Update June 16:
On Thursday, an unidentified representative from Ripley’s Believe It or Not! told TMZ “A report written on the dress’s condition in early 2017 states, ‘A number of the seams are pulled and worn. This is not surprising given how delicate the material is. There is puckering at the back by the hooks and eyes,’ among other instances of damage.”
Amanda Joiner, Ripley’s vice president of publishing and licensing, also told TMZ that she accompanied the dress while Kardashian was wearing it, ensuring that it was returned in the same condition.
Kim Kardashian is facing harsh criticism after photos circulated on social media Monday, showing alleged damage to the legendary Marilyn Monroe dress the reality star donned for the 2022 Met Gala.
According to The Associated Press, the reality TV star, accompanied by comedian Pete Davidson, arrived at the star-studded event in the decades-old dress popularly known as the “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” gown.
>> Related: Met Gala 2022: Kim Kardashian wears iconic Marilyn Monroe dress
Monroe famously wore the Jean Louis gown to serenade then-president John F. Kennedy on his 45th birthday in 1962, People magazine reported.
Kardashian borrowed the piece from the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum in Orlando, Florida, which bought the gown for $4.81 million in 2016, the AP reported. Its original price tag was $12,000.
According to Variety, professional conservators also spoke out at the time, calling it ill-advised to wear any clothing item with so much history, regardless of the occasion or person.
The Scott Fortner Marilyn Monroe Collection took to social media Monday to share before-and-after photos of the dress that appear to show stress to the fabric and missing crystals following the Met Gala.
“Without question, the damage is significant,” the collection wrote on Instagram.
Chad Michael Christian Morrisette, creative director for Ripley’s Hollywood, took the pictures and videos shared widely Monday, Variety reported.
On Tuesday he wrote on Instagram, “This dress is a piece of my life and my heart. To see what @kimkardashian did in the damaging of it is heartbreaking,” adding the hashtags #nationaltreasure, #howdareyou, #ego, #greed and #thief.
“I was hired by Julien’s [in 2016] to put the dress on display, and not just the dress, I put Marilyn Monroe’s entire auction on display,” Morrisette told People. “I know this dress, and the damage is so apparent. I left Ripley’s in tears. I ran out with my hand over my mouth, holding back the tears because I could not believe the damage that they allowed to happen for a publicity stunt.”
Kardashian, 41, lost 16 pounds in three weeks in order to fit into the dress because it did not fit – and could not be altered – the first time she tried it on after the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum in Orlando, Florida, flew the gown to her via private plane, the magazine reported.
Kardashian has not yet commented publicly on the controversy.
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