California residents have likely heard that after Lady Gaga received negative publicity stemming from a deposition, she has decided to settle the lawsuit that had been filed against her by a former personal assistant.
The pop star's former personal assistant had sued Lady Gaga for unpaid overtime, and Lady Gaga initially sought to have the case dismissed on several grounds. A judge in New York, however, refused to throw the case out and a trial was scheduled for Nov. 4. News of a settlement being reached was announced Monday.
The assistant reportedly worked for Lady Gaga for more than one year, and the two were roommates and friends before the employment relationship began.
Lady Gaga paid the assistant a $50,000 annual rate during the first year of her employment, and this was increased to $75,000 in the second year; in her lawsuit, the assistant claimed that the superstar owed her $379,000 in overtime wages.
The assistant claimed that she was on-call 24 hours a day, attending to Lady Gaga's every need, and that she was thus entitled to overtime wages.
Lady Gaga's deposition was published in the media, and in it she refers to herself as "queen of the universe" and she calls her former assistant "a disgusting human being."
In some cases, it is wise for entertainers and entertainment companies to work with their lawyers to resolve claims outside of court in order to avoid bad publicity and costly, time-consuming litigation. This case is also a reminder that it is important to seek legal counsel not only when drafting entertainment contracts between entertainers and entertainment companies, but also when entertainers hire assistants and staff. Legally enforceable and reasonable contracts can often prevent litigation.
Source: People, "Lady Gaga Settles Overtime Lawsuit With Ex-Assistant," Oct. 22, 2013