Talk about a bad romance: an ex-boyfriend of Lady Gaga is suing the singer for $30.5 million, the Associated Press reports.
Songwriter and music producer Rob Fusari filed his lawsuit in a Manhattan court on Wednesday. In court papers, Fusari describes how he took notice of quirky singer Stefani Germanotta (Gaga's given name) when she sang in his New Jersey studio in March 2006.
Fusari, whose songwriting credits include the Destiny's Child hit "Bootylicioius," claims he saw a future star in Germanotta, and over the next several months worked with her daily and "radically reshap[ed] her approach."
He co-wrote songs appearing on her debut album The Fame ("Paparazzi" and "Beautiful Dirty Rich") -- and, he says, suggested she adapt the stage name Lady Gaga. The pop star, now 23, claimed in a 2009 interview that she came up with the Gaga persona "five years ago, but Gaga's always been who I am."
The collaborators became romantic around May 2006; they also created a joint business venture to promote her career, in which Fusari would get 20 percent of profits. The music pro also says he helped his girlfriend secure her record deal with Universal Music Group's Interscope Records.
The Fame has sold over three million records in the U.S. to date. Although Fusari has a producing credit on the Grammy-winning album, the lawsuit says that their romantic and professional partnership quickly deteriorated as she became famous. Fusari charges that he has been denied an agreed-upon 20 percent of song royalties and 15 percent of merchandising revenue; he's received $611,000 so far.
"All business is personal," the filing reads.
Lady Gaga's spokesman didn't respond to the Associated Press' request for comment.