What’s worse – a diva who refuses to pay her personal assistant overtime or a personal assistant who won’t even move the singer’s luggage? That depends if you ask Lady Gaga or the former assistant, who is suing her for $393,000, plus damages.
The New York Post got its hands on court records from Lady Gaga’s six-hour deposition that took place Aug. 6 in a Manhattan law office. The paper also obtained transcript excerpts from the July 11 deposition of former personal assistant Jennifer O’Neill, who filed suit against Gaga (listed under her real name, Stefani Germanotta) in federal court in 2011.
O’Neill says she’s owed more than $393,000 because she racked up 7,168 hours of unpaid overtime while employed by Gaga between early 2009 and March 2011. The former job paid $75,000 a year.
Mother Monster didn’t hold back on the obscenities or insults when it came to her ex-assistant and, apparently, former best friend. Gaga described O’Neill as “a “f**king hood rat who is suing me for money that she didn’t earn.”
Times Square, New York City
December 31, 2011
And that’s because Gaga says none of her employees get paid overtime. The singer noted that O’Neill worked for her on two separate stints and that the assistant “knew exactly what she was getting into. … I never paid her overtime the first time I hired her, so why would she be paid overtime the second time?”
Gaga explained “this job is a 9-to-5 job that is spaced out throughout the day. You don’t get a schedule that is like you punch in and you can play f**king Tetris at your desk for four hours and then you punch out at the end of the day. This is – when I need you, you’re available.”
Besides, the singer said O’Neill’s job “was essentially a favor, and Jennifer was majorly unqualified for it.”
Gaga’s complaints with the assistant include O’Neill sleeping until noon, forcing the singer to wake up and move her own luggage. And while previous assistants would organize Gaga’s hotel rooms so she could find her toothbrush and soap, the singer said when O’Neill “got lazy she didn’t always do those things for me.”
A major source of drama was apparently the extra bed on Gaga’s private jet. According to the New York Post, Gaga said O’Neill always took the bed for herself rather than offering it to the singer’s mother or family. Also, O’Neill hogged all three pillows.
Gaga said O’Neill “flipped out” over the idea of giving up the bed for photographer Terry Richardson.
“She was like, ‘Don’t I get some sort of seniority because I’ve been here longer and I’m your friend?’” Gaga said. And I remember those words as clear as day, because when your best friend looks you in the eye and says ‘Why can’t I have that seat on your private plane, I’m your friend,’ the first thing I thought was ‘You’re not my f**king friend.’”
As for O’Neill’s side of the story, the assistant said sleeping arrangements were also an issue in her eyes.
“I was by her side virtually 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” O’Neill said, according to the New York Post. “That includes sleeping in the same bed with her. Because she did not sleep alone.”
She added, “I had no privacy, no chance to talk to any family, no chance to talk to any friends, no chance to have sex if I wanted to have sex. There was no chance to do anything.”
O’Neill said her duties included being woken up in the middle of the night by Gaga to change the DVD in the DVD player because the singer “couldn’t get up to walk across the room to change the DVD herself.”
For more quotes from Gaga and O’Neill, click here and here for the New York Post’s reports.