- Ariana Grande on Monday filed a $10 million lawsuit against Forever 21 over its advertisements, which her lawyers argue clearly reference the star.
- Grande’s lawyers accused the clothing retailer of hiring “a look-alike model” and using audio and lyrics from her song “7 Rings” on social media “to suggest to the viewing public that Ms. Grande endorsed Forever 21, its products, and was affiliated with Forever 21.”
- The complaint included screenshots of Forever 21 social-media posts that it said used Grande’s music and likeness earlier this year after the star walked away from a merchandise deal with the retailer. The ads no longer appear on the brand’s social-media pages.
- Last week, CNBC reported that Forever 21 might be preparing for a bankruptcy filing.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Ariana Grande is suing Forever 21, seeking $10 million over advertisements her lawyers say featured her music, lyrics, and likeness.
Grande’s lawyers filed a complaint on Monday accusing Forever 21 of attempting to sell products by hiring a model who looks “strikingly similar” to Grande and using clips and lyrics from her song “7 Rings” on social media.
The complaint said Forever 21 shared the ads in January and February after it attempted to create a joint merchandise line with Grande. The ads have since been deleted.
It said the musician walked away from the deal because Forever 21 would not pay a large enough sum for “a celebrity of Ms. Grande’s stature.”
The complaint argued that Forever 21 “stole her name, likeness, and other intellectual property to promote their brands for free.”
It also included screenshots of images on Forever 21’s Instagram page that it said were of Grande from her “7 Rings” music video.
Other images included in the complaint show “a look-alike model” who wore clothing, accessories, and a hairstyle that many would associate with Grande, her lawyers said.
“The resemblance is uncanny and Forever 21’s intent was clear: to suggest to the viewing public that Ms. Grande endorsed Forever 21, its products, and was affiliated with Forever 21,” Grande’s lawyers said in the complaint.
Grande and her lawyers are seeking damages, alleging copyright and trademark infringement, false endorsement, and violating her right of publicity.
Speaking to Insider, a representative for Forever 21 said the company is supportive of Ariana Grande’s career.
“Forever 21 does not comment on pending litigation as per company policy,” a company representative told Insider. “That said, while we dispute the allegations, we are huge supporters of Ariana Grande and have worked with her licensing company over the past two years.”
“We are hopeful that we will find a mutually agreeable resolution and can continue to work together in the future,” they continued.
Last week, CNBC reported that Forever 21 might be preparing for a bankruptcy filing. While the company is private and does not release its sales numbers, as Insider reported, Forever 21 did recently fail to restructure its debt and has closed stores in places like China and London.
Representatives for Ariana Grande and Grande’s attorneys from O’Melveny & Myers did not immediately reply to Insider’s request for comment.
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