Ariana Grande has filed a lawsuit against Forever 21, claiming that the fashion retailer used the singer’s “name, image, likeness, and music to promote their brands and products” without her permission.
Filed on Monday, the suit claims that the chain attempted to partner with the pop star in “early 2019” but Grande declined “due to Forever 21’s unwillingness to pay the fair market value for a celebrity of Ms. Grande’s stature.”
Despite that, the suit claims that Forever 21 went on to use imagery from Grande’s album and song “Thank U Next,” including visuals from her video for “7 Rings,” in order to “create the false perception of her endorsement.”
The complaint, which features numerous images that Forever 21’s Instagram page alongside eerily similar stills from Grande’s videos, alleges that the brand stole Grande’s likeness and launched “a misleading campaign across its website and social media platforms primarily in January and February 2019.”
Based on her claims that the brand attempted to capitalize on her album’s success, Grande is seeking a whopping $10 million in damages.
The suit also indicates that Grande and her lawyers asked Forever 21 to remove the content and it did not do so, which the complaint says meant it “improperly misappropriated and profited from Ms. Grande’s influence and star-power for approximately 14 weeks.”
Forever 21’s Instagram account now appears to be wiped of the offending images featured in the complaint, though there is still a post with clothing that appears to feature very similar looks to those in the “7 Rings” video and has the caption: “Put it in the bag!”
(Grande’s “7 Rings” includes the lyrics “I don’t mean to brag, but I be like, ‘Put it in the bag,’ yeah.”)
While representatives for Grande did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment, Forever 21’s press team sent a statement indicating that while they do “not comment on pending litigation as per company policy,” they are still fans of Grande and dispute her claims.
“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,” the statement says.
The article has been updated with a statement from Forever 21.
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