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Lady Gaga, ex-assistant settle NY lawsuit
New York • Lady Gaga and a former personal assistant who sued her won't face off in a trial next month after settling their differences out of court.
The settlement in a lawsuit brought by Jennifer O'Neill was revealed Monday in a court order dismissing the case. O'Neill had claimed the singer cheated her out of overtime wages when she worked for her for a few weeks in early 2009 and for 13 months beginning in February 2010.
A trial was scheduled to start Nov. 4. O'Neill had testified she was responsible for sometimes monitoring the singer's communications and for handling about 20 bags of luggage.
Court papers revealed that Lady Gaga and O'Neill were roommates and friends on the Lower East Side of Manhattan before 2008. Lawyers did not immediately comment.
Lawyers had notified U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe on Friday that they were close to a settlement.
O'Neill had said that she was paid at a flat rate of about $50,000 annually when she was first hired and $75,000 annually the second time by the pop singer, who is estimated in a list published by Forbes magazine to have earned $80 million in the first six months of this year.
Gardephe had ordered the case to proceed to trial, saying O'Neill's "on-call" time potentially qualifies for overtime compensation. O'Neill's lawsuit said she was on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
According to court papers, Lady Gaga, listed in the litigation under her birth name — Stefani Germanotta — and O'Neill frequently slept in the same bed because O'Neill never had her own hotel room while on tour and was required to address Lady Gaga's needs throughout the night.
In her deposition testimony, Lady Gaga had testified: "You don't get a schedule. You don't get a schedule that is like you punch in and you can play ... 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."