Lady Gaga has enjoyed many fruits of superstardom--being claimed as a political icon and implicated in a mind-bending conspiracy theory, among other things. This week, Gaga takes on one of the more ambivalent trappings of a true celebrity fixture: her first lawsuit.
The Wall Street Journal's Christopher John Farley reports that producer and songwriter Rob Fusari--co-author of Gaga hits ‘Paparazzi’, ‘Beautiful, Dirty, Rich’, ‘Brown Eyes’ and ‘Disco Heaven’--filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against two companies co-owned by singer-songwriter Lady Gaga, Team Love Child LLC and Mermaid Music LLC. According to Farley, the suit seeks to cast Fusari as "instrumental in the singer’s success" and Gaga as negligent in her contractual and fiduciary obligations. This is no ordinary lawsuit: Fusari claims that he had a "romantic relationship" with the singer and is responsible for Lady Gaga’s stage name. Fusari is asking for damages of at least $5 million:
The self-consciously dramatic spat promises to dominate entertainment news. For her part, Gaga's claim to her brand precedes contractual agreements, according to Billboard.com:The suits starts with a quote from “The Mourning Bride” by William Congreve: “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.” The suit goes on to say “All business is personal. When those personal relationships evolve into romantic entanglements, any corresponding business relationship usually follows the same trajectory so that when one crashes they all burn. That is what happened here.
"I was Gaga from the time that I was 19 through my first record deal," the 23-year-old said of her over-the-top, avant-garde style, which has captured the imaginations of millions of fans. "I always dressed like that before people knew me as Lady Gaga. I was always that way ... I stuck out like a sore thumb."