Lady Gaga doesn't have to pay $500,000 reward for return of dog: judge – USA TODAY

Lady Gaga will not be paying out the promised $500,000 reward for the return of her French bulldogs who were kidnapped back in 2021.
A Los Angeles County Judge ruled Monday that Gaga had no obligation to pay Jennifer McBride, 53, for the return of her dogs as the woman had “unclean hands” in relation to the original dognapping.
McBride filed a lawsuit against Gaga earlier this year after the singer failed to pay the woman, who was charged for her involvement in the original 2021 incident. In the multimillion-dollar suit, McBride accused Gaga of breach of contract, fraud by false promise and fraud by misrepresentation when she failed to pay “no questions asked” upon the dogs’ safe return.
McBride sued not only for the $500,000 reward, but for an additional $1.5 million in further damages. According to Judge Holly J. Fujie, however, McBride is “not entitled” to a see a cent.
News of the dognapping first hit headlines in Feb. 2021, when Gaga’s dogwalker Ryan Fischer was brutally attacked while out and about with Gaga’s three dogs.
During the walk, two men jumped out of a car and attempted to snatch the pets, resulting in a struggle with Fischer. The fight escalated until one of the men pulled out a semiautomatic handgun and shot the dogwalker in the chest, causing life-threatening injuries that resulted in repeated hospitalizations and eventually the partial removal of a lung.
Two of the dogs named Koji and Gustav were stolen, while a third dog, Asia, was left behind. Gaga, who was touring in Europe at the time, quickly took to Instagram to ask the public for help and to offer a $500,000 reward for the return of her beloved pets.
The bulldogs were recovered just two days later when a woman who police originally believed to be “uninvolved and unassociated” returned them to LAPD’s Olympic Community Police Station.
It was later discovered, however, that this woman was McBride, who was in a relationship with Harold White, the father of one of the suspects in the attack. Both were charged as accessories to attempted murder alongside suspects James Jackson, 18, Jaylin White, 19, and Lafayette Whaley, 27, who were charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit robbery and second-degree robbery.
Jackson was later sentence to 21 years for pulling the trigger, while White received four years and Whaley six.
McBride was initially charged with one count of accessory and receiving stolen property, but the accessory charge was dropped as part of a plea deal. McBride pled guilty to receiving stolen property worth more than $950 and was ordered to serve two years of felony probation.
McBride never received the $500,000 reward, which she believed herself to be entitled to despite her involvement in the crime.
She alleged in a complaint filed in Los Angeles courtlast year that the singer defrauded her into surrendering the pets with the promise of a “no questions asked” $500,000 reward.
Court documents obtained by USA TODAY at the time showed McBride’s allegations against the popstar, including breach of contract, fraud by false promise and fraud by misrepresentation. In addition to demanding the $500,000 reward, she sought legal fees and compensation for financial “damages,” “pain and suffering,” “mental anguish” and “loss of enjoyment of life.”
In the suit, McBride went on to argue that she had “fully performed her obligation under the unilateral contract” and accused Gaga of advertising the reward “with the intent to defraud and induce members of the public to rely upon it and to act upon said promise.”
The court originally dismissed McBride’s complaint in July but allowed her to return after a revision. This time, Judge Fujie not only ruled in Gaga’s favor but determined that McBride could not re-attempt the suit.
The judge stated in her earlier decision that McBride was attempting to “benefit from her admitted wrongdoing.” In this decision, she ruled that Gaga had no obligation to abide by her earlier promise to supply a reward, saying “a party to a contract who acts wrongfully in entering or performing the contract is not entitled to thereafter benefit from their wrongdoing by seeking to enforce the contract.”
While McBridge argued that she was not involved in the theft and had no knowledge of its planning before the fact, the judge pointed out in her final decision that, “Notably, she never alleges that she was unaware that the bulldogs had been stolen after they were stolen or at the time that she received them.”

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