LOS ANGELES — A woman charged in connection with the theft of Lady Gaga’s prized French bulldogs who were dognapped at gunpoint in Hollywood has sued the musician for alleging she was denied a $500,000 “no questions asked” reward, according to a complaint filed Friday.
Jennifer McBride was one of five co-defendants charged in connection with the theft of the prized French bulldogs in 2021. Lady Gaga’s dog walker, Ryan Fischer, was shot and wounded.
McBride pleaded no contest in December to receiving stolen property in connection with the theft. Now, she’s accusing Lady Gaga of breach of contract, fraud by false promise and fraud by misrepresentation for not paying her the $500,000 reward.
In addition to the reward money, McBride is seeking no less than $1.5 million in damages, as well as unspecified general damages, in the eight-page complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
McBride alleges Lady Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, announced the half-million-dollar reward through the news media and on her social media accounts.
McBride claims she was entitled to the reward for having delivered the dogs to the Los Angeles police Olympic Community station two days after they were taken. The suit alleges Lady Gaga never intended to pay the “no questions asked” reward money, instead having law enforcement ask McBride questions about the return of the bulldogs. As a result, McBride endured pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life.
McBride, who police said reported that she found the dogs and responded to a reward email to return them, was charged with one count each of being an accessory after the fact and receiving stolen property. She pleaded no contest in December to receiving stolen property.
Representatives for Lady Gaga did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee said any payout from a lawsuit would be considered restitution for Lady Gaga, who along with her wounded dog walker, were victims of a crime.
“It was clear from the evidence presented to the grand jury that Ms. McBride knew the dogs have been stolen in a violent robbery in which Ryan Fischer had been grievously injured. It was also clear from the evidence that McBride had known at least two of her co-conspirators for years,” Hanisee said. “If Lady Gaga suffers a financial loss by paying that reward, she will qualify as a victim of crime under California law, and the people will be obligated by law to seek restitution in court for that loss from each and every defendant in the case.”
Hanisee added that if Lady Gaga had not come forward publicly acknowledging the dogs were hers and offering a reward, “the dogs would likely have ended up in a breeding mill.”
She noted that “McBride is still on formal probation” and “still under the jurisdiction of the court.”
McBride’s attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.