Lady Gaga hits back at producer
Lady Gaga is firing back at a music producer who claims he launched her career and is suing her for £20.3 million.
Her lawyer said in court papers made public that the agreement at the heart of the suit was "unlawful".
Song writer and music producer Rob Fusari filed the lawsuit on Wednesday in Manhattan against the Grammy Award-winning performer. He said his protege and former girlfriend, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, ditched him as her career soared.
The lawsuit said they co-wrote songs such as Paparazzi and Beautiful, Dirty, Rich. Fusari also said he came up with her stage name and helped get her record deal.
According to the lawsuit, Lady Gaga and Fusari's relationship turned romantic and then became a business partnership in May 2006, when they created a joint venture called Team Love Child to promote her career. Fusari's share was 20%.
But Lady Gaga lawyer Charles Ortner wrote in his response that the arrangement was "structured in such a way as to mask its true purpose - to provide to the defendants unlawful compensation for their services as unlicensed employment agents".
Ortner wrote that Fusari and his company violated statutes which prohibited them from "acting as employment agents without a licence and charging Lady Gaga an unlawful fee for their purported services".
But Fusari's lawyer Robert Meloni called the claim "ludicrous".
"Fusari is a PARTNER in the Team Love LLC with Gaga and her father (through their company Mermaid)," Meloni wrote in an email. "Rob was no more of an 'agent' for her than she is a Roman Catholic nun."
Lady Gaga won two Grammys in January: best dance recording for Poker Face and best electronic/dance album for The Fame.