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Court rules Lady Gaga doesn't have to pay reward money to woman who returned lost dogs

Lady Gaga officially doesn’t have to pay the US$500,000 (S$687,000) reward for the return of her lost dogs.

The Bad Romance singer was sued in February 2023 by Jennifer McBride – who handed over the pop star’s dogs in February 2021, two days after they were taken from her dog walker – after Gaga refused to hand over the “no questions” sum in exchange for the safe return of her dogs, with McBride’s attorney arguing the Star Is Born star had committed breach of contract, false promise and fraud by misrepresentation.

In July, Judge Holly J Fujie ruled McBride’s complaint was “legally insufficient in its entirety” following her “involvement in the theft” after the woman had previously pleaded no contest to charges of receiving stolen property and was therefore “not entitled to thereafter benefit from their wrongdoing by seeking to enforce the contract”.

According to court documents obtained by People magazine, the judge found “that nothing alleged in the (first amended complaint) changes this conclusion” and closed the case on Monday (Oct 2), refusing to allow the claimant another revised complaint.

Attorneys for Gaga said McBride claimed to have been a good Samaritan who found the dogs on the street by chance and had “no idea” they belonged to the A Star Is Born actress, but they argued she was in fact a “direct and knowing participant in the criminal enterprise”.

In December 2022, McBride was sentenced to two years probation after pleading no contest to knowingly receiving stolen property.

She was also seeking legal fees and compensation for financial damages, pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life but Gaga’s team argued she had not suffered any damages in returning the dogs.

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