Lady GaGa avoided a trial that would have started on November 4 by agreeing to settle out of court the overtime pay lawsuit filed against her by her former personal assistant Jennifer O'Neill. The settlement between the 27-year-old singer and O'Neill, who claimed to be at the pop superstar's "beck and call" from the year 2009 to 2011 but was cheated out of her overtime wages, was revealed on Monday, October 21 at a Manhattan federal court, effectively dismissing the case.
O'Neill claimed GaGa owed her 7,168 hours of overtime and about $400,000 in damages for her services on the artist's "Monster Ball" tour, which included handling about 20 pieces of luggage and monitoring the singer's communication. Prior to being hired as an assistant by GaGa, they were actually friends and roommates on the Lower East side of Manhattan.
The trial was supposed to have proceeded on the orders of U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe, on the basis of O'Neill's 24 hours a day, seven days a week "on-call" status that could qualify her to be compensated for overtime. O'Neill said that she never had her own hotel room and just slept in the same bed with GaGa in order to address her needs throughout the night, which GaGa somewhat validated by testifying in her deposition that as her assistant, "You don't get a schedule... This is when I need you, you're available."
The terms of the settlement are not disclosed but whatever these were, they are expected to be a drop in the bucket for the flamboyant singer, who was ranked by Forbes to have already raked in $80 million in the first half of this year.