Little known songwriter Wendy Starland has won a $7.3 million judgment against Lady Gaga’s former producer Rob Fusari. Garland said that she was the one who first brought the exotic singer then still known as Stefani Germanotta to Fusari’s attention back in 2010.
After only four hours of deliberations, a federal Jury in New Jersey agreed with Starland’s assertions and ruled that she should receive $900, 000, plus 50% of everything that Fusari earned from Lady Gaga. Garland was also awarded 50% of anything that Fusari earns in the future from his deals with Gaga.
Lady Gaga herself had stated in a deposition in support of Garland’s position that, “My understanding was that Wendy and him had initially agreed upon 50/50 perhaps before Wendy ever found me, and after I was signed to Rob and made music, Rob began to change his mind.”
“From the very beginning, Rob was very clear that he had hired Wendy to find the next female lead singer-type of The Strokes and that she had done that, and if I were to get signed to a label or not, he would compensate her for doing her job.”
Gaga also testified that, “I also sensed that Wendy was frustrated because she kept trying to get him to sign something which he had verbally agreed to and dangled paperwork in front of her for quite some time.”
“Wendy and I were friends. The topic of money was uncomfortable. When she would corner me about compensation, it put a strain on our friendship so I said, ‘Email my lawyer.’Ÿ”
Starland testified at the trial about Lady Gaga, “I think that Stefani was exceptional in spite of all the difficulties around her. Her presence was huge. You couldn’t take your eyes off her. Her confidence was unbelievable. I was hypnotized by it.”