Lady Gaga was in Japan over the weekend, working her schtick and trying to claim that she had a hard knock life despite the fact that she went to an exclusive private high school. Gaga performed at an MTV Japan benefit relief concert, and she’s worked hard to raise money for tsunami victims. Soon after the tragedy in early March, she started selling bracelets she designed with the words “We Pray for Japan” on them. They cost $5 through her website, which pledges “All proceeds go directly to Japan relief efforts.” Only a new lawsuit alleges that’s not the case and that Gaga’s people aren’t donating all the money:
Just before she headlined Saturday night’s Japan disaster relief benefit concert, Lady Gaga was sued over the bracelets she’s been selling for the same cause.
According to the federal class action, the do-gooder pop star wasn’t exactly being honest when her Web site claimed all the proceeds from sales of her “We Pray for Japan” wristbands would go to help victims of the March earthquake and tsunami.
A Detroit-era legal network said in its complaint, filed Friday, that Gaga kept part of the $5 that every customer paid for a wristband and inflated shipping charges so she could pocket more. She then counted even the money she allegedly pocketed in her donation figures, artificially inflating donation numbers, in order to make more money, the suit charged.
Gaga’s deceptive advertising and personal profits from the bracelets violated federal racketeering laws and a slew of consumer protection laws, too, the suit claimed.
“When we tried to communicate with the defendants in this lawsuit, all we got was, ‘well, some of the money is being retained, but we don’t really know how much,’” said the 1-800-LAW-FIRM lawyer who sued, Alyson Oliver.
Lady Gaga hasn’t answered the law suit yet. Lately, with a packed tour schedule, she’s had bigger fish to fry—including Saturday’s MTV Video Music Aid Japan benefit show in Tokyo.
“The recent events here really affected me, not just because I have so many fans in Japan, but because it’s hard to watch a country struggle,” Gaga told Us Weekly.
[From NBC Chicago, tip via DethHammer]
I can’t believe I’m defending Gaga, but any lawsuit brought by “1-800-Law-Firm” is suspicious. I mean it could just be a bid for publicity. It’s also possible that Gaga has a team of people working on fulfilling sales and donating the money and that she has little control or knowledge of what’s actually going on. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if all the money isn’t going to charity. Look at what happened to Madonna’s Raising Malawi efforts, Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti and Bono’s RED. Charities run by celebrities don’t have the best track records.
Gaga is shown wearing the bracelet on 6/23/11 at a press conference in Tokyo for MTV Video Music Aid. Credit: WENN.com