Lady Gaga sued for allegedly pocketing sales of her Japan charity bracelets

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:

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15 Responses to “Lady Gaga sued for allegedly pocketing sales of her Japan charity bracelets”

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  1. Ari says:

    Yes, they do not have good track records because they have crappy people who run those charities and the “artist” is so busy being an ARTEEEST that they don’t take the time to see what’s really going on their organization. I have a feeling that is probably what is going on here. Gaga has no idea she probably has some sh*tholes working for her and this part of her charity works and its going to bite her in the bum

  2. Kristin says:

    I hope this is a case of skeezy management, rather than gaga

  3. Mandy says:

    Yes, Lady Gaga comes off as egotistical in interviews, but she also seems to be very gracious towards her fans, and I highly doubt she’d jeopardize her relationship with them by pulling something like this. It’s probably just an oversight, and she’ll be more careful in the future. And come on, “1-800-LAW-FIRM?” Anyone else think that sounds sketchy?

  4. DethHammer says:

    Yay! Thank you so much Celebitchy! I emailed you using my Yahoo email cause for some reason my Gmail account wouldnt send it. I’ll try again using my Gmail.

    I thought Gaga was “different” from all those celebs and “pours her heart” 100% into absolutely everything she does, from making breakfast to selling rubber bracelets that cost 50 cents to print a message on (which anyone can do)? Is it possible that the Almighty Gaga is like those other nauseatingly self-righteous celebs, promoting her own public relations agenda by flashing a (crumbling) “do-gooder” veneer while passing off the actual charity and accounting -work- to lackeys while keeping some of the money for herself?

    She also said Japan is completely safe now, even though the radiation levels in Fukushima are still higher than the maximum safe limit that the government states.

  5. DethHammer says:

    Lest anyone think I’m blindly “hatin’”, I personally think this suit will be thrown out of court because as I said before, unless the books are opened and there is proof she or her management team pocketed money, I don’t see how this would go to trial.

    Gaga is no stranger to being sued; her first producer and song co-writer Rob Fusari sued her for royalties and she counter-sued. Although both cases were thrown out of court, he received a check for over $610,000. So even if there is proof for this Japan bracelet “scam” case, she will most likely settle out of court.

    I also agree that it could just be an oversight, and yes 1-800-LAW-FIRM does sound a bit sketchy. We will see how this pans out.

  6. Jay says:

    Who is next? Angelina and her “charity work”?

  7. jover says:

    Agree dethhammer this is why you donate to known charities with a proven track record; very few celebutards have the interest, intelligence, or discipline or desire to keep track of where the money goes for these types of charities, after all, much of the money dedicated to haiti last january is unaccounted for or unspent, and do you think J Z and bouncy care; as ari said they are too busy being arteests! Didn’t that fusari lawsuit last yr end up in fed court and it was settled I thought it was for millions; NOtice, not of word of the incident in the reg press, the celeb press, Lady xerox’s little monsters or anywhere, Interesting isn’t it. I thought that settlement was for millions and Fusari largely created her persona btw.

  8. You don't say says:

    People involved in charity and other fundraising activities have to know that they can get audited at any time. Many, such as the Jolie-Pitt Foundation have been lauded for having little to no administrative costs and the money goes where they say it goes. This is a matter of public record and as 501c-3 (tax speak for non-profit organizations)organizations have public tax records, it is easy enough to check.

    Hopefully others will also be clean as it hurts legitimate organizations when fly by night groups or individuals do this and make people doubt where their money is going.

  9. Tiffany says:

    I don’t believe this suit because it was brought by 1800-law-suit. They chose the most popular pop figure to file a suit against.

  10. Hakura says:

    I do hope that Gaga isn’t responsible, I really don’t believe she has any direct consistant awareness of whatever company is processing the donations. She’s been doing lots of benefit events, so I just can’t see her betraying Japan & everyone trying to help. She may be annoying most of the time, but she does genuinely seem to care about people.

    The 1-800-law-firm thing pretty much leaves this dead in the water, as far as I’m concerned. Gaga has made an insane amount of money over even just the last few months… Definitely the prime target for someone to try suing for profit.

  11. original kate says:

    everything this woman does is boring, even her legal scandals. *yawn*

  12. cutelittlehappything says:

    There’s that effin’ teacup. I thought she was over that.

  13. Shay says:

    This is interesting because apparently she went bankrupt in order to bankroll her tour.
    The details given have scam written all over this charity venture. It doesn’t matter what law firm it is. All starter law firms look for a huge case to get their name out. All lawyers are shrewd bastards.
    But then again, aren’t most celebrities using charities to further their profiles?
    Here, GaGa took a leaf out of the Madonna and Jolie-Pitt book of self created charities, and it backfired. Currently the Jolie-Pitts have all the right measures in place (staff, etc) to oversee it, but Madonna didn’t and yet Madonna slithered away from the mess of her charity, like the viper she is, but GaGa?
    How will she fare?
    If she was in the financial red when she was touring, she may not have the resources to pay the legal fees and her record company won’t be thrilled at footing a massive bill.
    These lawsuits are wet dreams for lawyers.

  14. DethHammer says:

    Great comment Shay. That was very well-written and it’s true.

    Most likely, Gaga and her team will pay off some “lower echelon” lackeys to take full responsibility and fall on their swords so she can once again slither out of this mess squeaky clean just like The First Lady Gaga aka Madonna.

  15. fashion blog says:

    hha funny story. lady gaga is totally out of her mind :D