Lady Gaga Sued by 1-800-LAW-FIRM over Japanese Disaster Relief Charity

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June 26, 2011; Source: The Examiner | Lady Gaga, we thought we knew ye! 

Maybe we do, because there's something a little odd about the suit filed in federal district court in Michigan charging Gaga with skimming money from her own charity. Lady Gaga has been raising money for disaster relief activities in Japan by selling "We Pray for Japan" bracelets on her website and dedicating all of the proceeds to charitable programs. 

She is being sued by 1-800-LAW-FIRM. A lawyer representing 1-800-LAW-FIRM, Ari Kresch, told, “I’m suing Lady Gaga simply to hold her accountable for giving the money that she was raising for charity to the cause that she was trying to raise it for.”  In other words, it seems like a preemptive lawsuit. It's not that Kresch and his "firm" have evidence or clients who know of Lady Gaga's wrongdoing, but are simply concerned about holding her a priori accountable, if you give their motivations a positive spin — or are hoping to stumble into something that they can ride to a lucrative lawsuit against a rich and famous celebrity, if you're inclined to a more jaundiced take on their motivations. 

In an effort to find something — anything — to merit a federal case, the lawsuit contends that Gaga has inflated the shipping costs ($5 shipping and handling for the wristbands) to line her pockets. Another 1-800 lawyer called Lady Gaga's people to get an immediate accounting of the charitable fundraising, but claimed to be unsuccessful. 

You never know, maybe 1-800 will find something, but it smells like a fishing expedition for the firm and the celebrity press too. An exchange between one of the lawyers and a Detroit reporter for the Fox station sounds like a mutual grope for scandal: 

"Maybe nothing's going to Japan?" FOX 2's Charlie Langton asked her. "Maybe not. We'll find out," she replied.

Not that we find Lady Gaga all that compelling, but she needs to clip shipping and handling money?  According to Billboard, she was the highest earning pop star in the world in 2010, her $30.5 million beating out Justin Bieber, Black-Eyed Peas, Taylor Swift, and other musical luminaries.  Maybe it was the S&H?

Did you know that 1-800-LAW-FIRM was "America's most trusted legal network?" It says so, right on its website. Go there and you'll see the floating ad for the Lady Gaga "class action" lawsuit which takes you to a "Shady Gaga" page.  You can also take a moment to sign up for their current campaigns on Avandia, Lyrica, and Crestor, among a dozen dangerous drugs, as seen on TV!  See for yourself.—Rick Cohen

  • Michael Wyland

    1-800-LAW-FIRM’s web site caused my copy of AVG anti-virus software to go nuts when I attempted to download a copy of the actual lawsuit filing. No harm done, but I suspect there are some cookies, bots, etc., on the site that facilitate commerce and make money for the firm.

    I’m suspicious of both sides in this litigation. It’s easy to believe that the law firm is shopping for a settlement – and a lot of publicity. It’s also easy to believe that Lady Gaga and her people are, at best, unsophisticated in the ways of fundraising and charitable accountability. Also, Lady Gaga is even more attuned than most performers to the value of her brand and maximizing its value. Sometimes (generally – we don’t know about this case), this brand cultivation translates into greed – no surprise.

    I was intrigued by the assertion that the fundraising activities might open Lady Gaga to consumer protection issues in the states. I wonder if any state attorneys-general will “pile on”?

  • Kevin

    Where is the case? I would be surprised if this didn’t turn into a libel case. The only evidence presented is is a $5 s&h fee which is probably about right considering that she is an international celebrity and shipping fees are generally normalized to avoid dealing with regional rates.

    I’m not an expert in charity fundraisers, but this does not sound as though it is fraud.