Lady Gaga, Telephone

Courtesy of Interscope / Lauren Dukoff

Is the Fame Monster about to bite Lady Gaga in the ass?

A New Jersey-based songwriter, record producer and self-professed former lover of the "Poker Face" purveyor is seeking a whopping $35 million—claiming that her outsized persona and even her stage name were his creations.

Rob Fusari says in his lawsuit, filed yesterday in New York Superior Court, that he discovered and mentored the chanteuse back when she still just Stefani Germanotta, a struggling performer trying to make a splash in the New York club scene.

Fusari, whose credits include Destiny Child's "Bootylicious" and Will Smith's "Wild Wild West" for Will Smith, claims he dreamed up the Gaga name because he was a big fan of Queen's "Radio Gaga" and his cell phone had software issues.

"One day when Fusari addressed a cell phone text to Germanotta under the moniker 'Radio Gaga' his cell phone's spell check converted 'Radio' to 'Lady'," state court docs obtained by E! News. "Germanotta loved it and 'Lady Gaga' was born."

He says that he and Gaga started dating but, once she hit the big time, she dumped him and refused to pay him earnings from her merchandise and recordings.

Fusari is seeking 20 percent of the mega-star's income as stipulated in their original contract.

"It's an age-old story in the music business," his attorney Robert Meloni tells the New York Daily News. "You become famous, and you turn on the person who discovered you."

Lady Gaga's camp could not be reached for comment.


See Gaga in all her glory in her Fashion Spotlight gallery.

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