LOS ANGELES - Representatives of Lady Gaga on Tuesday (June 28) denied claims of a scam over sales of the singer's wristbands for Japan's earthquake relief efforts.
They described a lawsuit targeting the pop star and other companies involved in the sale and marketing of the $5 white and red "We Pray for Japan" rubber bracelets as misguided and without merit.
"This misguided lawsuit is without merit and unfortunately takes attention away from the kind deeds of the fans around the world who are supporting the people of Japan," Gaga's representatives said in a statement.
Michigan legal network, 1800LAWFIRM, filed a lawsuit last week alleging that not all of the proceeds from the wristband sales were going to help victims of the March earthquake and tsunami, as Lady Gaga had pledged on her website. The federal class action also claimed that shipping costs were inflated.
The lawsuit was filed on Friday while the "Born This Way" singer was in Japan for a benefit concert.
"The entire $5 donation made with the purchase of each bracelet is going to support the disaster relief. No profit is being made on shipping costs. Sales tax charges were made in accordance with local legal requirements. Lady Gaga has personally pledged her own funds to this cause and continues to support the victims of the disaster," Tuesday's statement said.
Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, is reported to have donated about $3 million to Japan disaster relief through sales of the wristbands and other ventures.
Lady Gaga was last month named the most powerful celebrity in the world by Forbes magazine, based on her earnings, media visibility and social media popularity.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)