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article imageLady Gaga sued over Japan earthquake relief bracelet alleged scam

By Kim I. Hartman     Jun 28, 2011 in World
Detroit - Lady Gaga finds herself in another controversy with the recent filing of a lawsuit that alleges Gaga improperly profited from the sale of her "We Pray for Japan" wristbands which were sold to raise money for Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief efforts.
In the class action lawsuit [pdf] filed by Alyson Oliver and Ari Kresch, of 1-800-LAW-FIRM, on behalf of Caitlin Demetsenare, and others, the plaintiff's allege that Defendant Stefani Germonatta, aka Lady Gaga, and seven other named Defendants, marketed and distributed “Lady Gaga Japan Earthquake Relief Wristbands” through the Lady Gaga website, and claimed both publicly and on the website that “all proceeds go directly to Japan relief efforts,” according to a news release.
The Plaintiff claims this was a false and misleading statement. The suit alleges the defendant's charged inflated shipping fees and that the defendant's knowingly "retained a portion of the proceeds from each transaction instead of donating all proceeds to the Japan Relief Efforts."
Lady Gaga was one of the first celebrities to come forward with a fund-raising idea, immediately following the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan March 11, as reported on by Digital Journal.
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Lady Gaga- We Pray for Japan
The red and white bracelets were sold for $5 each and allowed the buyer an option of donating up to a $100 per order above the sales price of the "We Pray for Japan" wristbands.
In the complaint, plaintiff's applauded Gaga's fast action, concern and devotion to the people of Japan. Alyson Oliver, attorney for the plaintiff said, “While we commend Lady Gaga for her philanthropic efforts, we want to ensure that claims that “all proceeds will be donated to Japan’s earthquake relief efforts” are in fact true. Our intention with this lawsuit is to uncover any improprieties committed by Lady Gaga and appropriate the full donations assumed to the victims in Japan.”
Lady Gaga has been in Japan for the past week appearing on MTV's Video Music Aid Japan awards show, broadcast from Tokyo this year, to raise awareness and financial support for the victims of the double disaster that destroyed parts of Japan four months ago. The proceeds of the MTV live program, which aired Saturday, will benefit the Japanese Red Cross, according to MTV.
Attorney's for the plaintiff's said, in their most recent statement, "We believe that Lady Gaga did something positive in creating the relief effort and promoting the bracelets to raise money for the Japan Relief effort. We also believe charitable donations need transparency regarding how much was raised and how it was allocated, this is why the lawsuit was filed – lack of transparency around charitable donations."
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