Lady Gaga Impostor Crushes Hopes Of N.J. Elementary School Students

Teacher's Promise Falls Through; Back-Up Plan Self Destructs

TENAFLY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A local teacher promised her students a date with Lady Gaga, but instead they got a gag. It was a good deed gone bad.

The real artist was swapped with an impostor, reports CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.

Ally Waldman and her best friend Sabrina Sadler are big Lady Gaga fans.

“I love her really much,” Sadler said.

GALLERY: Lady Gaga In Central Park

So imagine their excitement when a very well liked teacher told students at Maugham Elementary she was friends with the superstar singer, and they were going to meet her.

Students said the teacher told them she became friends with Lady Gaga when the singer still went by her birth name, Stefani Germanotta, and they were both interns at MTV.

“She said after the NJ ASK, which is a big test at our school, she would bring in a surprise for us. And we didn’t know what it was. And then after the NJ ASK she told us it was going to be Lady Gaga,” Waldman said.

“I was really excited. I was happy that I was going to meet somebody famous,” student Jessica Ranaldi said.

On Wednesday the teacher gathered students in the school library for a video chat with Lady Gaga and autographed pictures.

“It was so exciting when we saw that picture and she was smiling at us,” Waldman said.

“Everybody was like ‘oh my God!” another said.

But fourth grader Michael Ranaldi said many students were suspicious when the woman they thought was Gaga only typed answers and never spoke.

“At first I thought it was really weird because she had glasses on. And they said her microphone was disabled,” Michael Ranaldi said.

School administrators discovered the woman online was an impostor. On Friday they sent letters home to parents and broke the news to heartbroken kids.

Ally tore up her fake autographed photo.

“It’s not fair because, like, she lied to us,” Waldman said.

“People started like crying,” Sadler added.

“I was disappointed,” a parent said.

“By all means I thought it was well intended, and the reality is sometimes these things happen,” parent Ron Ranaldi said.

“I would be disappointed if we didn’t get to meet her and she just told us, but now I feel betrayed and just three times worse,” Michael Ranaldi said.

The school superintendent said they are taking this matter very seriously and are taking appropriate action. School administrators would not say what punishment, if any, the teacher will face.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Hazel Sanchez

One Comment

  1. PNY says:

    It’s like ‘Meet the Parents’ when Ben Stiller’s character spray painted the imposter cat’s tail to pass him off as Mr. Jinx! The circle of trust has been broken! : D

  2. Reilly the awesome smartical says:

    HEY! Ham07, the fifth graders did most of the work so the forth, fifth, and third graders could get this! ANd If all of you commenters who weren’t there had this done to you, I bet you wouldn’t “just get over it” we were disapointed! And its not like We will never trust anyone again! COME ON! I’m over it, but a lot of kids still aren’t! But, we didn’t really care that we didn’t meet ladygaga, its just we were lied to, and we felt stupid and betryed. You donot hae the right to say alot of this stuff because it didn’t happen to you! Its easy to tell someone else to “get over it” but what if it were you? and you were our age????? Een the teacher were like this for days!

  3. Emily says:

    it also happend at mackay school which is my school.i cried like for almost 1 hr!
    i cound’nt believe it!i ripped my autograph up into tiny little pieces.:'(wahhhhhhhh

  4. Maia Katz says:

    I was so sad. I loved the teacher who did this i thought she was so nice, but now i hate her. Everyone says don’t lie but she did. That makes it 10 times worse. i love lady gaga she is my idol and i was so excited to meet her but then when i heard that she couldnt speak because of he mic i got suspicious. I know if i did that i would not be able to stand it. Also it would be a little better if the teacher at least said sorry to us for doing that.

  5. cindy says:

    i go to ralph maugham school i saw the imposter i was so exited . i dont like the teacher know im am mad at her.

  6. E.F. says:

    I was so-o-o-o-o-o-o sad when I heard the Lady Gaga, who we thought who was Lady Gaga, wasn’t the truth. In my opinion, I think the teacher should have just told us that Lady Gaga couldn’t do it. I think we would have been disappointed, but I think we are MORE disappointed becuase she lied to us. I hope Lady Gaga isn’t sad or feels bad. 😥

  7. Valerie Maier says:

    smith, maughm, stillman, and mackay were all so excited about this but it was a disapointment

  8. Valerie Maier says:

    we all had loved and trusted the teacher and she should have just told us lady gaga couldn’t be there instead of getting an imposter. i wish the real lady gaga will see this. the teacher could have apologized. her intentions were meant to be good but that is not how it seemed…it ended up hurting more. it just really hurt and for the people who went through this and there is no other way to describe this but by having a hope put away or crushed.

  9. Elizabeth kislev says:

    I was soooooooo sad that lady gaga wasn’t there.We waited over a Month to see gaga, when she wasn’t there I sarted crying. I couldn’t believe my ears. Teacher always tell us not to lie but this teacher went way to far with her lie

    1. Dale Auburn says:

      Life isn’t fair. Deal with it.

    2. Reilly the awesome smartical says:

      Yeah Elizabeth! But I know you didn’t cry,well at least not at school! well, now that its over, I sorta got over it. The teacher was nice, but she did something that you really shouldn’t do.she lied. een though the intentions were good, it turned into a whole big thing. it got from bad to worse in only a month. It just goes to show that you shoulden’t lie. I mean, we would hae been disapointed if laaygaga in’t show up, but not the much. SHES A CELEBRITY! she has other stuff to do that she can’t cancle. but this, was just a lie. I felt betryed at the time, but I don’t really care anymore. Oh, And to the commenter getoverit, guess who you type screaming at?! 8,9,10, an 11 year olds! there were ALOT and I mean alot of other ways you could hae put that. People DID get over it, they were just disapointed is all. And this DID teach us a good lesson, not to lie, and I can sorof see why mrs.A did this. And guess what?! PARENTS DON’T CHOOSE THEIR KIDS IDOLS! Hey! If lady gaga is their Idol, they must have been more disapointed! So YOU get oer it!

  10. JungMin Bae says:

    I also go to Ralph s. Maugham, and I was very disappointed. What I don’t get is, why didn’t our teacher tell us their was going to be an impostor, straight out? Our principal had to come in and deliver the news to us, when she had no part in the arrangement with lady gaga.

    1. chaz says:

      Your teacher did not know. He/She was fooled , just as you were.

      1. rachel levitt says:

        the teacher wasnt fooled that it was imposter, she set it up. lady gaga couldnt come and she didnt want us to be sad that she couldnt come so she set up an imposter to vc with us and say shes ‘lady gaga” i almost cried when i found out it was an imposter. i felt betyrated. all of my teachers say not to lie it just makes the problem worse. but you know what, the teacher made it 3 times worse and all of tenafly hates her now, i dont even care if she comes to apolgized it is over with! we will never forgive her

      2. Reilly the awesome smartical says:

        she meant Mrs.A. The teacher who did this

      3. Reilly the awesome smartical says:

        rachel levitt, never forgiving is very harsh. it may take a long time, but maybe you could…

  11. sylvia says:

    whats even worse is that the imposter was actually madonna dressing up as gaga

    1. Chaz says:

      I thought it was Paris Hilton dressing up as Christina Aguilera. Or possibly Britney Spears dressing up as Paris Hilton.

  12. kendra says:

    u shouldn,t do that to kids cause they lok forward to that sort of stuff and the person that said that lady ga ga was coming but couldn,t fulfill her end of the bargain should have got in trouble for pulling that kind of stunt i these kids.

    1. Harry says:

      I’m pretty sure that she “got in trouble” for this. Like she’s now jobless.

  13. Aaron says:

    What’s more sad is CBS exploiting this story and calling it *cough* news, just to rake up google search hits for advertisers.

    1. Reilly the awesome smartical says:


  14. Jack Goldsmith says:

    I was one of the kids at the school. It broke my heart when I found out she was fake. Lady Gaga is my favorite singer and I would never imagine she would something like this. Plus for all of the hard work that we did for the NJ Ask prep, we got no prize at all.

    1. Yerin Myung says:

      I’m also one of the students at the school too! ^^
      I am still confused who sent the impostor. I was disappointed that it was fake. I thought that at least the teacher should have told us the truth even though it will make us disappointed. Bringing an impostor made me MORE disappointed.

  15. J. McCann says:

    The thing that really ticks me off about the teacher was that she could have told us that Lady Gaga couldn’t be there, but instead she hired an imposter.

  16. matt grayson says:

    i went through this too. i wish she said sorry.

  17. kP says:

    No, the story is for real. The kids thought it was for real, and now there’s a letter home from the school superintendent to clarify the situation. It’s actually pretty sad that someone would be so self deluded that they would then foist it upon those around them like this.

  18. rachel levitt says:

    i went through it, it is not fair what she did. she didn’t even say sorry, that’s the least she could do. the teacher isn’t even giving us another reward. she said the video chat could be from that day to the end of the year! why did she have to choose a day that lady gaga was all booked. i hope now the real lady gaga hears about this story and comes to the elementry schools.

    1. Roygbiv says:

      Do you still believe this teacher even really knows lady Gaga? It sounds like she was making the whole story up from the beginning, even about knowing her. Lady gaga’s bio never mentions interning at MTV.

  19. Fina Bertolotti says:

    This teacher hurt the students (including me) and we hate the teacher now. She hasnt came back an apolgized. Its the least she could do.

    1. jenn V says:

      Yeah FIFI….Those are fightin words=)

  20. Dale Auburn says:

    I wouldn’t punish the teacher at all. She taught the kids an important life lesson – the “real” world is full of FAKES. In particular, the whole entertainment industry is FAKE, especially “reality TV” and fixed award shows and pre-selected “American Idol” winners.

    1. Roygbiv says:

      The only fake in this story is the teacher.

    2. Jeffrey Bart says:

      What if you had kids or neices and nephews who experienced this?

      1. Dale Auburn says:

        If my nieces had been in that class, I would tell them that they had just learned an important life lesson – the “real” world is full of FAKES. In particular, the whole entertainment industry is FAKE, especially “reality TV” and fixed award shows and pre-selected “American Idol” winners.

  21. CocosGirl says:

    What this teacher committed was fraud, on her entire school. Whether or not she has a relationship with the performer is irrelevant. If you do your research on Lady GaGa there is no record of her ever being an intern at MTV. She dropped out of the Tisch School of the Arts at 18 and signed with Def Jam at 19 and has been peforming and producing ever since. Very sad that a teacher felt she could get over on an entire school and adminstration.

  22. Hunter says:

    The real Lady Gaga should go there now. Those poor kids, I would’ve been so sad. Gaga is my life.

  23. Jeffrey Bart says:

    I also have sympathy for our principal and the teachers experiencing this as well

  24. Jeffrey Bart says:

    Yesdurday, arriving at my lunch aide job at Smith School in Tenafly, I walk into the 3rd grade class room to take them out for playground recess. The principal was in there delivering a speech. I walk in and sure enough, he broke the news to them about the teacher lying to them about Lady Gaga. Both the 3rd and 5th graders told me they were furious about the incident.

    Very uncalled for and wrong for the students, even children, to be lied to.
    I appologize for everyone who experienced this. I hope they get a something back for this which will make them happy

    1. Jeffrey Bart says:

      sorry aboutall the imput, I thought this was only for my friends and relatives

  25. Philip Oshinsky says:

    i saw hazel yesterday at my school

  26. ham07 says:

    yes fired, she has extremely poor judgment and is not fit to be a teacher. You meet these types all the time. Their brain’s are warped. You can’t pull a stunt like this on 4th graders, they are 10-11 year old kids, they are not kindergartners.

    She is mental.

  27. PNY says:

    It wasn’t Lady Gaga’s fault, for all of you blaming her. It was the teacher’s fault. SHE was the one who booked the impersonator. SHE was the one who passed off Lady Gaga’s autograph as real! Isn’t that fraud?

  28. shesuks says:

    Lady Gaga gags on ……

  29. Jen says:

    People do the same thing with santa claus.
    its a lousy money hungry performer for goodness sakes. Its a good lesson for the kids. Don’t always trust the product that is being sold to you. It will make them a bit more savvy – they will be more inclined to question. That’s a GOOD thing.

  30. ladymiss says:

    If it isn’t news don’t read it… Gaga doesn’t hate haters…

  31. Eric Steckly says:

    @who cares…i agree…..

  32. YoMomma says:

    Gaga is awesome, you would all know if you tried.

  33. nypj says:

    she did these kids a favor.. lady gaga is an impostor “lady” anyhow…

  34. ham07 says:

    This teacher is not fit to lead. She broke some serious trust with these kids and they will never trust an adult or teacher or role model again.

    She should be fired and should get some mental health for herself. Co Co for coco puffs

    1. filetmignon07 says:

      “… never trust … again”? Fired? Mental health?


      1. PNY says:

        ham07, I agree. The teacher is bonkers the way she couldn’t bring herself to tell the truth.

      2. ham07 says:

        yes fired, she has extremely poor judgment and is not fit to be a teacher. You meet these types all the time. Their brain’s are warped. You can’t pull a stunt like this on 4th graders, they are 10-11 year old kids, they are not kindergartners.

        She is mental.

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