Jennifer O’Neill vs. Lady Gaga – the PR Implications of an Unpredicted Scandal

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Maybe sometimes our closest friends are not what they appear to be – this seems to be the case of Jennifer O’Neill, Lady Gaga’s best friend from NY since she was 19 – at least according to the star’s official Facebook page, which had the following update on Sunday:

Everyone’s headlines need an updating. “former assistant” is actually “my best friend from NY since I was 19.” Painful stuff.

It’s painful, indeed, when close friends turn out to be, in reality, frenemies. The former assistant/ best friend, reportedly sued Lady Gaga for forcing her to sleep in the same bed during tours. Sleeping in the same bed didn’t involve any sexual activity, but O’Neill claims that she felt forced to do things that were not part of her job description. As a result, O’Neill decided to sue Lady Gaga for more than 7,168 hours ($390,000) in unpaid overtime, plus damages.

To this, Lady Gaga responded that she never paid any employees overtime, and that they all knew from the beginning what they were into. She added that the job given to her friend “was essentially a favor, and Jennifer was majorly unqualified for it.”

The scandal is O’Neill’s shot at fame, a chance to capitalize on Gaga’s empire. If she plays it smart, she can get more than a few crumbs (what is $390,000 to Lady Gaga anyway?). There is no question of fair play here – the situation can escalate if O’Neill decides to come up with some Gaga “secrets” in a volume that would sell like hot cupcakes. But she’ll have to release the book before Gaga has the chance to reveal those secrets herself, and even then, it’s very unlikely that Gaga’s faithful little monsters would renounce worshiping the “queen of the world.”

There is, however, a minor issue concerning the star personally. According to a report by the New York Post, Lady Gaga described O’Neill as a “f–king hood rat who is suing me for money that she didn’t earn” – and that statement is no longer locked away in court records. The statement is now public, showing a not so lady-like Gaga face. But the fans are willing to take her side no matter what. And why not, when they all are little monsters? All is well in monster world.

New York based DKC PR represents Lady Gaga.

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