Lady Gaga is fighting back against a $35 million lawsuit from her former mentor, producer Rob Fusari - she's filed a countersuit accusing him of taking advantage of her naivety as a wannabe pop star.
Fusari, who became romantically involved with Gaga, signed a production deal with the singer in 2006 and claims to have come up with her stage name.
He also maintains he was instrumental in landing her a deal with record label Interscope, and held a 20 per cent share in his company with Gaga, Team Love Child LLC.
But he filed suit against the Poker Face hit-maker in New York last week, accusing her of failing to adequately compensate him for his shares in the firm once she gained worldwide recognition.
Gaga's lawyer, Charles Ortner, has blasted the allegations, claiming the pair's agreement was "structured in such a way as to mask its true purpose - to provide to the defendants unlawful compensation for their services as unlicensed employment agents".
On Friday Mar 19, '10, they took their argument to the Manhattan Supreme Court to ask a judge to declare Gaga's contract with Fusari "void and unenforceable" amid claims he acted as an "unlawful employment agent", violating various laws designed to protect employees such as "inexperienced recording artists".
However, Fusari's attorney Robert S. Meloni has hit back at the countersuit, dismissing Gaga's lawyer's argument as "one of the most ridiculous I've heard in 30 years" because the producer never pitched himself as a talent agent, according to the New York Post.