Pop superstar Lady Gaga was recently hit with a lawsuit accusing her of profiting off of donations given to Japan to assist in that country’s recovery from the recent tsunami and resulting nuclear disaster.
According to the Associated Press, the class-action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Eastern Michigan claims that the singer’s website is selling $5 wristbands that read, “We Pray for Japan” The site also allows fans to donate extra money to the country and says that “all proceeds go directly to Japan relief efforts. “
But attorney Alyson Oliver said she believes that not all of the money is going to the country, and the lawsuit claims there is a $3.99 shipping charge tacked on to the wristbands.
“There’s a $3.99 shipping charge including packaging that weighed less than an ounce, so paying a $3.99 service charge for making a $5 donation is excessive, since most of that costs about 50 cents,” Ari Kresch, an attorney for 1-800-LAW-FIRM, which filed the lawsuit, told E! News.
The suit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
On June 28, Lady Gaga’s publicist, Holly Shakoor, issued a statement refuting the suit’s claims.
“This misguided lawsuit is without merit and unfortunately takes attention away from the kind of deeds the fans around the world who are supporting the people of Japan,” the statement read. “The entire $5 donation made with the purchase of each bracelet is going to support the disaster relief. No profit is being made on shipping costs. Sales tax charges were made in accordance with local legal requirements. Lady Gaga has personally pledged her own funds to this cause and continues to support the victims of the disaster.”