In 2021, Lady Gaga’s dogwalker was robbed at gunpoint, and two of her purebred French Bulldogs were stolen. Lady Gaga advertised a $500,000 reward upon the return of her dogs, “no questions asked.” The lady who returned the dogs, Jennifer McBride, is suing the popstar for not delivering on her promise of the reward. McBride was later charged in connection to the theft with receiving stolen property and being an accessory to the crime. She allegedly dated the father of one of the men responsible for assaulting Gaga’s dog walker, Ryan Fischer. McBride received two years of probation as a result of her part in the crime.
At the time of the shooting, Lady Gaga offered a $500,000 reward for the dogs’ safe return. “My beloved dogs Koji and Gustav were taken in Hollywood two nights ago,’ Gaga wrote. “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.” According to a complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, “the unilateral offer to pay the reward of $500,000 ‘no questions asked’ was communicated to the public through numerous news outlets.” The complaint continued, “the Plaintiff relied on Defendants’ unilateral oral offer, communicated through numerous news outlets.” The plaintiff alleges that by contacting defendants and delivering Lady Gaga’s bulldogs to defendants at a Los Angeles police station that McBride accepted the defendants’ unilateral offer.
Rewards are usually considered “unilateral contracts” in which the only way an offer can be accepted is through performance—such as returning the stolen dogs in exchange for money.