Lady Gaga will not have to pay $500,000 to the woman who returnedafter they were stolen on a Los Angeles street in 2021 during a violent robbery in which Lady Gaga’s dogwalker was shot and wounded, because the woman was connected to the robbery, a judge ruled this week.
A Los Angeles County Superior judge ruled Monday that the singer, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, does not have to pay Jennifer McBride the $500,000 reward offered for the safe return of her French bulldogs, Koji and Gustavto, according to court documents obtained by CBS News.
Judge Holly Fujie said that because McBride pleaded no contest to knowingly receiving stolen property in connection to the crime, she was “not entitled to thereafter benefit from their wrongdoing by seeking to enforce the contract.”
“Although (McBride) alleges that her motivation was to protect the bulldogs (and also to collect $500,000.00), this alleged motivation does not negate her guilt of the charge because she has admitted receiving the bulldogs with knowledge that they were stolen property.” Fujie wrote.
“If anything, the (first amended complaint) makes even clearer than did the original complaint that McBride has unclean hands that prevent her from profiting from her actions,” the judge added.
The judge also ruled that McBride could not submit another revised complaint, effectively closing the case, according to court documents.
In February 2021, Lady Gaga’s dog walker, Ryan Fischer, was shot and her pups stolen while Fischer was walking them on a street in Hollywood. Police said the dogs were not specifically targeted because they belonged to Lady Gaga, but because French bulldogs can sell for thousands of dollars.
Three men who police said took part in the robbery and shooting, along with two accomplices, including McBride.
Police said McBride was dating Harold White, the father of one of the robbery suspects, Jaylin White. McBride and Harold White were accused of helping Jaylin White avoid arrest.
McBride was initially charged with being an accessory after the fact and receiving stolen property. She allegedly told police she had simply found the dogs and then responded to an email about the reward,CBS Los Angeles.
In December 2022, McBride pleaded no contest to a single count of receiving stolen property and was sentenced to two years of probation, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Jaylin White pleaded no contest to second-degree robbery and was sentence to four years in prison, per CBS Los Angeles.
In her lawsuit, McBride said the star announced on social media she would offer a reward for her dogs, “no questions asked.” McBride returned the dogs to a Los Angeles Police Department station, the suit states, believing she would receive $500,000 in return.
McBride claimed she did not receive the reward and, despite her alleged involvement in the crime, she sued Gaga for breach of contract, fraud by false promise, and fraud by misrepresentation. She alleged she suffered compensatory damages, mental anguish, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life as a result of not being paid.
— Caitlin O’Kane contributed to this report.