Ariana Grande has launched legal action against Forever 21 for allegedly using a lookalike model and copying her ‘7 Rings’ music video in social media posts to sell clothes.
In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles on Monday, lawyers for Grande accused the retailer of using a model that looked like her – with a long brunette ponytail – lyrics from her hit song and the art design of a pink-tint similar to that seen in the music video on its Instagram pages.
The lawsuit alleges that Forever 21 used ‘unauthorised use of Ms. Grande’s name, image, likeness, and music to promote their brands and products’ which they claim infringes her copyright.
‘The resemblance is uncanny and 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,’ the lawsuit claims, which was posted on the Canadian Global News website.
Grande is suing the brand for $10 million (£8.3 million), claiming that Forever 21 got underway with their campaign after initially reaching out to her for a collaboration. While discussions were reportedly had, Grande’s team eventually declined on the offer to collaborate over money issues (Grande’s lawyers say that a single Instagram post from the 26-year-old is worth six figures).
It was the singer who noticed the social media campaign, which included a caption which featured the ‘7 Rings’ lyric ‘Gee thanks, just bought it’, and alerted her lawyers, the suit states. The brand allegedly said that they would remove the social media posts but Grande’s team claim they were visible until April.
Forever 21 – the US high-street giant which arrived in the UK in 2010 – said that they do not comment on pending litigation but denied the allegations levied against them by Grande.
‘While we dispute the allegations, we are huge supporters of Ariana Grande and have worked with her licensing company over the past two years,’ Forever 21 said in a statement, Reuters reports. ‘We are hopeful that we will find a mutually agreeable resolution and can continue to work together in the future.’
ELLE UK has approached Forever 21 for comment.