‘Karen from Brighton’ taking backlash in her stride



"It should be pronounced Kaaaren not Karen and its Briiiiighton not Brighton," corrects Queen Karen from Brighton.

She's the daughter of Pokies King Bruce Mathieson, aka Mr Bojangles because of his love of bling.

But back to Kaaaren from Briiiighton. Tongue placement for pronunciation is paramount.

It's the Briiiighton dialect dah-ling, anything else just won't doooo.

Rather than cowering to online vitriol and social-media savaging, our Karen from Brighton, aka Jodi Grollo, walks on.

Grollo, hereby known as Karen, told Page 13 this week that "you wouldn't live anywhere else in the world" but her Brighton homeland.

We live there too and invited her to walk the streets of the hood together.

Karen, challenging social distancing restrictions to whisper in our ear from her Bayside front porch, said she already had plans to walk around er, Albert Park Lake.

"Just don't tell anyone," Karen said before adding, "I went to Hampton to buy bread too." Hmmm, who would we possibly tell?

Jodi Grollo has thrown her support behind 3AWs #whatweneedtodo campaign. Source: Instagram
Jodi Grollo has thrown her support behind 3AWs #whatweneedtodo campaign. Source: Instagram


Before the outrage, Karen stressed she is a law-abiding mask wearer.

"Oh yes, I wear a mask," she said. "Not the best of looks, but at least mine is black.

"Nobody does black quite like Melbourne."

Inverse snobbery and social pitchforks were out when La Grollo appeared on Nine News defiantly walking the Tan.

"Well, you get sick of walking the same streets," Grollo declared in her Northface windbreaker when asked about restrictions on travelling for exercise.

"I've done all of Brighton," she trilled.

The following day Craig Hutchison gallantly warned his Off The Bench listeners against

bullying Karen, only for Premier Dan to take a swipe a few hours later.

"Whether you're in Broadmeadows or Brighton, stay at home means stay at home," Dan said after Victoria notched up 217 confirmed COVID-19 cases that day.

"And if walking your local streets is boring, well, being bored is much better than being in intensive care. That's my clear message," snapped a disappointed Dan.

Brighton MP James Newbury took offence, accusing Dan of "neglecting" Brighton and now sneering at it.

What of Karen?

She finds it all a bit of a hoot. Her son has even started an Instagram page, The Real Karen from Brighton, adding images of Karen taking slugs of Johnnie Walker. And socially-sneering slogans, such as "#I stand with Karen" and "can't go to Nooooooooooosa this year."

Posting a picture of that screenshot, Karen wrote "I've already spoken to the manager, let me speak to the premier."

A 'Karen' has become the 2020 tag for self-regarding middle-aged white women of privilege, according to the haters.

Karen has a blonde-bob haircut and demands to speak to shop and restaurant managers when she wants to make her demands known.


The Tan track is under high scrutiny. Picture: Mark Stewart
The Tan track is under high scrutiny. Picture: Mark Stewart



Jodi Grollo, the real Karen, has deep Melbourne connections.

The Grollos are practically a household name in our city.

Karen's husband is Gianni Grollo, related to construction and developer legends Bruno and Rino Grollo.

Real Karen's father is none other than pub and pokies baron Bruce Mathieson.

Just like his daughter, the Carlton footy club powerbroker has a nickname because of his love of flashy gold jewellery. Mr Bojangles' love of bling fits right in up at the white-shoe capital of Australia.

The Pokies King has lived on the Gold Coast since putting the $10-million family home on Brighton's Golden Mile on the market in 2007. It came with Gold Class cinema and five-car garage.

The Melbourne billionaire and wife Jill now live in an $18-million mansion at Mermaid Beach, just a hop and a skip from Bruce Mathieson Jnr's recently acquired $11.6 million beachfront property on Mermaid Beach's famed millionaire's row.

The family has adopted the "beautiful one day, perfect the next" lifestyle and even the footy, with Jill becoming the Gold Coast Sun's No. 1 ticket holder.


‘Karen from Brighton’ has become a social media sensation.
‘Karen from Brighton’ has become a social media sensation.


The Pokies King tells Page 13 he is still an "old Blue boy" even though he lives on the Gold Coast.

Karen said she'd be up at Daddy's "if it wasn't for Premier Dan" and the "Dan-demic," he's inflicted on Melburnians.

"If Dan had used the Australian Defence Force like everybody else, I would have been at the

Gold Coast and Karen would not exist," she said.

"Beautiful part of the world up there. Glorious weather at this time of the year, stunning beaches."

Mr Bojangles turns from warming about the weather to playing protective father when asked about his daughter becoming an overnight meme.

"It all got blown out of proportion," he said. "They've been walking the tan for years, which she is allowed to do. It was all a bit ridiculous, really. It just doesn't matter."

Mr Bojangles has a point. Self- made Matheison has always been famously anti-Establishment. His mother moved the family to Port Melbourne where she worked as a cleaner after the Pokie King's father died from polio when Mathieson was a toddler.

Grollo’s son set up an Instagram chronicling the life of Karen from Brighton. Picture: Instagram
Grollo’s son set up an Instagram chronicling the life of Karen from Brighton. Picture: Instagram


Karen of Brighton has inspired many. Comedian Stephen Curry to pen an ode Briiiighton with lyrics such as "what am I going to do, I can't see Trish or Sue. I've done all of Briiighton. I simply can't believe the nanny has gone on leave …"

Mick Molloy and Jane Kennedy also had a crack, claiming Karen from Brighton called in to their Triple M show on Thursday to stir the trolls.

"I've walked past Shane Warne's house, I've walked past Rebecca Judd's house, I've walked past Bay St too many times," she said. "Seriously. I'm sick of it!"

The real Karen also had the last laugh.

"You can tell this drivel on Triple M is nonsense. No self-respecting Brighton woman would be caught on Triple M. We only listen to 3AW."

She's a hoot!

Karen says the name doesn't fit anyway.

"I should have been called Susan. It's far more appropriate in this neck of the woods," she told us.

"Then they could have dubbed me Suuuuuuuue."



Originally published as 'Karen from Brighton' taking backlash in her stride