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Former Lady GaGa Dancer Claims He Lost 70% Of Hearing In One Ear -- Due To Alleged Mistreatment On Tour??

Lady GaGa’s Former Dancer Claims He Lost 70% Of Hearing

Whoa… One of Lady GaGa’s former dancers is opening up about the mistreatment he allegedly faced in his many years working for the singer – which included a chronic injury he was reportedly then bullied for?! OMG!

In three candid Instagram posts out on Saturday, Graham Breitenstein opened up for the first time about losing 70% of his hearing in one ear while on tour with the Poker Face icon. And he claims it is something that never would’ve happened in the first place if the tour management would’ve given him the proper care! He dished:

“When I was on my first tour, which was The Monster Ball, end of 2009 through mid-2011. In the first year, while we were touring in Europe, while I was on stage (I believe I was in Germany or France), I had an experience on stage where my left ear, I just… All of a sudden it sounded like the crowd was in my ear, like, the whole time. Now, we didn’t have in-ears at this time, so it was just raw ears in all these arenas.”

Just think about how loud that must’ve been! It’s wild to think the dancers were forced to go through show after show without any ear protection!

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And it unfortunately allegedly led to Graham’s condition, which he says lasted long after the concert ended. He said it felt like “someone’s holding a seashell up to [his] ear.” After speaking to management, he was seen by a doctor — or as he called it, a “rock doc,” whose job was to give artists a quick fix to get back to performing. He was given meds for fluid in his ear, which “cleared” even though the “noise” never left. He reflected:

“I started asking if I could see a specialist, and wasn’t given that opportunity for several weeks.”

His friend Molly ultimately went to someone else in production for help — and at this time, he was already “having difficulty hearing.” Six weeks from the initial injury and now back in the States, the production manager helped get him an appointment with a specialist:

“I found out that I had lost about 70% of hearing in my left ear, and that it was permanent, and that when treated in the first two weeks of the onset that it can be reversed by giving a direct shot of steroids into my ear. But we were six weeks [out] and that it was too late. So, I would have to live the rest of my life with 30% hearing in my left ear. […] To say that I was devastated […] is an understatement.”

Jeez. While that was obviously heartbreaking, things only got worse from there. He explained:

“When I talked to leadership at that time — at that time, we’re talking about Richy Jackson as the assistant choreographer and we’re talking about Laurieann Gibson as the lead choreographer. Now, at this time, Richy and I were like best friends, I considered him a brother, I trusted him with everything. […] I called him and mentioned what was going on, and he told me that he wasn’t gonna tell Laurieann what happened because, if so, I would be fired.”

Since he was just 24 and new to professional touring, he “trusted” his friend (and to this day doesn’t think Laurieann knew what happened). He did, however, manage to get in-ears — although he lost his “s**t” when the tour director tried to purchase him the “cheapest” option available despite his injury!

On a break from touring, he was encouraged by pals to apply for worker’s compensation, which he attempted via LiveNation, but was immediately denied and “intimidated with like seven lawyers sending letters, making phone calls.”

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Confused that he was denied despite having the proof needed, he called Richy for advice, and was once again told “if you make a big deal out of this, you’re gonna be fired.” WTF. Graham went on:

“So for the remainder of The Monster Ball, Born This Way Ball, Art Pop promo, ArtRave Tour, SuperBowl, Coachella, Joanne, first part of Chormatica (pre-pandemic) I just learned to live with this condition while being teased about not being able to hear all the time, while in rehearsals, while on stage. Happened every single time. Cause we’d wear in-ears. You know, the next tour, we all got in-ears! But when I had my in-ears in, I couldn’t take one out to be able to hear my other cast members on stage, so it was hard for me to be able to communicate with everyone and understand what was going on.”

Despite having a physical ailment, they all made fun of him, too, he sadly reflected:

“What messed up friends make fun of an injury and a life-long condition?”

As for the Grammy winner, he doesn’t think she knew:

“GaGa herself was never told — this is my understanding — was never told that this happened. It wasn’t like it was just easy access… It’s not how you’re trained as a professional dancer [to bypass everybody to speak with GaGa].”

But mind you, he also thought he’d be fired on the spot if he said anything, too!

Flash forward, his friendship with Richy came to an “explosive” end in 2021, resulting in the end of his work with GaGa. Soon after, allegations about alleged problems BTS of the Born This Way artist’s tour came out and her team reached out to understand his side of the story. He “relived” six and a half pages of “negative experiences” with the singer’s manager (who was not her same management team back when his injury happened). But nothing happened after he shared his truth and he’s not even sure if any of it made it back to the A Star is Born lead, either. Bummer!

That said, this unfortunate experience “reminded” him of a piece of advice his pal — a professional dancer — had given him before he started his dream gig, adding:

“She said, ‘the diva’s not your friend.'”

While he didn’t believe it at first, he now seemingly did.


Making it clear he didn’t want his videos to come across as just a sob story, Graham noted that a huge issue for so many dancers is they’re “not protected with unions” and there’s “no HR” or unbiased person to speak with. He now hopes his story will be a resource for others going through similar situations. Hear it all (below):

Damn. What a terrible situation!

FWIW, back in July 2022, several dancers quit the Chromatica Ball tour due to alleged toxic behavior from then-lead choreographer Richy Jackson. Despite the claims, he remained on the team. Meanwhile, GaGa’s longtime collaborator and friend, Terry Richardson, has also been accused of sexual assault by several women. So, there have certainly been some shady allegations floating around that have long haunted her orbit…

Reactions, Perezcious readers? Let us know (below).

[Image via Lady GaGa/YouTube & Graham Breitenstein/Instagram]

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Jan 22, 2024 08:51am PDT