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Lady Gaga sued over Japan relief wristbands: plaintiffs allege she kept some of the money


June 28, 2011/14.06

Lady Gaga has been accused of skimming a portion of the proceeds raised for victims of the M9 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, according to a class action lawsuit filed in the US.
   The plaintiffs allege that Gaga and others took part of the first $5 of each donation made for the purchase of wristbands (which she dubbed prayer bracelets) she introduced for charity in the wake of the M9 disaster on March 11.
   Only a portion of the funds went to the relief effort, according to the plaintiffs, although Gaga had allegedly stated that ‘all proceeds’ would go to tsunami relief.
   The lead plaintiff Caitlin Demetsenare claims, ‘Not only did defendants retain a portion of the first five dollars of the donation as set forth above, they also added additional “shipping charges” in excess of the amount required to ship the wristbands based on their weight, and retained a portion of the shipping charges.’
   It is understood that in the US, tax would not normally be levied on a charitable donation, but it is alleged that tax was collected on the wristbands, and that it was not properly filed.
   Lady Gaga had claimed that $1·5 million had been raised, but the plaintiffs argue that that was false.
   The class seeks $5 million excluding interests and costs.
   No comment had been made by the defendants at the time of press.

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Filed by Lucire staff

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