Lady Gaga is being sued in $35 million lawsuit by a furious record producer who claims that he co-wrote her songs, came-up with her stage name and secured her record deal, RadarOnline.com can reveal.
Rob Fusari filed the suit in Manhatten and he has credits on hits such as Will Smith's Wild, Wild West and Destiny's Child's Bootylicious.
A friend introduced Gaga, then known by her real name, Stefani Germanotta, to him in March 2006, according to his lawsuit.
Ironically, Fusari at first dismissed the now famous performer but decided to work with her after hearing her play the piano in his New Jersey, studio.
He spent the next several months working with her every day persuading her to drop rock riffs for dance beats, his suit alleges.
They co-wrote songs including Paparazzi and Beautiful, Dirty, Rich, which appeared on her debut album, The Fame.
He claims he was instrumental in transforming Germanotta into Lady Gaga, a name adapted from Queen's Radio Ga Ga, the lawsuit said.
“I was Gaga from the time that I was 19 through my first record deal,” the 23-year-old said.
“I always dressed like that before people knew me as Lady Gaga. I was always that way... I stuck out like a sore thumb.”
According to the lawsuit, Gaga and Fusari began a relationship and then entered into a business partnership in May 2006, when they created a joint venture called Team Love Child LLC to promote her career – according to the suit his share was 20 per cent.
Fusari has previously said he introduced Gaga to a record executive who ultimately shepherded her to Interscope Records, which released The Fame in 2008.
The album has sold more than 3 million copies in the United States and Fusari has a producing credit.
But the lawsuit claims their personal and business relationship had soured by then and he has been denied a 20 percent share of song royalties, 15 percent of merchandising revenue and other money he's owed.
Fusari admits to receiving about $611,000, but is claiming that is not his rightful share from their original agreement.