Charitable website DoSomething.org has declared Poker Face singer Lady Gaga the most charity-minded celebrity of 2011.
Although better known for her raunchy videos, bizarre stage shows and strange costumes, Lady Gaga – whose visage stares out from thousands of music t-shirts – is also a tireless worker for a number of charitable causes, it pointed out this week.
As well as setting up her very own charity – the Born This Way Foundation, which aims to inspire, assist and empower young people outside the mainstream – she has also been campaigning this year for AIDS prevention, gay rights and against bullying. For the latter cause, Lady Gaga went as far as the White House, chatting to US President Barack Obama about the issue. MTV also booked her for two charity concerts – for victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami and the Robin Hood Foundation.
Sadly, not everyone is chuffed with the 25-year-old singer at the moment – it was also reported this week that she is facing an official complaint filed by her former assistant.
Disgruntled ex-employee, the 41-year-old Jennifer O’Neill, is alleging non-payment of overtime, demanding a backlog of 7,168 hours to be paid – worth a staggering $380,000 – plus damages. Ms O’Neill says that she worked for Lady Gaga for 13 months for a £75,000 annual salary. Her duties, which coincided with the 2010 Monster Ball world tour, and was on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. She alleges that her working conditions were “deplorable”, with hardly any time to take regular lunchtime meals or sleep, as she was required to be on duty at the singer’s New York duplex, on private jets, on yachts, tour buses or hotel suites.
Lady Gaga’s official spokesman has dismissed the claim as “baseless”, and it remains to be seen whether the action will damager her charitable image and enable one of her rivals on the DoSomething.org list of golden-hearted celebs.
Number two in the site’s rankings was teenage pop sensation Justin Bieber, who at 17 was also the youngest on the list. Bieber has carried out charity work with Pencils of Promise – a group that build dozens of schools for underprivileged children in developing countries such as Guatemala, Laos and Nicaragua.
The third position went to film star George Clooney, who has been working with charities seeking to alleviate the plight of victims of political instability in the Sudan.