A woman charged in connection with the violent theft of Lady Gaga’s French bulldogs is suing the star singer for the reward money, alleging that the superstar broke a promise to give $500,000 for the safe return of her dogs.
Jennifer McBride, 52, was one of five people charged in connection with the Feb. 24, 2021 theft of two of the pop star’s three French bulldogs. She was also the person who returned the dogs safely to authorities days later, according to her lawsuit, filed Friday.
James Howard Jackson was charged with shooting dog walker Ryan Fischer, who sustained a gunshot wound. Jackson ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder and has been sentenced to more than 20 years in prison.
McBride was reportedly in a relationship with the father of one of the men in the car with Jackson during the violent theft. She was charged with being an accessory after the fact to attempted murder and pleaded no contest in December to to one count of receiving stolen property. She was sentenced to two years of probation.
At the time of the shooting, Lady Gaga offered a $500,000 reward for the dogs’ safe return.
“My beloved dogs Koji and Gustav were taken in Hollywood two nights ago,’ Gaga wrote. “My heart is sick and I am praying my family will be whole again with an act of kindness. I will pay $500,000 for their safe return.”
The award-winning singer and actress didn’t live up to that promise, McBride says.
“The unilateral offer to pay the ward of $500,000.00 ‘no questions asked’ was communicated to the public through numerous news outlets” on Feb. 25, 2021, according to a complaint filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court. “Plaintiff relied on Defendants’ unilateral oral offer, communicated through numerous news outlets[.]”.
The complaint says that on Feb. 26, 2021, McBride “accepted Defendants’ unilateral offer by contacting Defendants, and delivering LADY GAGA’s bulldogs to Defendants” at a Los Angeles police station.
Rewards are usually considered “unilateral contracts,” in which the only way an offer can be accepted is through performance—such as returning the stolen dogs in exchange for reward money.
McBride, the complaint says, has “fully performed her obligation under the unilateral contract” and is entitled to the $500,000 reward.
McBride also alleges fraud on the part of Lady Gaga and her team, particularly as to the “no questions asked” part of the reward offer.
“The truth was that Defendants intended to have its agents and/or law enforcement to ask questions of Plaintiff regarding the circumstances surrounding Plaintiff’s return of LADY GAGA’s French bulldogs, Koji and Gustav,” the complaint says. “Additionally, Defendants[‘] representation that they would pay the reward money of $500,000 ‘no questions asked’ was also false. The truth was that Defendants never intended to pay the reward money to Plaintiff.”
McBride, the complaint says, “acted in justifiable reliance upon the truth of Defendants[‘] representations.”
As a result, according to the lawsuit, McBride has suffered “pain and suffering[,] mental anguish[,] and loss of enjoyment of life[.]” She is seeking not only the $500,000 reward money but additional damages “no less than” $1.5 million.
You can read the complaint here.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]