Ariana Grande sues fashion chain over ‘lookalike’ allegedly used in ad campaign
The pop star alleges a model used by Forever 21 bears an ‘uncanny’ resemblance to her.
Ariana Grande has sued the fashion chain Forever 21 for £8.3 million over an alleged “lookalike” it used in an advertising campaign.
The singer alleges the brand hired a model with an “uncanny” resemblance to her after she refused to endorse the company.
Forever 21 then stole Grande’s “name, likeness and other intellectual property” to promote the brand for free, according to legal documents filed in California.
Grande is seeking 10 million US dollars (£8.3 million) in damages.
The 21-page lawsuit says Grande was approached by Forever 21 in November last year, but an endorsement deal never happened because the firm refused to pay “the fair market value”.
Fearing “irrelevance in a rapidly evolving market with increasing competition from other fast fashion brands”, Forever 21 and its sister company, Riley Rose, “instead stole her name, likeness, and other intellectual property to promote their brands for free”, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit contains images from Forever 21’s ad campaigns, which are alleged to use a Grande lookalike.
One of the Forever 21 posts used in the advertising campaign uses lyrics from Grande, according to the legal papers.
Grammy Award-winning Grande, who has 163 million followers on Instagram, can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars for a single social media post, the lawsuit says, while longer-term endorsement deals command fees in the millions of dollars.
A Forever 21 spokesman said the company could not comment on active proceedings, but added: “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.”
Grande, 25, is one of the world’s biggest pop stars. All five of her studio albums have been certified platinum in the US.