Lady Gaga is being sued in a class action lawsuit over the sales of her charity bracelets for Japan’s earthquake victims. The “Born this Way” singer is being accused of profiting from the sales, for falsely disclaiming that “all proceeds will be donated to Japan’s earthquake victims,” and for inflated shipping costs.
The lawsuit was filed in Michigan by 1800LAWFIRM who claimed that both Gaga and the other companies selling her charity prayer wristbands had “artificially inflated reports of total donations.” While the lawsuit was being filled the pop star was in Japan for a benefit concert for the victims of the earthquake and tsunamis that hit the islands on March 11th of this year.
Lady Gaga’s bracelets went on sale through her website and through other outlets at the price of $5. Each bracelet has the words “We Pray for Japan” written on them in both English and Japanese. The pop singer also encouraged fans to make donations above and beyond what they were paying for the bracelets.
Alyson Oliver, an attorney for the firm that filed the lawsuit, said that they commended Lady Gaga for her philanthropic efforts and that the intention of the lawsuit “is to uncover any improprieties committed by Lady Gaga and appropriate the full donations assumed to the victims in Japan."
Gaga is no stranger to lawsuits. In 2010, Rob Fusari --who claimed he helped launch Stephani Germanotta’s career into that of Lady Gaga, had a lawsuit against the star for $30.5 million dollars which was dropped after she filed a lawsuit against him. However, a lawsuit that questions the integrity and intentions of Gaga’s charity efforts may tarnish the “Paparazzi” singer’s image worse than wearing a meat dress to the VMA’s.
Fans get really upset with artists who say they are doing something great for humanity and appear to do so, but then line their own pockets. Gaga’s fame and fortune is well noted. Lady Gaga officially took the place once long held by Oprah as the most powerful celebrity in the world on Forbes Celebrity 100 list this past year moving up from her number 4 position. If the lawsuit finds that Gaga’s charity bracelets broke laws by deceptive advertising, shady sales practices and misappropriation of funds, the star may just drop off the list entirely because fans will be very upset.