Judge Orders Lady Gaga to Pay Over $100,000 to Settle Japan Bracelet Lawsuit (EXCLUSIVE)
Lady Gaga and seven other defendants in a class action lawsuit have been ordered by a Michigan judge to pay over $100,000 to settle the case, Celebuzz has confirmed.
Though it was not determined Gaga or anyone else was liable, it had been alleged that she and others had not sent all of the money raised by her wristbands for earthquake relief in Japan to victims.
“It was settled and amicably resolved,” Allison Oliver, attorney for lead plaintiff Caitlin Demetsenare, said in an interview.
According to Oliver, the judge’s order on Oct. 10 compels Gaga (aka Stefani Germanotta) to pay $107,500 to a charity that will aid the tsunami victims.
“Rather than the money go back to the purchasers, we thought it would be best that it go to the victims,” said Oliver, adding that the charity has not been chosen yet.
In an effort to raise money for Japan after the devastating 9.0 earthquake struck on March 11, 2011, the "Born this Way" singer designed a wristband for fans to purchase.
But the lawsuit claimed Gaga and Universal Music Group, amongst others, skimmed a portion of the money from shipping costs and taxes: "A portion of the first five dollars of each donation were retained by defendants… they also added additional 'shipping charges' in excess of the amount required to ship the wristbands based on their weight, and retained a portion of the shipping charges."
“We don’t know if it will be her (Gaga) paying the whole sum or if all the defendants will be paying fractions, but we achieved 100 percent of what we found to be in question,” Oliver said.
By the end of March 2011, the superstar songstress -- who also performed in MTV Japan's concert to raise funds for earthquake relief -- said she had donated more than $1.5 million from the sale of the bracelets.
Gaga’s rep previously told the Daily News, “Lady Gaga will vigorously defend MGA’s ill-conceived lawsuit and is confident that she will prevail. There was no legitimate reason for dragging Lady Gaga into that dispute.”
Her publicist issued a statement to E! Online when the lawsuit was filed: "This misguided lawsuit is without merit and unfortunately takes attention away from the kind deeds of the fans around the world who are supporting the people of Japan. The entire $5 donation made with the purchase of each bracelet is going to support the disaster relief. No profit is being made on shipping costs. Sales tax charges were made in accordance with local legal requirements. Lady Gaga has personally pledged her own funds to this cause and continues to support the victims of the disaster."
The singer's reps did not return Celebuzz's requests for comment.
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