Prominent Miami real estate developer Pedro Martin has won a temporary restraining order against a former mistress, claiming she subjected him to cyberstalking, harassment and attempted extortion.
The long-running affair between Martin — the 68-year-old chairman of development firm Terra — and 40-year-old Johanna Vibe Ener has produced two young children. Their on-again, off-again relationship dates back to at least 2011 and was known to his wife and adult children. But the affair had otherwise been kept under wraps until it spilled into Miami-Dade Circuit Court, and into public view, when Martin filed for a domestic violence injunction against Vibe Ener last month.
Court records show Martin, married more than 40 years, has spent millions of dollars to care for the two young girls, who share a $3 million Key Biscayne condo with their mother. But over the past 12 months, the relationship turned irretrievably toxic, Martin wrote in an April 4 civil court petition seeking the restraining order.
Vibe Ener, originally from Finland, has been “engaged in a relentless barrage of texts, emails and phone calls that are harassing and threatening in nature” because of Martin’s refusal to pay “large sums of money for herself,” the petition claims. At one point, she sought as much as $5 million, according to another court filing by Martin.
Never miss a local story.
The threatening text messages included warnings such as “I’ll burn u [sic] in hell” and death threats, according to the petition. On March 30 alone, Martin said he received more than 200 text messages from Vibe Ener. Martin also wrote in the petition that he suspects her of sending anonymous poison-pen emails to his business associates.
In a statement to the Miami Herald delivered through a spokesman, Martin said: “While I have always considered this to be a personal and private matter within my immediate family, I had no choice but to pursue legal action to stop threats directed at me and my loved ones. In doing so, I have tried to protect the privacy of my wife, all my children and my family. In their defense, I will do anything — including suffering any indignation that may be directed at me if necessary — to stop anyone from threatening me or them in hopes that I will cower to unlawful demands.”
While I have always considered this to be a personal and private matter within my immediate family, I had no choice but to pursue legal action to stop threats directed at me and my loved ones.
Vibe Ener, for her part, contends Martin fabricated the charges against her to placate his wife and family.
“They have been trying to set me up for this injunction for weeks,” Vibe Ener said in an interview. “Me, a stalker? What kind of stalker lives in a nice apartment bought for her by the accuser? What kind of stalker gets her immigration papers from her accuser? Pedro and his family are desperate to get rid of me, and he tells his wife I’m a stalker. That’s all there is to it.”
She said the accusation that she sent 200 message was false. She did, however, recall that she and Martin argued that day.
“We were arguing,” said Vibe Ener, whose Instagram account describes herself as a painter and model. “We’re in a relationship. But I don’t think there were 200 messages. That’s crazy.”
In a related court case over the paternity of the couple's daughters, an attorney for Martin wrote that Vibe Ener was "previously employed as an exotic dancer.”
The temporary injunction prevents Vibe Ener from contacting Martin or going within 500 feet of his Coral Gables home. A hearing on whether the order should be made permanent is scheduled for Thursday.
Martin’s allegations were filed in civil court. No criminal charges have been filed. Martin's attorneys reached out to prosecutors to inquire about how to pursue possible charges, but none were pursued, according to a State Attorney's office spokesman.
Two attorneys representing Vibe Ener have withdrawn from her case, court records show. Neither would comment as to why.
Pedro and his family are desperate to get rid of me.
Johanna Vibe Ener
It’s not the first time the relationship has gone to civil court: In 2013, Vibe Ener sought a restraining order against Martin’s wife. A judge found “no just cause” to grant the injunction.
And in 2011 and 2013, Martin successfully petitioned the courts to grant him paternity of his two young daughters and agreed to provide for them financially. Martin’s restraining order petition cites his “generous support” for the children. Martin reported paying $20,000 per month for the care of his eldest daughter, in addition to $10,000 per month for Vibe Ener, as well as allowing her "unfettered use" of his credit card for the girls, according to a filing in the paternity case.
In total, he said he has paid Vibe Ener "millions of dollars" since 2011.
Court and property records show Vibe Ener lives a comfortable life. In addition to living in a $3 million Key Biscayne condo — paid for without a mortgage, according to Miami-Dade records — the filing states that she drives a Mercedes SUV and a Bentley. In an interview, Vibe Ener said Martin bought her the Bentley last year.
Martin, in his statement, declined further comment but said he would “continue fighting to protect the health and welfare of my entire family. In the end, I have confidence that our legal system will distinguish between truth and vicious lies.”
In 2001, Martin founded Terra, which grew into a major South Florida developer. The firm’s projects range from multi-million-dollar condos in Coconut Grove and Miami Beach to single-family suburban developments. Terra also secured the controversial purchase of a city of Miami parking garage that it plans to turn into an office building and has been seeking land deals in the rapidly gentrifying West Grove.
Martin is a Cuban exile who fled the island in 1961. He trained as an engineer before finding success as a corporate lawyer at Greenberg Traurig. His son David now largely handles day-to-day operations at Terra.
This story has been updated to provide more information about Vibe Ener’s background and financial arrangement with Martin.
Miami Herald staff writer David Ovalle contributed to this report.