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If you're just tuning into this battle of the shell-boobed sea creatures, here's the scoop -- Round One: Gaga takes to the stage during a Sydney concert outfitted as a latex-finned mermaid in a wheelchair and is promptly blasted by disability rights activists for "exploitation for shock value."
Round Two: Bette Midler takes to her Twitter page (who knew 65-year-olds had Twitter accounts?) to personally put Gaga on blast and expose her for her copying ways. Turns out Bette invented the exact same bit back in 1980 and performed it regularly for years.
Which brings us to the latest -- Gaga has responded to Bette's beef, claiming she was completely unaware that the veteran entertainer pulled the same stage stunt 30 years before her. Gaga tells Access Hollywood, "I had no idea that she did that and I'm a huge Bette Midler fan."
Gaga continues, "[It was] not [a Midler tribute] in the beginning ... because I didn't know that she'd done [it], but I do now and I think it's great. Obviously I feel connected to women in theater and women from the past."
Gaga adds, "Maybe we're just cut from the same cloth. I couldn't hop around in that tail so I just stuck myself in a wheelchair. All I'll say is that I admire her and find her to be one of the most brilliant and incredible performers, so that's all I'll say." The defense rests.
So what do you think about Gaga's claims -- candor, or a cop-out from a copycat repeat offender?
Watch Bette Midler's Mermaid-in-a-Wheelchair Act
Watch Lady Gaga's Mermaid-in-a-Wheelchair Act at 1:40