Ariana Grande filed a $10 million lawsuit on Monday against Forever 21 and Riley Rose, claiming they stole her name, likeness, and other intellectual property to promote their brands for free.
In documents obtained by EW, the pop star states that the fashion brand “sought her endorsement of its clothing and accessory products” in early 2019, which she declined due to their unwillingness to pay her fair market value. Grande claims that the defendants then launched misleading campaigns on their websites and social media, publishing at least 30 unauthorized images and videos that misappropriate Ariana’s name and likeness.
The complaint, first reported by TMZ, alleges that the posts feature a mix of actual photos of Ariana as well as a model that #TeamAriana claims looks “strikingly similar to Ms. Grande” and who was styled with a similar fashion style and hairdo. All the images have since been scrubbed from Forever 21’s Instagram account.
Bloomberg reported on Aug. 28 that Forever 21, owned by Jin Sook and Do Won Chang, is preparing to file for bankruptcy, with Forbes estimating their sales have gone down 20 percent to 25 percent last year. Riley Rose is a spin-off of the F21 brand focused on beauty and cosmetics, and is owned by Chang’s daughters Esther and Linda.
Forever 21 is no stranger to lawsuits, having been sued by Diane Von Furstenberg, Anna Sui, Gucci, Puma, Trovata, and Adidas for allegedly infringing on their copyrights.
EW has reached out to representatives for Ariana Grande.
UPDATE: In a statement, a spokesperson for Forever 21 states that the organization “does not comment on pending litigation as per company policy. 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.”