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Wednesday, July 17, 2024 | Back issues
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Settlement Heads Off Trial Against Gaga on Overtime

MANHATTAN (CN) - Lady Gaga settled claims that she and her touring company owed a former personal assistant to the pop star $379,000 in overtime wages.

Jennifer O'Neill sued Mermaid Touring in 2011 and later added Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, as a defendant to the federal complaint.

O'Neill claimed that her primary job duties as Gaga's assistant "included, but were not limited to, confirming defendant principal's schedule with said principal; reviewing and reconciling defendant's credit card statements; ordering meals and ensuring that they were correctly prepared and served at specific times; maintaining the principal's personal supplies; ensuring the availability of chosen outfits; ensuring the promptness of a towel following a shower; and serving as a personal alarm clock to keep defendant's principal on schedule."

For this she was allegedly paid an annual salary of $75,000 in 2010.

O'Neill claimed, however, that she "worked 512 overtime hours in early 2009 for which she was not compensated, and 6,656 overtime hours from February 5, 2010 through March 5, 2011 for which she was not compensated."

U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe dismissed the case Monday, noting that the parties had settled.

The order does not reveal any details on the settlement except that it bars O'Neill "from bringing another claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act or any foreign, state, or local law (including the New York Labor Law) for wages, including overtime page, for the period set forth in the amended complaint."

In her August 2012 deposition, Lady Gaga claimed that O'Neill's job was "essentially a favor, and Jennifer was majorly unqualified for it."

Gaga also said "it's not a possibility for anyone to ask for overtime where we work."

The transcript shows that O'Neill's lawyer, Paul Millus of Meyer, Suozzi, English, and Klein in Garden City, N.Y., asked Gaga why she does not pay overtime.

Gaga replied: "I'm quite wonderful to everybody that works for me, and I am completely aghast to what a disgusting human being that you have become to sue me like this. Because she slept in Egyptian cotton sheets every night, in five-star hotels, on private planes, eating caviar, partying with [photographer] Terry Richardson all night, wearing my clothes, asking YSL [Yves Saint Laurent] to send her free shoes without my permission, using my YSL discount without my permission."

The case had been scheduled to go to trial on Nov. 4.

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