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The dogwalker who was shot while trying to protect Lady Gaga’s dogs during a theft says he was going through a rough time when he recently said he felt unsupported and put up a GoFundMe for help.
Ryan Fischer, 40, was shot in the chest four times while walking Lady Gaga’s three French Bulldogs earlier this year in Beverly Hills. He was hospitalized for nearly a month and part of one of his lungs had to be removed as a result.
After he was released from the hospital, he stated in a series of May Instagram posts that he was too traumatized to continue his career as a dog walker.
“I felt abandoned and unsupported,” he wrote on GoFundMe last month. “I had long bouts of depression and doubt and self-pity.”
He then embarked on a road trip and a healing journey in a 1991 Ford Falcon camper van for two months before the vehicle broke down in August. That’s when asked for $40,000 in donations to help him get a new van so he can continue traveling and healing for the next four months. He has raised over $32,000, though his GoFundMe has led to some public criticism.
Meanwhile, some supporters began lashing out at Lady Gaga online for her perceived lack of support.
Fischer told Rolling Stone that he was struggling when he claimed he was “unsupported.”
“Everyone thought that I was setting a blame on someone, when it was all love,” he said in the profile, published Wednesday. “It’s what happens in trauma — all your loved ones, all your family, everyone: you feel alone.”
Fischer told Rolling Stone that Gaga has actually been supportive. He said she allowed him to stay at her Hollywood Hills home after the shooting and that she flew in a trauma therapist for multiple three-day stints. The former dogwalker said that the “Bad Romance" singer also sent so many balloons to him in the ICU that the staff called the gifts a fire hazard.
Meanwhile, Fischer’s assistant Elisha Ault maintains that Gaga wasn’t there for him as much as she should have been.
“They were supportive from afar — there were a lot of words of assurance, like: ‘Oh yeah, don’t worry about anything, we’re going to take complete care of you,'” she told Rolling Stone. “Nobody really made a point to come see him or talk to him or make contact with him. Ryan was a lot more than just an employee for them. They were friends — close friends — for years.”
She said she submitted an invoice to the singer asking for six more months of financial support and was “surprised to receive a text from a member of Gaga’s team asking what it was for.” She claims that “it quickly became clear that Gaga’s team only expected to support Fischer until the pop star returned from Italy around three months after the shooting.”
James Jackson, 18; Jaylin White, 19; and Lafayette Whaley, 27, were arrested in May on suspicion of attempted murder and robbery. Jackson is accused of shooting Fischer. In all, five people were charged in the case — the three men in addition to two alleged accomplices; all have pleaded not guilty. While two of Gaga's dogs were taken in the shooting, they have been returned to the pop singer.
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