Lawsuit filed by singer's former 'best friend' Jennifer O'Neill will go in front of a jury on November 4
The legal dispute between Lady Gaga and her former assistant will go to trial this November, it has been reported.
According to Billboard, US District Judge paul Gardephe ruled that the lawsuit Jennifer O’Neill filed against the singer over unpaid wages will be heard by a jury on November 4. O’Neil had filed an action demanding $380,000 (£243,000) and said that, despite being responsible for looking after the singer’s hectic schedule, she was owed payment for 7,168 hours of overtime.
In his ruling, Gardephe said that both sides agreed that O’Neill was expected to be available to Gaga when requested for each hour of the day, and that it would be up to a jury to decide whether her ‘on-time’ call could entitle her to overtime compensation. He also recounted how lawyers had revealed that the pair frequently slept in the same bed due to O’Neill not being given her hotel room, as she was expected to attend to the singer’s demands throughout the evening.
O’Neill, who claims she was paid a flat rate of $50,000 (£32,000) to work for the singer initially and then $75,000 (£48,000) per year when she was hired for a second time, alleged during her deposition that her tasks included having to wake up and replace DVDs that Gaga had become bored of watching. “Every day is a work day for her, so every day is a work day for us,” she said. “There is no ‘We’re going to stay in, we’re going to sleep.’ There is no ‘Let’s put on sweatpants and go out to the movies and be girlfriends.’ It doesn’t work like that.”
She also said her duties involved ensuring Gaga had “special food” available to her at every location she visited, handling all her luggage and occasionally fielding her email and telephone calls. She was also required to make sure the singer turned up for appearances on time, helping with costume changes and providing ice packs, tea and showers after gigs, before arranging for her to leave venues and eat dinner.
In her own testimony, meanwhile, Gaga said: “You don’t get a schedule. You don’t get a schedule that is like you punch in and you can play… 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.'” An official statement from the singer on the legal spat also saw her declare herself as the “Queen of the Universe” and described O’Neill as a “fucking hood rat who is suing me for money that she didn’t earn.”
In February of this year, Gaga took to Twitter to tell her fans that, in addition to being her assistant, O’Neill was also a close friend of hers that she has known for many years. Her new album ‘ARTPOP’ is due for release on November 11 and features production from Zedd, Madeon and DJ White Shadow.
Sign up for the newsletter