A promoter for Lady Gaga’s show in St. Petersburg, Russia last December is being fined for violating a local law against exposing children to “harmful information” after a local resident claimed that her 13-year-old daughter was subjected to “an imitation of sexual intercourse between women and advocacy of alcohol consumption.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a St. Petersburg court ruled that Gaga promoted “alcohol consumption and homosexuality” during the show. The court will fine not Gaga, but the concert’s promoter, Planeta Plus, for violating a clause in Russia’s administrative code that states the promoter is responsible for the “protection of children from information that could harm their health and/or development.”
Planeta Plus is being fined a mere $614 (20,000 Russian Rubles) by the court, but the woman who filed the original complaint (Nadezhda Petrova) has the ability to sue Planeta Plus in criminal court. If Planeta Plus is found guilty, they could be liable to pay million of Rubles in damages to Petrova and her daughter for the “psychic trauma” they both faced while attending Gaga’s show.
According to the online newspaper Gazeta.ru (via THR), a spokesperson is quoted as saying that Petrova is considering further legal action.
Planeta Plus says they plan to appeal the decision. “We don’t agree with this verdict because no one listened to us,” Yevgeny Filkenstein, general director, said on a local television station (also via THR). “Because of these laws against gay propaganda adopted here, because of these cheap publicity tricks, all viewers suffer.”
After Gaga’s show in Russia, she was reportedly under investigation for entering the country illegally and for defending gay rights while on stage. Earlier this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law classifying “homosexual propaganda” as pornography, which means anyone who supports gay right is subject to arrest and fines.
Since the show, the “Born This Way” singer, who has always been supportive of the LGBT community, has continued to be outspoken about Russia’s anti-gay laws.
“Sending bravery to LGBTs in Russia,” Gaga wrote on Facebook this past August. “The rise in government abuse is archaic. Hosing teenagers with pepper spray? Beatings? Mother Russia? The Russian government is criminal. Oppression will be met with revolution. Russian LGBTs you are not alone. We will fight for your freedom.”
This is a similar law that was used in an attempt to sue Madonna after her show in August 2012 where she spoke out against the country’s anti-gay laws. The court later threw out the lawsuit.