(CN) – Lady Gaga’s producer and ex-beau Rob Fusari must post a $7.3 million bond by Friday to stay claims that he never paid the woman who discovered the pop star, a federal judge ruled.
According to the 2010 complaint , Fusari contracted with Wendy Starland to find and develop an under-25 female equivalent to the lead singer of The Strokes, Julian Casablancas.
Starland claims Fusari wanted someone edgy, bold, confident and charismatic, whom “you can’t take your eyes off of,” for whom the pair would write songs and produce an album.
“And if we can get her a deal, any revenues that result from that artist project will be split 50/50 between us,” Fusari said, according to Starland’s testimony.
Starland says she brought Stefani Germanotta to Fusari, but never received her share of the “Strokes Girl” profits.
A Newark federal jury in November 2014 awarded Starland half of $10,816,000 and half of the $590,112 paid to Fusari’s business manager, Sandy Linzer.
The jury said that Starland also deserves a fixed, onetime $900,000 of the $1.8 million Fusari, or any of his companies, receives in record or merchandizing royalties over the next nine years.
Starland will also acquire 50 percent of any future amounts Fusari, or any of his companies, receive from all other entities, including Interscope; Sony; American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP); and the now defunct EMI recording company.
U.S. District Judge Jose Linares granted Starland partial final judgment on Feb. 4.
Fusari and his production company moved for judgment as a matter of law.
Linares denied the motion on March 17, rejecting the defendants’ argument that the contract was silent on the “expenses” of the project.
“Defendants produced no evidence at trial as to what specific expenses were incurred, nor any evidence that expenses were an essential term to the contract,” Linares wrote. “Lastly, the fact that the contract was not specific as to which albums or songs plaintiff was entitled to revenues on is unmoving to the court in light of the jury’s damages award. That is, the jury found that all albums and songs were deemed to be included in the ‘artist project’ under the contract. Indeed, the terms defendants claim are absent from the contract or vague, when viewed in light of plaintiffs testimony at trial, do not void the jury’s finding of a meeting of the minds and therefore a valid contract and subsequent breach.”
The judge also upheld Starland’s claim for breach of fiduciary duty, which was based on Fusari’s “mistreating” Lady Gaga.
“Plaintiff offered evidence that: 1) Fusari and Germanotta were in a personal romantic relationship; 2) Fusari treated Germanotta improperly, at least, by breaking off their personal relationship; and 3) Fusari and Germanotta’s working relationship terminated,” Linares wrote. “From here, as plaintiff has the benefit of all logical inferences, the jury could reasonably infer that Fusari’s fiduciary duty included not engaging in activities that would cause Germanotta to refuse to work [for] him, and this duty was breached, therefore damaging the joint venture and plaintiff.”
The court partially granted Fusari’s motion for a 30-day stay of the ruling on the pending motion for a new trial, which has a return date of April 6, under the condition that he post a bond of $7.3 million- the full amount of the amended judgment – by March 27.
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