Two things landed in my inbox today, and both of them relate to each other. One was a fabulous spiritual website that delivers great wisdom to me each morning, care of the site www.thedailyom.com. The other was a New York Post article about Lady Gaga’s ex personal assistant, who is suing the pop star for damages she said she endured during her time working for her.
Jennifer O’Neill wants Gaga to cough up $390,000 for unpaid overtime, plus damages. The damages apparently being things such as the star expecting Jennifer to sleep in the same bed as her as she didn’t like to sleep alone. She said she ‘felt it was her duty’ to share her bed.
She also complained that she had no privacy, no chance to speak to friends or family and no chance to have sex if she wanted to. Expected to be on call 24/7, she says Gaga would get irate if she couldn’t reach her on the phone at any time of the day.
Ok, so having worked in the music industry for a number of years I have witnessed this sort of nonsense from artists many times before, however, I have also witnessed countless assistants such as Jennifer that have zero personal boundaries and allow themselves to be treated like crap by a person that thinks they’re saving the world.
Much of the time I would notice that the sort of person that takes on the job of personal assistant, producer or even tour manager would be someone that seems to have little interest in themselves and gravitates towards a role that is ALL about someone else. And the excitement of being part of a world where the boss, aka a Gaga type is worshipped and given free reign to behave like a total brat.
The first time I interviewed Lady Gaga was face to face in Sydney when her first single Just Dance was sitting at number one on the charts. She was yes, a little theatrically done up for a simple day of promotion but I liked that she was honouring her thing. She was sweet, funny and accommodating to the fairly silly concept of our interview. She was a cool chick!
The next time in Adelaide I was accompanied by my two co-hosts. This time she walks in decked out in what appeared to be a tribute to leather man in The Village People. But this time she was anything but fun. She walked in stony faced and spoke with a voice like a record player on the wrong speed. To say she gave us nothing was an understatement. Was this really the same woman I thought? Apparently fame had done a number on her and it wasn’t a big hit.
The last time, was on the phone. This time one of my hosts, still a bit dirty from our last Gaga moment decided to enquire about her genitals. A reference to a story in the gossip papers. Not ideal by any stretch but a picture had been created that this exchange was not going to be drenched in respect. She hung up.
Today’s Daily Om offering was all about not being a victim. It’s easy to look at a situation we were in and ask how am I the victim? Not enough of us establish healthy boundaries about how we will or won’t be treated at a job or anywhere else. Rather than nipping something inappropriate in the bud straight away, allot of us just go with it and then feel wronged. I say this because I too have been there.
If this Jennifer O’Neill does win her damages claim, I hope she uses some of the money to get some counselling about why she allowed herself to be disrespected in the first place. And if things weren’t going to change, then move on straight away.
Making people accountable for treating people like crap is one thing, but we should be encouraging people to empower themselves and not fall into the pointless victim category.