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Producer ex-boyfriend sues Lady Gaga for $30M-plus

Gaga black mask Rob Fusari, a songwriter and music producer who co-wrote some of Lady Gaga's first records -- and was her boyfriend before breaking up with her in 2007 -- is suing the pop star for more than $30 million, saying she squeezed him out of her career once success hit.

Says the lawsuit: "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."

Fusari's suit says he came up with the "Lady Gaga" name and helped her get her first record deal; Gaga, who at 23 has two Grammys and has sold more than 10 million records worldwide, told the "how I got my name" story differently to Rolling Stone in 2009. Both versions of the story involve words typed on a cellular telephone.

Fusari, who co-wrote songs including "Paparazzi" and "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich," says he had a contract for 20% of royalties, 15% of merchandising revenue and more, the Washington Post reports. The suit says a friend steered the singer to his New Jersey studio in March 2006 when she was still going by Stefani Germanotta.

We'd like to point out that -- in an odd, fall-of-Western-civilization type twist to this story -- the word "guidette" ...

... has now officially made the leap from "Jersey Shore" to the New York State Supreme Court. According to court papers:

"Fusari was expecting someone a little more grunge-rocker than the young Italian girl 'guidette' that arrived at his doorstep and was worried that he had made a mistake."

A spokesman for Lady Gaga had no comment for CNN on Thursday.

[Updated at 11:36 a.m.: MTV has an article that goes into the legal document in more detail.]

-- Christie D'Zurilla

P.S.: In  August 2009, Frankie Fredericks, who says he was Lady Gaga's first, unpaid booking manager when she was 19, told the website Hollywood Chaos  that the 20 shows he booked for her were part of what attracted Fusari as a producer. Fredericks also said he'd never met Fusari; he was hurt that he didn't get even a thank-you on Gaga's album.

Photo: Lady Gaga attends the MAC Viva Glam Launch in London on March 1, 2010. Credit: Ian Gavan / Getty Images.

Related dispatches from the Ministry of Gossip:

No MTV ban on Lady Gaga's and Beyonce's 'Telephone'

Lady Gaga, Beyonce world premiere their 'Telephone' video

Beyonce and Lady Gaga meet again! First images surface from 'Telephone' video shoot

Lady Gaga honors Alexander McQueen at Brit Awards

Can you handle it? Beyonce and Lady Gaga's 'Video Phone'

Nonstop Lady Gaga: 'X Factor,' the Grammys, a girdle gaffe -- and the head of Kermit the Frog

Racy Miley Cyrus royally outdoes Lady Gaga in front of the queen (Hide your eyes, your majesty!) [poll]

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Comments () | Archives (10)

I'm sick of people suing successful individuals they've worked with. If you're in business together you should have a written agreement or a CONTRACT to avoid these misunderstandings. Otherwise we could all be suing every successful friend we have helped! Also - If Lady G's ex is so talented he wouldn't need to be suing her!

It's entirely possible he alleges that he has a written agreement. Just because she is famous and you are a fan (as am I) does not mean she is correct.

Know what I'm sick of? People presuming that the powerful people and entities they value and trust don't sometimes take advantage of the less powerful without knowing the entire story, and rushing to condemn those who allege they have been mistreated. That's what courts are for. If his litigation is without merit, he will lose, and likely have to pay costs.

We get it. You're a fan. So am I. She might be wrong.

if fusari says he has a contract, all he has to do is produce it (a written one, that is). if he doesn't, pound sand buddy, you'll never get enforcement of a verbal agreement, not a chance (very unlikely even if the verbal agreement is recorded) . . . boo hoo

everything he said is probably true except the contract. what boyfriend would ask his gf to sign a contract. he probably just assumed that he would be taken for the ride one the rocket went airborne. unfortunately like most men do she upgraded when her time came and left the guy. you can feel bad for the guy but she technically owes him nothing.

Please. I can only imagine how many ex-girlfriends have been pivotal in the careers of successful men. And how many of women sue these men for tens of millions of dollars, claiming that they gave "ideas" and "connections"?

Plus - this was not a marriage - there was no contract, no agreement providing a legal backbone to their relationship. If there really was a contract as he says, he would have pulled it out a long time ago.

You go Gaga - ! - you're so successful that you've got a grown man acting like a little boy having a temper tantrum. <3

I'm sure she can afford to throw him a bone . . . pay up and move on.

Isn't Fusari making enough money off of her with the hit records they made together? It's disgusting that now that she's huge he has to resort to this. I hope she doesn't end up paying a penny more than he's getting now.

Just pay the dude off with 10 million and call it a day. that's chump change for gaga

Josh, to whom are you lecturing?

In the words of Ivana Trump...Don't get mad, Get everything darling!


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