CHICAGO — Attorneys for a local musician say Lady Gaga's army of "Little Monsters" are acting like "bullies."
Ever since Chicago musician Rebecca Francescatti filed a federal lawsuit in 2011 calling Gaga's song "Judas" a rip-off, she has been the target of much hostility on social media, where the "Little Monsters" — as the pop star's fans are known — have issued a litany of threats in defense of their queen.
"She was afraid," said Christopher Niro, an attorney with Niro, Haller & Niro, who is representing Francescatti. "As for the Little Monsters, I see no difference between the way they are acting and the hiring of thugs to intimidate a witness."
Instead of cowering, Niro said, Francescatti, whose stage name is Rebecca F, "channeled her feelings" by incorporating many of the nasty messages in a YouTube video and song titled "I Don't Believe in Monsters."
Francescatti's attorney said she took screen shots of comments on social media and put them together in a kind of collage to accompany the song.
One reads, “Watch you back everytime u step out of ur house Rebecca, cuz you might never be able to go home ever again.”
“This Rebecca trick needs to go somewhere and die,” and “death to Rebecca Francescatti and her family” other posters on YouTube allegedly wrote.
Someone started the “ANTI Rebecca Francescatti” Facebook page, where one user allegedly commented “To answer your question of who this pig is, well no one knows her so she’s invisible to the world.”
Their attacks, said Niro, fly in the face of Gaga's musical campaign against bullying.
"Lady Gaga is silent when her fans bully others on her behalf," he said.
Attorneys representing Lady Gaga could not immediately be reached for comment.
Legal issues driving the civil case, Niro said, have to do with the way pop music is created today.
"There are few, if any, musicians; they use computer files and they show little regard for the creator," he said.
While modern methods pose new legal challenges, copyright laws still apply, he said.
Earlier this month, a federal judge in Chicago agreed to redact portions of Gaga's deposition, given over the summer when the singer was in Chicago for the PitchFork Music Festival. Her attorneys argued that some of the information Gaga provided should remain hidden from public view.
A redacted version of the deposition is forthcoming, Niro said.
Attorneys representing Francescatti will fly to New York next week to depose Lady Gaga — whose real name is Stefani Joanne Germanotta — along with various industry experts.