Even the rich and famous get sued for not paying overtime. Stefani Germanotta, aka “Lady Gaga,” was sued in 2011 by Jennifer O’Neill, her personal assistant. O’Neill claims she’s owed overtime for serving at Gaga’s “beck and call” around the clock between early 2009 and March 2011. She claims she worked $393,000of worth of unpaid overtime.
Gaga was deposed last year. As I’m an employment lawyer, I’m just going to say this…I certainly hope that I can sue someone as awesome as Lady Gaga. I want to have a deposition like this. Now, I could spend a bunch of time detailing the questions, but I think it would be far more entertaining to just quote the ridiculousness that came out of Gaga’s mouth.
“Are you going to stare at me like a witch this whole time — honestly?” Gaga asked one of the lawyers. “Because this is going to be a long f–k ng day that you brought me here.” Later she states: “No, no, no. Listen, listen, sir, if you’re going to ask me questions for the next five hours, I am going to tell you exactly what f–king happened, so that the judge can read on this transcript exactly what’s going on.”
Gaga said none of her employees get paid overtime, adding that O’Neill “knew exactly what she was getting into, and she knew there was no overtime….” “This whole case is bulls–t, and you know it,” Gaga added.
According to the New York Post, Gaga conceded her decision not to pay overtime wasn’t based on labor laws, but is “actually based on a bubbly, good heart.” Gaga said she paid O’Neill’s $75,000 a year. She gave the job to O’Neill as “a favor, and Jennifer was majorly unqualified for it.”
Gaga said O’Neill failed at even the most basic of tasks, noting that “one of the biggest problems I had with Jen is that I felt like she didn’t lay out all my stuff for me” while traveling, because “there is 20 bags and there is only one me, and I can’t sift through everything.
The New York Post continues the details:
“She would only open a couple of bags, and it was very stressful for me because then again on my off days I couldn’t really have a day off because, you know, I weigh 115 pounds, and I was trying to move these huge, big luggages all by myself in the room, and I did it all the time — by the way, she was asleep until 12:00 most of the time, so I was very often waking up and moving my own luggage and doing s–t by myself, and it was — it was a problem that I had,” she said.
And while previous assistants “would like set up my room, and I would know where my clothes were, I would know where my toothbrush was, I would know where my soap and everything was,” Gaga said that when O’Neill “got lazy she didn’t always do those things for me.
“I can’t walk down the street and go buy myself toiletries, I have to call security, I’ve got to call Jen or now I got to call Wendi, I’ve got to get a whole bunch of people together to help me fix the problem, which wouldn’t happen if she was doing her job properly on regular days,” Gaga said.
Gaga also portrayed O’Neill as an ingrate who took for granted the parties, “five-star hotels” and other luxuries — including “caviar, champagne and yachts” — that she got to enjoy as part of Gaga’ s entourage.
“It is, like, such an amazing luxury that I get to travel the world and have planes, she doesn’t even see what a luxury it is, but she thinks it’s owed to her for no reason,” the singer said.
Gaga also insisted her employees work only eight hours per day. “This job is a 9-to-5 job that is spaced out throughout the day.” “You don’t get a schedule that is like you punch in and you can play f–king Tetris at your desk for four hours and then you punch out at the end of the day. This is — when I need you, you’re available.”
Rather than paying off O’Neill, Gaga said that she is “going to give all the money that she wants to my employees that work hard for me now that deserve it.”