Rob Fusari Productions v. Team Love Child and Mermaid Music

As has been widely reported in the news media, Rob Fusari has filed a lawsuit against two companies representing Lady Gaga. The case (Rob Fusari Productions v. Team Love Child and Mermaid) was filed on March 17, 2010, and can be found on the website of the New York State Supreme Court under number 650179-2010. GagaFrontRow is pleased to provide an overview, including some quotes and the complete case.

The cause of the case is breach of contract. The case is 20 pages (116 paragraphs) long in addition to two appendices with copies of the contracts between Fusari and Lady Gaga (Stefani and Joe Germanotta). The case opens with the famous epithath, "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned" (William Congreve), and is followed by the now also famous lines, "All business is personal. When those personal relationships evolve into romantic entanglements, any corresponding business relationship usually follows the same trajectory so that when one crashes they all burn. That is what happened here."

After jurisdiction is asserted in New York, the case recounts how Fusari and Gaga (then Stefani Germanotta) met via Wendy Starland, who was already working with Fusari. When Fusari met Ms. Germanotta, he "was expecting someone a little more grundge-rocker than the young Italian girl

'guidette' that arrived at his doorstep and was worried that he had made a mistake. Fusari then asked her to play one of her songs on the studio piano and within seconds realized that Germanotta had star potential. The trick would be coaxing it out of her... Fusari thought Germanotta’s songs were brilliant but lacked commercial appeal... Fusari finally convinced Germanotta to abandon rock riffs and add dance beats." Fusari also created the new artist name. "One day when Fusari addressed a cell phone text to Germanotta under the moniker 'Radio Ga Ga' his cell phone’s spell check converted 'Radio' to 'Lady.' Germanotta loved it and 'Lady Gaga' was born."

The case then reports on the romance that developed between Fusari and Gaga, when "the two began to spend all of their time together as a couple. Germanotta started staying over at Fusari’s home and Fusari, in turn, began socializing with Germanotta’s family, regularly dining

with Germonatta’s parents and siblings at their home in Manhattan." A first contract between Fusari and Gaga was signed in May 2006. Fusari then introduced Gaga to Laurent Besencon, who became her manager, and ensured the contract with Island Def Jam, which was to release an album in May 2007. A new contract was signed in September 2006. When "Germanotta was unexplainably dropped from IDJ after only three months..., the stress of the set-back with IDJ also negatively impacted the personal relationship between Fusari and Germanotta. The couple was now constantly bickering as Germanotta became more and more verbally abusive towards Fusari. Fusari wanted to return their relationship to a purely professional level, so in January 2007, he ended their romantic involvement."

Besencon eventually introduced Gaga to RedOne, while Fusari was no longer involved in creative decisions. Eventhough Fusari introduced Gaga to Vince Herbert, who signed her to Interscope, he was again "being frozen out of the actual negotiations that were taking place between TLC and Interscope... After a while, Germanotta and her father stopped taking his telephone calls or otherwise responding to Fusari’s texts and emails."

Finally, the case details four counts of breach of agreement, a fifth count of breach of fiduciary duty, and a sixth count of accounting, for a total of $30.5 million and the "costs of this action, including reasonable attorneys’ fees."
A pdf of the case filing is available for download here.
NOTE: The case got settled by September 2010.
The settlement might become public January 2014...
See related posts on Starland suing Fusari,
and Gaga suing Fusari.

Check the other site posts on the gagafrontrow pages: