Racketeering Suit Filed Against Lady Gaga Over Charity Wristbands
Posted Jun 27, 2011 4:59 PM CST
By Molly McDonough
Lawyers from Michigan-based 1-800-LAW-FIRM have filed a federal racketeering suit against international sensation Lady Gaga, claiming the entertainer improperly profited from "We Pray for Japan" charity wristbands sold on her website.
Gaga began selling the $5 wristbands on her site shortly after a tsunami struck Japan in March, promising fans that "all proceeds go directly to Japan relief efforts," the Washington Post blog Celebritology reports.
But in its $5 million class action suit (PDF posted by the Washington Post), 1-800-LAW-FIRM claims Gaga, her co-defendants and merchandizing company, retained a portion of the proceeds and inflated shipping charges. The suit also maintains that consumers were wrongfully taxed.
"While we commend Lady Gaga for her philanthropic efforts, we want to ensure that claims that 'all proceeds will be donated to Japan's earthquake' are in fact true," Alyson Oliver, an attorney for 1-800-LAW-FIRM tells Reuters.
Reuters reports that Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, donated about $3 million to Japan disaster relief.