A Fort Lauderdale-based security company denies that it misled Miamians -- particularly a gullible Guess PR flack -- into thinking Lady Gaga was shopping on Lincoln Road last weekend.
"The girl that we used really does draw attention. You guys saw that on Sunday," says Bill Ferrell, president of ASI Consultants & Associates. "But at no time ever, ever, ever have we tried to portray her as Lady Gaga."
Turns out the woman in question is Gaga's über-Christian doppelgänger: church singer Amy N. Evans.
Ferrell claims his company was merely conducting a training exercise for would-be bodyguards using Evans when a crowd began to gather. And although he admits to talking to Evans about her resemblance to the Fame Monster when he first hired her, Ferrell denies that she was a deliberate stand-in for the superstar. Instead, he blames the fiasco on a case of mistaken identity.
"If you've got a team of guys standing around someone, obviously someone is going to think that they are somebody (famous)," he says.
But this isn't the first time that Evans has been mistaken for Gaga. When it happened at a mall last year in Palm Beach Gardens, ASI bodyguards allegedly told people that Evans was, in fact, Gaga.
At the time, Ferrell apologized for the confusion. In fact, he was so embarrassed that he put a link to the news story on ASI's website.
Given that the company's website is chocked full of photos of other celebrity lookalikes -- from Michelle Obama to Paris Hilton -- in similar training exercises, it's hard to believe that ASI isn't trying to trick the public into crowding around the faux famous people.
Ferrell even admits that the crowds make for better training sessions.
"Are we directly trying to achieve a crowd response to what we do? No. But if a crowd does happen to appear, then that's great," he says. "That's what these students have to be aware of when they become bodyguards."
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We feel used.
No word yet from Evans herself. Her website (AmyNEvans.com) doesn't seem to work, but we did find some video of her singing at Cavalry Chapel in Fort Lauderdale. Suffice to say she could use some pointers from the real Gaga: