A Marilyn Monroe devotee has accused Kim Kardashian of damaging the iconic nude gown the actress wore to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to then-President John F. Kennedy in 1962 when she modeled it at the Met Gala last month.
The Marilyn Monroe Collection shared photos of the dress allegedly on display at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! on Instagram Monday, claiming it now has ‘missing crystals’ and some were ‘left hanging by a thread.’
The viral images in question were taken by ChadMichael Morrisette at the museum’s Hollywood location on June 12, according to the account run by historian and collector Scott Fortner.
‘So much for keeping “the integrity of the dress and the preservation.” @ripleysbelieveitornot, was it worth it?’ read one caption mocking a statement Ripley’s had released about the reality star borrowing the dress.
Kim Kardashian, 41, has been accused of damaging Marilyn Monroe’s iconic gown after wearing it to the Met Gala last month
The Marilyn Monroe Collection shared ‘before and after’ photos of the dress on display at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! to show the alleged damage
Kardashian, 41, was loaned the gown by officials at the museum, where the 60-year-old dress has been stored in a temperature-controlled environment since it was bought for a record-breaking $5 million in 2016.
‘Great care was taken to preserve this piece of pop culture history,’ Ripley’s said in May. ‘With input from garment conservationists, appraisers, and archivists, the garment’s condition was top priority. Believe It or Not! no alterations were to be made to the dress and Kim even changed into a replica after the red carpet!’
Hundreds of fans took to the comments to point out the alleged damage in the ‘before and after’ photos shared by the Marilyn Monroe Collection, though there was no way to confirm the validity of the images.
‘Missing so many crystals and those tears,’ one person wrote. ‘What a disaster!!’
‘Not only the stretching around the zipper, but if you look at the upper-ish left side, there are several crystals missing!’ another added.
The viral images in question were allegedly taken by ChadMichael Morrisette at the museum’s Hollywood location on June 12
The account, which is run by historian and collector Scott Fortner, claimed the gown had ‘missing crystals’ and some were ‘left hanging by a thread’
A source close to the star told DailyMail.com the images shared by the account are not accurate and the allegations that she had damaged the dress are falsse
‘Damage has been done, and it can’t be fixed,’ someone else griped. ‘The fabric is torn. Imagine what could have happened to it if Kim had worn the dress even longer. I’m so sad to see this.’
However, a source close to Kardashian told DailyMail.com that the images are not accurate and the allegations that she had damaged the dress are false.
The insider added that the dress had signs of wear before Ripley’s bought it, noting that she had it on for less than 15 minutes.
DailyMail.com has reached out to representatives for Kardashian and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! for comment.
Kardashian was the first person to don the gown since it was worn by Monroe in 1962. She admitted she lost 16 pounds in three weeks to fit into the dress, but she was still unable to zip it.
‘Great care was taken to preserve this piece of pop culture history,’ Ripley’s said in May. ‘With input from garment conservationists, appraisers, and archivists, the garment’s condition was top priority’
The 60-year-old dress has been stored in a temperature-controlled environment since it was bought for a record-breaking $5 million in 2016
The reality star added a white fur shawl to the look to hide that it was open in the back. She only wore the original dress for her red carpet appearance and changed into a replica before making her way into the Met Gala.
Speaking to Vogue about her iconic ensemble, the reality star insisted that she would never risk ‘any damage’ to the gown, and therefore took steps to ensure that she had a backup option before heading into the event itself.
‘I’m extremely respectful to the dress and what it means to American history,’ she said. ‘I would never want to sit in it or eat in it or have any risk of any damage to it, and I won’t be wearing the kind of body makeup I usually do.’
Fortner was among a long list of fashion historians and costume experts who have decried the decision to allow the delicate piece to be brought out of its carefully preserved storage.
‘No one should have reworn this dress,’ he told the New York Post last month. ‘It’s hard because [Kardashian] is one of the most influential people in the world.
Monroe wore the custom Jean Louis gown to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to then-President John F. Kennedy on May 19, 1962
Kardashian lost 16 pounds in three weeks to fit into the gown made for specifically for Monroe to wear to serenade the president
‘If it was up to me, I would not have allowed it simply because of the importance of the piece in American cultural history,’ he added. ‘But let me be clear, this is nothing to do with Kim Kardashian.’
Famed designer Bob Mackie, 82, also slammed the decision to allow Kardashian to wear the gown to the Met Gala.
He was just 23 years old when he sketched the original design for the dress while working as an assistant to fashion legend Jean Louis, who created the gown especially for Monroe to wear to serenade President Kennedy on May 19, 1962.
‘I thought it was a big mistake,’ he told Entertainment Weekly. ‘[Marilyn] was a goddess. A crazy goddess, but a goddess. She was just fabulous.
‘Nobody photographs like that. And it was done for her. It was designed for her. Nobody else should be seen in that dress.’
Kardashian was the first person to don the gown since it was worn by Monroe in 1962. She wrote it briefly on the red carpet before changing into a replica
‘I tried it on and it didn’t fit me, and so I looked at them and said give me like three weeks, and I had to lose 16 pounds, down today, to be able to fit this,’ she said during a red carpet livestream
Kardashian visited the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum in Hollywood weeks and posed for pictures with the dress weeks after she wore it on the red carpet
Kardashian not only came under heavy fire for risking damage to the gown by wearing it, but she was also accused of promoting unhealthy body standards after detailing her extreme weight loss to fit into it.
The star said she cried when she realized she didn’t fit into the dress during a first try-on, explaining that she went on to lose weight just so she could model the dress for mere minutes on the red carpet.
‘I had this idea to put it on and to try it on, and they came with armed guards and gloves. I tried it on and it didn’t fit me, and so I looked at them and said give me like three weeks, and I had to lose 16 pounds, down today, to be able to fit this,’ she said during a red carpet livestream.
‘It was such a challenge. It was like a role, I was determined to fit it.’
Kim later told Vogue that she went on a ruthlessly strict diet in order to wear the dress to the Met Gala, admitting she hadn’t eaten ‘carbs and sugar in three weeks.’
‘I would wear a sauna suit twice a day, run on the treadmill, completely cut out all sugar and all carbs, and just eat the cleanest veggies and protein,’ she said. ‘I didn’t starve myself, but I was so strict.’