The New York Post reports that Orlan, the French artist known primarily for her work in plastic surgery, has reinstated her 2013 intellectual-property lawsuit for $31.7 million against Lady Gaga, which alleged that the inspiration behind Gaga’s 2011 “Born This Way” single and video (specifically, Gaga’s forehead lumps and hyper-angular cheekbones) drew too heavily upon her own work. The claim for $31.7 million, which represents 7.5 percent of the profits from Gaga’s eponymous 2011 album, was originally filed in France. This time, Orlan also intends to subpoena fashion director Nicola Formichetti and makeup artist Billy Brasfield, both of whom contributed to the creation of Gaga’s forehead and cheekbones.
Peter Stern and Alan Sash of McLaughlin & Stern, the legal firm representing Orlan in the United States, told the Post that,
“Whether in France or in the United States, Orlan’s unique artwork should be protected. We hope that questioning members of Lady Gaga’s creative team will aid the French court in deciding the case.”
The article reminds us that this is the second time Gaga has been accused of plagiarizing creative ideas. Her infamous meat dress, which she wore to the 2010 MTV Music Video Awards, was suspiciously similar to Jana Sterbak’s 1987 piece Vanitas: Flesh Dress for an Albino Anorectic.
A representative for Gaga said in a statement, “This is nothing but an attempt by the plaintiff to generate US press coverage around a meritless case that was filed in France several years ago.”