Lady Gaga Will Not Have to Pay $500,000 to Woman Charged in Dog Theft

A judge ruled in favor of Lady Gaga after one of the individuals charged in the 2021 dognapping of Gaga's French bulldogs sued her for the $500,000 reward.

By Hayley Santaflorentina Oct 04, 2023 4:01 PMTags
Watch: Lady Gaga's Dognappers Have Been Arrested

Lady Gaga can now put this legal battle fur-ever behind her. 

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Holly Fujie has officially ruled that the singer will not have to pay the $500,000 reward money to one of the five people charged in connection with the 2021 dognapping of her French Bulldogs, according to NBC News. Jennifer McBride had filed a lawsuit earlier this year demanding payment from the Gaga as part of her "no questions asked" reward offering in exchange for the safe return of her dogs Koji and Gustav.

McBride, who was charged with receiving stolen property after Koji and Gustav were given to her, argued that her returning the dogs to the Los Angeles Police Department Olympic Community Police Station should have earned her $500,000 reward, and that Gaga breached the contract by refusing to pay her. She also sought $1.5 million in damages for fraud by false promise and by misrepresentation. 

Per the February filing, McBride argued that the Oscar winner's promise to pay the reward money was made "with the intent to defraud and induce members of the public," including herself, "to rely upon it and to act upon said promise by locating and delivering" the bulldogs.

E! News has reached out to attorneys for McBride and Gaga for comment but has yet to hear back. 

Celebrity Pets on Instagram

While in court for the lawsuit, McBride argued that though she knew the two dogs were stolen when she accepted them, she only did so to ensure the dogs' safety and return. 

However, the court ruling states, according to NBC News, that "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." 

Instagram (ladygaga)

In February 2021, Gaga's dog walker Ryan Fischer was shot while walking the Grammy winner's three dogs, during which Koji and Gustav were stolen. Gaga's third dog, Asia, ran away from the scene and was later found by police.

For her involvement in the incident, McBride was ultimately sentenced to two years probation.

James Howard Jackson, another of the five suspects, pleaded no contest to one count of attempted murder for shooting Fischer and was sentenced to 21 years in prison after accepting a plea deal in December. Jaylin Keyshawn White, Lafayette Shon Whaley and Harold White were also charged in connection to the incident. Last August, Jaylin White and Whaley were sentenced to four and six years in prison respectively for second-degree robbery. Harold White had yet to be sentenced at the time for his charge of possession of a firearm, to which he pleaded no contest. 

At the time of the attack, Fischer's family released a statement providing an update on his condition, as well as a note of gratitude for first responders and the "Poker Face" singer.

"Ryan is receiving extraordinary care in the hospital right now and his doctors expect him to make a full recovery," they told E! News at the time. "We cannot possibly say enough to thank all of the first responders, nurses and doctors who have worked so tirelessly to care for Ryan."

They added, "We also want to thank Lady Gaga who has shown nothing but non-stop love and concern for Ryan and our family right from the outset. Ryan loves Gustavo and Koji as much as Lady Gaga does; so we join in her plea for their safe return."

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