Lady Gaga sued by ‘dognapper’ for denying her $500,000 ‘no questions asked’ reward
A woman charged in connection with the violent theft of Lady Gaga’s French bulldogs has sued the musician for alleging she was denied a $500,000 (£416,000) “no questions asked” reward after the pets were returned.
Jennifer McBride was one of five people charged over the dognapping of Koji and Gustav in an attack which saw dog walker Ryan Fischer shot and wounded.
Despite being charged with receiving stolen property and accessory to attempted murder, Ms Mcbride is accusing Lady Gaga of breach of contract, fraud by false promise and fraud by misrepresentation for not paying her the $500,000 reward when she returned the two dogs.
In addition to the reward money, McBride is seeking no less than $1.5 million in damages, as well as unspecified general damages, according to an eight-page complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Ms McBride claims she was entitled to the reward for having delivered the dogs to the Los Angeles police Olympic Community station two days after they were taken.
By then, Lady Gaga, who was filming a movie in Rome when her pets were taken, had issued a public plea on social media for an “act of kindness” to bring them home and offered half a million dollars as a reward.
The suit alleges Lady Gaga never intended to pay the “no questions asked” reward money, instead having law enforcement ask McBride questions about the return of the bulldogs.
As a result, McBride says she endured pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life.
She also later pleaded no contest to receiving stolen property from the theft, NBC News reported, and was sentenced to two years probation.
James Howard Jackson, the gunman who shot the dog walker and stole the French bulldogs was sentenced to 21 years in prison for attempted murder.
Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee said any payout from a lawsuit would be considered restitution for Lady Gaga, who along with her wounded dog walker, were victims of a crime.
“It was clear from the evidence presented to the grand jury that Ms McBride knew the dogs had been stolen in a violent robbery in which Ryan Fischer had been grievously injured. It was also clear from the evidence that McBride had known at least two of her co-conspirators for years,” Ms Hanisee said.
“If Lady Gaga suffers a financial loss by paying that reward, she will qualify as a victim of crime under California law, and the people will be obligated by law to seek restitution in court for that loss from each and every defendant in the case.”
Ms Hanisee added that if Lady Gaga had not come forward publicly acknowledging the dogs were hers and offering a reward, “the dogs would likely have ended up in a breeding mill”.