In the midst of all of the NYFW happenings, a New York federal judge denied Stefani Germanotta aka Lady Gaga's motion to dismiss an unpaid overtime suit brought by her former bff and personal assistant. The case (O'Neill v. Mermaid Touring Inc.) now turns on whether a jury will find the time that Gaga's assistant, Jennifer O'Neill, spent on call during the singer's 2009-2011 Monster Ball tour constituted working hours for which she should have been paid. U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe refused to dismiss O'Neill's claims, which include damages and unpaid wages in relation to more than 7,000 alleged hours of unpaid overtime, stemming from her being available around the clock to serve the pop star. As a result, the case is set to go to trial and if the proceedings to date are any indication, its going to get ugly!
Thus far, the case has been anything but a walk in the park. After refusing to turn over roughly 150,000 photos earlier this summer, famed photog Terry Richardson has been ordered to turn over an extensive amount of candid photos that were taken during Lady Gaga's Monster Ball tour, which O'Neill's legal team plans to use as evidence in the case.
In other evidence-related news, O'Neill's counsel also requested that Lady Gaga turn over a string of emails between herself and O'Neill, but the singer has failed to do so. Gaga reportedly provided the court with a portion of the emails but as for the remaining conversations, she claims she no longer has the emails because her Google Web-based account purged the messages 30 days after she first deleted them. As a result, O'Neill filed a motion to sanction the singer, which was subsequently denied by Judge Gardephe, who held: “Plaintiff [O'Neill] has not offered any evidence that defendants have withheld responsive emails, or that they destroyed emails” after being ordered to keep them.