Ariana Grande sues Forever 21 for $10 million over using 'lookalike model'
Per Reuters, Ariana Grande is suing American fast-fashion retailer, Forever 21, for at least $10 million (£8.2 million) in damages for purportedly using her likeness in a branding campaign, which the pop star maintains "suggests to the viewing public" an affiliation between her and the brand.
The lawsuit details that Forever 21 has asked Grande to partner with them in late 2018, but she declined. Her lawyers claim that the brand then proceeded to plagiarise at least 30 images for an advertising campaign from the video of her single, 7 Rings, which was released in January with her most recent album, Thank u, Next.
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The 26-year-old alleges that the brand posted at least 30 unauthorized images and videos across its website and social media platforms, using her name, likeness, and music. In screenshots included in the complaint, a Forever 21 model can be seen wearing fluffy, pink pom-poms in her hair, and in another look, purple camo pants and white socks - two styles which are similar to Grande's ensembles in the 7 Rings video.
Several of the brand's social media posts - which have since been taken down - quotes lyrics from 7 Rings, and others outright featured the song, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit asserted that the resemblances were "uncanny", elaborating: "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." It also claimed that one Instagram post by Grande is valued "well into the six figures".
Grande reportedly notified her lawyers about the posts in February. However, the lawsuit states that while Forever 21 agreed to take down all of the unauthorized posts, they remained on social media until mid-April.
The brand has denounced the allegations, but said that they could not issue a comment on pending litigation.
"Forever 21 does not comment on pending litigation as per company policy," they wrote in a statement. "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."