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This Girl's Boyfriend Crashed Her Spring Break … Now Here’s Her Side Of The Viral Story

"I'm OK -- I'm not getting abused," she wants the internet to know.

Earlier this week, we told you about 25-year-old Azel Prather, Jr., who started a successful GoFundMe campaign to surprise and "chaperone" his 22-year-old girlfriend Marissa in Miami, where she'd gone with her friends for spring break -- and where, he explained, "the sun just melts all the morals."

MTV News readers were more than a little concerned for Marissa. Here's just a sample of the comments our story got:

  • "He's insane I would have left his ass. That's just plain stalkerish."
  • "This guy is a nutcase. That girl needs to run away......... fast."
  • "Run girl!! While you still have the chance. This the type of dude that will stalk and probably kill you if you left. So leave now , to a place where he can't find you!!"
  • Marissa (who asked that her last name not be published) called us earlier today, along with Azel, to insist that this whole thing was a joke that got out of hand.

    MTV: How do you feel about all these concerned comments?

    Marissa: [They're] definitely misplaced. Those are the most comedic comments I've ever seen in my life. He's the best dude I've ever been with. To say "run" is kind of crazy -- I wish people knew who he was. They don't know who he really is.

    My friends from high school, who I don't even talk to anymore, are calling and texting, 'Are you OK?' I'm like, 'I'm OK -- I'm not getting abused or anything like that.' I knew [he did this in a] joking manner; it's all out of proportion. ... I thought this was one of his jokes, 'You're being annoying' ... and then it spiraled into this big thing.

    Prather: Some people say ... I'm crazy or I'm stalkerish. Nah, I think she enjoyed it. ... She didn't run away -- she loves me, she's still with me.

    MTV: What happened when Azel got to Miami?

    Prather: She didn't know [I was coming]. ... She was half-asleep. ... I knew her hotel, I was talking to her all week. I was in an Uber -- once we got on Ocean Drive, I was telling him where to drop me off at.

    Marissa: First of all, I'm half-asleep. So I'm thinking, 'Am I dreaming right now or is he really outside?' ... My friends are like, 'Are you serious?' I know my boyfriend is being serious. I ran out the door and he was definitely in the lobby waiting for me.

    MTV: How did the rest of the trip go?

    Marissa: It was a great time -- I really enjoyed myself. I never thought this [controversy] would come out of it. ... I had a good time. That had to be the best day of my Miami trip, to be honest.

    MTV: You said 'I miss my friends' in an Instagram video. Was that just you playing into the joke?

    Marissa: Not really. My friends were out shopping; we were just having alone time. I knew we'd get together [with them] later that afternoon ... but I definitely felt that way.

    MTV: Some people thought you might be playing the public for a vacation together.

    Prather: It's a true story. ... She really had a spring break -- it was her spring break, we argued about it. I'm like, 'You're not going on spring break.' I won't tell her what she can and can't do, but she knows how I feel about Miami. ... She was already there and enjoying it; I spent not even 24 hours with her there -- it was the last day [of her trip] when I finally got there.

    MTV: How is it that you trust her in your city, but don't trust her in a different one?

    Prather: When you think of Miami, you think of sun, you think of beach, relaxation -- it's the total opposite, dude! Miami in spring break is party, party, party, 'wear your bathing suit but don't go to the beach.' It's too loose! ... I do trust her. I trust her. She trusts me. It wasn't her; it was Miami I didn't trust. Anyone who has a girlfriend and knows Miami feels the way I do.

    MTV: What ratio of comments have been positive versus negative?

    Prather: When it first started, it was like 70%, 75% [saying] I'm some bad, bad person. As the story grew, I got a chance to tell my story, then it turned probably 60/40 who still think I'm creepy. I gotta let people know, I did it for love. It was spontaneous, that's how it works.

    MTV: Marissa, what did you think of Azel worrying that Miami would melt your 'morals'?

    Marissa: He's being firm on his Miami beliefs. He is not the first guy I've heard say that -- a lot of my friends were like, 'Your boyfriend is going to let you go?!' It gets a little filthy in Miami. I only knew what people tell me -- I know I'm not that crazy girl, but I can understand why a guy who has a girlfriend would be a little iffy about it. But I'm a good girl!

    MTV: What's been your reaction to all the viral media attention?

    Marissa: The negative comments bother me sometimes, but it's a joke. I sit back and laugh.

    Prather: It's fine -- I get to spread my love story; I get to tell 'em about love. ... I can teach [negative commenters] how to love. ... If they need advice or help on how to spread this love, they can contact me. ... I like to consider myself a love connoisseur.

    MTV: So are you two going back to Miami for spring break next year?

    Prather: No Miami! This one took a lot to put my heart out on GoFundMe. We had a great time, it ended up being a great thing, she had fun. Hopefully we'll be able to do something next time -- go out, take a trip and not use GoFundMe.