Back in the December of 2011, Lady Gaga's ex-assistant Jennifer O'Neill (pictured above with Gaga in 2010) filed a lawsuit against Gaga, who she had been aide to for only 13 months. Now details have emerged from the August 6 deposition.
Gaga's version of events:
Lady Gaga unloaded on a former personal assistant who’s suing her for overtime pay — blasting the woman in a sworn deposition as a “fucking hood rat who is suing me for money that she didn’t earn.”
“She’s just — she thinks she’s just like the queen of the universe,” Gaga ranted, court records obtained by The Post show.
“And, you know what, she didn’t want to be a slave to one, because in my work and what I do, I’m the queen of the universe every day.”
The “Born This Way” singer couldn’t maintain her poker face, either, shooting a nasty aside at ex-aide Jennifer O’Neill near the start of Gaga’s marathon, six-hour testimony in a Midtown Manhattan law office.
“Are you going to stare at me like a witch this whole time — honestly?” Gaga asked. “Because this is going to be a long fucking day that you brought me here.”
Gaga even had some choice words for one of O’Neill’s lawyers, Paul Millus, at one point answering him: “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 fucking happened, so that the judge can read on this transcript exactly what’s going on.”
Gaga’s foulmouthed assertions came in response to a 2011 suit filed in Manhattan federal court by O’Neill, who claims she’s owed overtime for serving at Gaga’s “beck and call” around the clock while the singer’s career skyrocketed between early 2009 and March 2011.
O’Neill says she put in 7,168 hours of unpaid overtime during two stints working for Gaga — who’s listed in the suit under her real name, Stefani Germanotta — and is owed more than $393,000, plus damages.
During her videotaped Aug. 6 deposition, 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, and I never paid her overtime the first time I hired her, so why would she be paid overtime the second time?”
“This whole case is bullshit, and you know it,” she added.
But under questioning, she conceded her decision not to pay overtime wasn’t based on labor laws, but is “actually based on a bubbly, good heart.”
“I’m quite wonderful to everybody that works for me, and I am completely aghast to what a disgusting human being that you have become to sue me like this,” she said.
“Because she slept in Egyptian cotton sheets every night, in five-star hotels, on private planes, eating caviar, partying with [photographer] Terry Richardson all night, wearing my clothes, asking YSL [Yves Saint Laurent] to send her free shoes without my permission, using my YSL discount without my permission.”
Gaga said O’Neill’s job, which paid $75,000 a year, “was essentially a favor, and Jennifer was majorly unqualified for it.”
“I expect there to be a certain level of, like, you know, knowledge and academia about, like, your job,” she said.
Gaga — who now has two personal assistants — said a good assistant “is somebody that can anticipate what you need before you need it, so they buy it for you, or they — they set it up for you.”
But 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 enough 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.
“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 shit 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.
At one point, Gaga bragged about how the night before, her employees enjoyed a “beautiful $3,000 meal that I paid for” at Spiaggia in Chicago, billed as the only four-star Italian eatery in the Windy City.
Gaga said she picked up the tab “just because,” noting, “They were on their day off, and they all just wanted to be with me.”
She also insisted that all her employees work only an eight-hour day — while also noting, “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 fucking 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.”
Gaga said she appreciates that “an eight-hour workday could still be a very difficult workday, you know, if you’re digging ditches or, you know, you’re, you know, putting sealing on a roof, you know.”
“I’m not in any way discounting how hard an eight-hour work day can be, or discounting the role of an assistant.”
But she also noted, “I do six shows a week, and I make a lot of money. I work, I work 24 hours a day. I’m not standing next to Steve holding tea, waiting for him to take a sip, that is not what I do,” Gaga said.
“Not that people who do that don’t deserve their hourly pay, but I’m just pointing out that I deserve everything I’ve worked for. I deserve every dollar of it. And she deserves every dollar of her $75,000 that we agreed to. But she does not deserve a penny more.”
Rather than paying off O’Neill, Gaga said, “I’m going to give all the money that she wants to my employees that work hard for me now that deserve it.
“I’m not going to give it to her so she can go to Intermix and buy herself a new tube top,” the snippy superstar groused.
While the court papers don’t detail the start of their relationship, Gaga said it ended when, during a flight to Paris, O’Neill slept in one of two beds on Gaga’s jet.
“Most of my assistants in the past always offered it to my mother or my family,” the singer said. “Jennifer was the first person that never offered it to anybody and always took it for herself.”
Even worse, Gaga said, O’Neill refused to share any pillows with two other women.
“And she said, ‘No, I need my three pillows so I can sleep,’ ” Gaga said.
“I heard it. I immediately was so sick by it and upset that I turned over and went back to sleep.”
In Paris, Gaga, who was there to walk the runway at Thierry Mugler’s fall 2011 fashion show, said O’Neill “wore my coat when we were at the show, she wore my clothes.”
Afterward, “we partied until 5 in the morning, we got shit hammered, I was crawling on the streets in Paris, I was screaming.
“Jennifer was there. She hung out all night with me and Terry Richardson, and tons of socialites from Paris, and she had the time of her life,” Gaga said.
The next morning, Gaga said, she “barely could talk” but had to fly back to America that night — “I mean, what a rock-star moment, right?”
But on the flight back, Gaga said, O’Neill insisted on sleeping in the second bed and “completely, like, flipped out at me, beyond belief” when “I told her no.”
“I said, ‘Jennifer, this is really inappropriate in front of Terry Richardson,’ and she was like, ‘Don’t I get some sort of seniority because I’ve been here longer and I’m your friend?’ ” Gaga said.
“And I remember those words as clear as day, because when your best friend looks you in the eye and says ‘Why can’t I have that seat on your private plane, I’m your friend,’ the first thing I thought was ‘You’re not my fucking friend.’ ”
Jennifer's bitch fit:
“I was by her side virtually 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” O’Neill testified. “That includes sleeping in the same bed with her. Because she did not sleep alone.”
When asked if the unusual task was “required” as part of her job, O’Neill said, “I felt it was.”
“Unlike anybody else on that tour, I did not have my own hotel room. I was not asked if I wanted my own hotel room,” she said.
Transcript excerpts from O’Neill’s July 11 deposition at a Times Square law office don’t suggest there was any hanky-panky between her and Gaga, an outspoken supporter of gay rights.
And O’Neill noted, “I had no privacy, no chance to talk to any family, no chance to talk to any friends, no chance to have sex if I wanted to have sex. There was no chance to do anything.”
O’Neill, who’s suing Gaga for more than $390,000 in unpaid overtime, plus damages, also revealed that her daily duties included making sure Gaga “had taken her medicine,” although the specific drugs aren’t identified in the Manhattan federal court filing.
She said the 26-year-old superstar — who in her own deposition declared: “I’m the queen of the universe every day” — “made it clear” that “I expect you to be working and to be available 24/7.”
”And she was quite irate that she couldn’t reach me on my phone a couple of times, and was quite angry and asked me why she was paying for this hotel room if I was unreachable,” she said.
O’Neill said Gaga even interrupted her while she was getting her hair cut by Gaga’s stylist after he finished with the singer.
“She might have said I need some tea, I need — can you get my computer for me, can you get my phone, my battery is dead, I need a tampon, the toilet doesn’t flush,” O’Neill said.
And “another thing she would do in the middle of the night, would be wake me up to have me change the DVD in the DVD player because she didn’t want to watch that DVD any more and she couldn’t get up to walk across the room to change the DVD herself,” O’Neill said.
Gaga, who’s worth more than $50 million, according to Forbes, spared no expense pampering herself, O’Neill said, including having diet food “sent overnight to her from California” by the Sunfare meal-delivery service.
“So stuff would be FedExed to my room, let’s say, the room that I’m maintaining for her, and then I would have to find where she is in New York, which may be Brooklyn, may be her parents’ house, and I would have to hand-deliver Sunfare food to her so that she had something to eat,” she said.
One time, when Gaga was editing the “Born This Way” video in a hotel room with director Nick Knight, O’Neill said she “was supposed to be having dinner with a friend in the hotel, because I couldn’t leave.”
“But she called me and she said that she needed her food to be heated up in the hotel. So she needed me to come and personally heat up her food while she was looking at the video,” O’Neill said.
Gaga even rented a room in the Trump Soho “which is a whole room of clothes....an entire hotel room that is an actual closet for her,” O’Neill said.
O’Neill’s lawyer, Virginia Trunkes, wrote in court papers that the case “illustrates that dichotomy between celebrity and assistant, between rich and poor, between those who have and those who have not, and, most of all, between the hubris of a person so enamored with her status that she considers herself above the law.”
Meanwhile, legal experts told The Post that Gaga was wrong when she testified that her assistants aren’t entitled to overtime because they’re working “a 9:00 to 5:00 job that is spaced out throughout the day.”
Prominent labor lawyer Justin Swartz said: “If the personal assistant is required to be at Lady Gaga’s beck and call, Lady Gaga has to pay for that.”
- messy, messy stuff. I think it isn't really a black-and-white kind of thing. I don't agree with Gaga's idea to not pay overtime for her staff, I think the employees should be paid for every hour that they are there, working for her. But I suppose if it was in Jennifer's contract that she wasn't going to be paid overtime and she knew this beforehand, she really shouldn't be dragging Gaga's name through the dirt. But I guess you aren't really famous until your 'friends' start suing you.
I hope to God that Gaga gets her own fucking tampon and changes her own DVDs. I can understand some requests (the helping unpack bags and setting up the room for her seem mostly reasonable to me or ensuring Gaga had taken medication) but others are really ridiculous. That all comes with the territory, you can't be a diva without having some diva demands like food sent in to you from California or calling yourself a Queen and insisting someone sleep in your bed and having a whole room dedicated to your massive wardrobe.
We'll see how this pans out, after reading Gaga and Jennifer's quotes I don't see an easy end any time soon...
Now to lighten the mood
Source 1: Huffington Post
Source 2: New York Post