MANHATTAN (CN) – An insurance company says it has no obligation to defend Lady Gaga (Stefani Germanotta) from a $5 million claim from her ex-boyfriend, Rob Fusari. Navigators Specialty Insurance asks the New York County Court to excuse it from the ex-lovers’ lawsuits.
In his original lawsuit against Germanotta in March, Fusari claimed that he coined the name “Lady Gaga,” persuaded her to use a drum machine, and that his “protégé” repaid him by having her labels, co-defendants Mermaid Music and Team Love Child, try to “trick” him out of a multimillion-dollar debt.
Germanotta quickly countersued Fusari, claiming that he had acted as an unlicensed agent when he coaxed her into an illegal agreement giving him 20 percent interest of her first four albums, and other money.
Fusari claims to be 20 percent owner of Team Love Child.
Navigators Specialty denies coverage to Germanotta and her companies, claiming that “professional services” were not involved in the dispute.
Navigators claims its policy defined “professional services” as “music publishing, song writing, live performances, personal appearances, licensing/merchandising and content on www.ladygaga.com, spokesperson/product endorser.”
The insurer says the underlying complaint “does not allege an act or omission in the performance of music publishing or merchandising,” but rather the “failure to pay Fusari.”
Navigators adds that Fusari’s ownership interest in Team Love Child makes him an insured under the same policy, also precluding coverage.
Navigators Specialty is represented by Thomas Leghorn with Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker.