photo: Instagram
Juliana Nehme

A court in Brazil ordered an airline to pay for an influencer's psychotherapy after discriminating against her and not allowing her to board their plane.

The order came after Brazilian plus-size model and influencer Juliana Nehme slammed Qatar Airways after they blocked her from flying because of her weight.

Now, a court in Sao Paolo, Brazil has now ordered the airline to pay for psychotherapy for Nehme following the incident.

Qatar Airways denied Nehme boarding because she was "too big."

Nehme shared the story in an Instagram post on November 22, revealing that she wasn't allowed to fly in the airline's economy seating because she's "fat."

The influencer had been on vacation in Lebanon with her family and had arrived in Doha via Air France without any issues.

However, while on her way home to Brazil from Doha, Nehme said a staffer told her she would have to purchase a more expensive first-class seat if she wanted to board the flight.

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"I bought a return ticket to Brazil through Qatar and arriving at the time to check in," Nehme said in Portuguese in the Instagram video, according to news.com.au.

"A Qatar flight attendant called my mother while another staffer was finishing our check-in, and told her I wasn't welcome to board because I'm fat."

She said Qatar told her to pay about $3,000 to upgrade to first class and refused to refund her the $947 she spent on her economy flight. 

“They are denying my right to travel … I’m desperate, help me, they don’t want me to board because I’m fat," she continued, adding that she'd missed her connecting flight to Sao Paolo, where she's from.

Nehme was forced to stay in Lebanon with her mother, while her sister and nephew flew back to Brazil.

“What a shame for a company like Qatar to allow this type of discrimination against people! I’m fat, but I’m just like everyone else!” she told her followers.

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The airline is now being ordered to pay for Nehme's psychotherapy following their refusal to let her board due to her weight.

On December 20, Judge Renata Martins de Carvalho ruled that Qatar must pay for Nehme's psychiatric or psychological treatment conducted by a trusted professional.

The treatments should consist of a "weekly therapy session" costing about 400 reais ($77) for at least a year, totalling 19,200 reais ($3,700), according to News AU.

The judge argued that the ruling was a "reasonable and proportionate measure to ensure that the stressful and traumatic event is overcome" by Nehme.

Nehme was eventually allowed to board a flight using her originally purchased economy ticket after an official from the Brazilian embassy in Brussels contacted Qatar Airways.

However, she will never forget being treated as if she wasn't a human being and was dismissed just because of her weight.

"I was a fat monster that couldn't get on board. It was horrible. I'd never imagined going through something like this, ever," she said.

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Keep up with her on Instagram and Twitter.