Lady Gaga Sues Ex-Producer Over "Abusive" 2006 Contract

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Lady Gaga has responded to her ex-producer's lawsuit by slapping him with one of her own, claiming she was tricked into singing a deal with her ex-collaborator and ex-boyfriend Rob Fusari that provided him with "unlawful compensation." As Rolling Stone previously reported, Fusari's legal team filed $30 million lawsuit against Gaga, claiming their client is owed royalties and merchandising fees after allegedly creating the name Lady Gaga and co-writing four tracks that eventually appeared on The Fame, including "Paparazzi" and "Disco Heaven." Fusari blamed Gaga for breaching a contract they agreed to in 2006, when he and the singer then known as Stefani Germanotta began working together.

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In her countersuit, the New York Daily News reports, Gaga says that the contract she signed with Fusari was illegal because it 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." The countersuit, which seeks to both throw out Fusari's lawsuit and claim damages from him, also accuses the producer of taking advantage of an "inexperienced performing artist" by getting her to sign a deal that was "predatory and financially abusive." In response to Gaga's suit and the claim that Fusari operated as an unlicensed agent, Fusari's lawyer said, "Rob was no more of an 'agent' for her than she is a Roman Catholic nun."

The third co-writer on The Fame bonus track "Disco Heaven," Gaga's former bassist and Fusari associate Tommy Kafafian, also says he hasn't received any royalty payments from the track, but as of now has no plans to sue Gaga. "I don't wanna sue anybody. It's really not my style," Kafafian told New Jersey's The Star-Ledger. Kafafian also took part in the 2006 sessions with Gaga and Fusari, and was added to Gaga's touring band last year before being replaced on the new legs of the Monster Ball trek.

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