Woman Who Returned Lady Gaga’s Kidnapped Dogs Demands $500,000 Reward

Lady Gaga (The Grosby Group)

Lady Gaga took to Twitter with a desperate plea on February 26, 2021, less than 48 hours after thieves stole two French bulldogs from her and shot the man walking them. “My beloved dogs Koji and Gustav were kidnapped in Hollywood. Two nights ago. I will pay 500,000 dollars for his safe return,” he wrote.

“Whether you bought them or found them unknowingly, the reward is the same,” he added.

Jennifer McBride returned the dogs about 80 minutes after the pop star’s tweet and took the two animals to a Los Angeles Police Department station. Two months later, she was arrested and charged in connection with kidnapping of the dogs after police said they not only found the dogs, but knew the father of one of the suspects.

In December, she was convicted of one count of receiving stolen property and sentenced to two years probation, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

But McBride says he still has to be paid for returning the dogs.

On Friday, he sued Lady Gaga in Los Angeles County Superior Court, accusing the singer, whose legal name is Stefani Germanotta, of breach of contract and fraud. McBride alleges that Germanotta made the promise of half a million dollars in bad faith and that the singer used the reward as bait to induce McBride to come forward and put himself on law enforcement’s radar.

“This case is quite simple. Lady Gaga made a reward offer. She desperately wanted her dogs back and my client took steps to honor Lady Gaga’s wish,” attorney KT Tran said in a statement to The Washington Post. “My client had absolutely no involvement in the theft of the dogs. She loves dogs and was glad to be involved in her safe return. She has a legal right and deserves the reward.”

McBride further alleges in the lawsuit that the “Statement that they would pay out the $500,000 reward money ‘no questions asked’ was also false.”

Tran did not respond when asked to cite a social media post, interview or quote in which Germanotta said he was offering the reward “no questions asked.”

A representative for Germanotta declined to comment on McBride’s allegations. On February 24, 2021, Ryan Fischer was walking Lady Gaga’s three Frenchies down a Hollywood street where three men were driving a white sedan alongside him. Two of them got out and ambushed Fischer, whom Germanotta described as “a hero forever”, demanding that he give them the dogs. When Fischer resisted, James Jackson shot him once with a .40 caliber pistol.

Jackson and his accomplices, Jaylin White and Lafayette Whaley, kidnapped two of the three dogs, got in the car and fled. The third dog, Asia, escaped and was later recovered by Germanotta’s bodyguard. White and Whaley pleaded guilty to robbery in August and received prison sentences of four and six years, respectively, according to the district attorney’s office.

The three men did not know the dogs belonged to Lady Gaga, police said.

Fischer suffered serious injuries. Those included a gunshot wound to the chest, prompting doctors to remove a portion of his lungs. He described the attack in December when Jackson, the man who shot him, was convicted of attempted murder and grievous bodily harm, according to the district attorney’s office. Jackson received a 21-year prison sentence..

“It’s hard to believe that almost two years have passed since I was taking Asia, Koji and Gustav out for a night walk when, in an instant, I suddenly found myself fighting with everything I had to protect those dogs from being stolen.” , Fischer wrote in a statement he posted on Instagram. “But it was not enough: I was beaten, strangled, shot and left to bleed to death on a sidewalk gasping for life. And Koji and Gustav were gone.”

FILE PHOTO: A view of the site where Lady Gaga’s dog walker was shot (REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)

Germanotta was reportedly in Italy working on a film at the time. The prosecutor handling the dog-kidnapping and shooting case, Los Angeles County Assistant District Attorney Michele Hanisee, told The Post that the three robbers recruited McBride “to be the innocent woman who just found the dogs.”

They staged a fall, which was captured on video, Hanisee said. As McBride paced up and down a Los Angeles street, someone in a jeep pulled up, tied the dogs to a streetlight, and drove off. McBride immediately got them back, he added. Police used surveillance footage from nearby businesses to trace the Jeep to a rental car place and an associate of Harold White, Jaylin White’s father and a longtime friend of McBride’s, Hanisee said. After retrieving them from the utility pole, McBride contacted Lady Gaga’s representatives, who told her to hand the dogs over to the police at the nearest police station.

“It was clear that everyone involved in collecting the dogs had a connection to Harold White,” Hanisee said.

McBride originally faced two criminal charges in connection with the dog abduction, but in a plea deal, prosecutors dropped a charge of being an accessory after the fact.

In his lawsuit, McBride said that Lady Gaga made a “one-sided contract” by offering the $500,000 reward when she was desperate to get her dogs back. McBride said she accepted the offer and “fulfilled her obligation under that contract when she returned the dogs.”

Now, McBride said in his lawsuit, he wants Lady Gaga to do the same.

(c) The Washington Post – Meryl Kornfield and Andrew Jeong contributed to this report

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