(CN) – Lady Gaga (Stefani Germanotta) countersued Rob Fusari, who claims that he discovered and made her, and that she owes him $5 million. Germanotta claims Fusari induced her into an illegal agreement giving him 20 percent royalties of her first four albums, and other money, and that he was operating as an unlicensed agent when he did it.
Germanotta and Mermaid Music LLC sued Fusari and Rob Fusari Productions in New York County Court.
She claims their May 17, 2006 agreement was “an unlawful fee for … purported services.”
Germanotta was not named as an individual defendant in Fusari’s lawsuit, which was filed last week. Fusari sued Mermaid Music and Team Love Child.
Germanotta is represented by Sandra Crawshaw-Sparks with Proskauer Rose.
Her lawsuit was filed on March 18 New York County Court. Fusari’s was filed March 17.
Here is the March 20 Courthouse News Story about Fusari’s lawsuit.
Ex Claims Lady Gaga Owes Him $5 Million
(CN) – A former boyfriend who claims he discovered Lady Gaga and made her a star says the LLC she owns with her father owes him more than $5 million. Rob Fusari sued Mermaid Music, owned by Gaga (Stephani Germanotta) and her father; and Team Love Child, 80 percent owned by Gaga and 20 percent by Fusari.
Among other things, Fusari claims Team Love Child gave him a check for $394,965, and that “On the back of the check, immediately beneath the endorser’s signature line, Defendants caused to have written ‘Endorsed In Accord And Satisfaction Of All Sums Due To Undersigned’.
“By adding this endorsement to the back of the check, Defendants had attempted to trick Plaintiff into depositing said check and thereby settle all outstanding debts due him by Defendants under the TLC Amendment and to bar Plaintiff from seeking any additional payments of the Fusari Interest as they came due in the future.
“Plaintiff has refused to endorse and/or deposit the check and has returned it to TLC.
“Other than the above described payments, Defendants have failed to make additional payments to Plaintiff that would constitute compensation owed to Plaintiff of the Fusari Interest.
“As a result of Defendants’ actions, Defendants have materially breached the TLC Amendment to Plaintiff’s detriment.
“Therefore, and by reason of Defendants’ foregoing breach, Plaintiff is entitled to an award of damages in an amount to be determined at trial, but not less than $5,000,000.”
After beginning with an inscription by William Congreve – “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned / Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned” – the complaint commences: “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.”
Fusari then describes how he allegedly discovered Germanotta and helped her “radically reshap(e) her approach” to music.
“Fusari finally convinced Germanotta to abandon rock riffs and add dance beats. He demonstrated how the sound of a drum machine would not hurt the integrity of her music.”
He claims he also “created the name ‘Lady Gaga’ for his protégé.”
The 32-page complaint adds: “Working intensely in such close emotional quarters over a sustained period nurtured Fusari and Germanotta’s relationship to a new, personal and romantic level …”
Alas, it ended unhappily. Fusari wants $5 million for breach of agreements and breach of fiduciary duty, and $10 million in punitive damages.
He is represented in New York County Court by Robert Meloni with Meloni & McCaffrey.
Neither Germanotta nor her father are named as defendants individually. The defendants are the two LLCs, Team Love Child and Mermaid Music.