NEWS AND OPINION: In April 2021 James Howard Jackson, 18, was charged with the attempted murder of Lady Gaga’s dog walker. He was subsequently convicted and sentenced to 21 years for the crime. The dog walker, Ryan Fischer was shot in the chest and survived. Lady Gaga’s French bulldogs (the world’s most unhealthy dog breed) were stolen. Lady Gaga put up a $500,000 reward for the dogs’ return.
Lady Gaga put up the reward on her Instagram page with a picture of her dogs:
My beloved dogs Koji and Gustav were taken in Hollywood two nights ago. My heart is sick and I am praying my family will be whole again with an act of kindness. I will pay $500,000 for their safe return. Email KojiandGustav@gmail.com to contact us. Or, if you bought or found them unknowingly, the reward is the same. I continue to love you Ryan Fischer, you risked your life to fight for our family. You’re forever a hero.Lady Gaga on Instagram
Jennifer McBride returned the dogs. She claimed the reward and was refused on the grounds that she was allegedly in a relationship with the father of one of the robbers. It appears to have been an application of the ‘Son of Sam’ law which states that a person should not profit from a crime. However, in her defence I’d say that it is unlikely that there were terms and conditions for payment of the reward. But she did, allegedly, commit a crime: receiving stolen property – see below.
McBride sued Lady Gaga for the half million-dollar reward plus a cool $1.5 million in damages. Her claim failed. The LA Superior Court judge ruled yesterday, 4th Oct 2023, that McBride, 53, had ‘unclean hands‘ and was not entitled to a reward because she admitted receiving the bulldogs with knowledge that they were stolen.
The outcome is correct I guess because McBride was only able to return the dogs because she was an acquaintance of the gang who robbed Lady Gaga. But then again Gaga got her dogs back. She achieved what she set out to achieve when she offered the reward. You wonder if morally she should give McBride something.