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Kim Kardashian Denies Marilyn Monroe Dress Worn on 2022 Met Gala Carpet Was Damaged


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Kim Kardashian is denying that damage was done to the Marilyn Monroe dress she borrowed from Ripley’s Believe It or Not! for the 2022 Met Gala carpet.

“I respect her, I understand how much this dress means to American history and with the theme being American I thought, what is more American than Marilyn Monroe singing happy birthday to the president of the United States?” Kardashian said during an interview with Today show hosts Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie.

The theme for the 2022 Met Gala show, “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” was “gilded glamour,” a reference to the historic period in American history known as the Gilded Age. Kardashian was loaned the dress, which Monroe wore when she famously sang “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden in 1962, by Ripley’s. The museum bought the dress, designed by Jean Louis and featuring over 6,000 hand-sewn rhinestones, at auction for $4.8 million in 2016.

During the Today interview, Kardashian said that she put the dress on right before the carpet and then took it off right after. “It was such a process,” she said. “I showed up to the red carpet in a robe and slippers, and I put the dress on, on the bottom of the carpet and went up the stairs. I probably had it on for three minutes, four minutes, and then I changed right at the top.”

Kardashian also noted that Ripley’s had handlers “in gloves that put it on me.”

On June 13, Monroe historian Scott Fortner, who oversees the Marilyn Monroe Collection featuring the actress’s personal property and archives, published photos on Instagram comparing the gown before and after Kardashian wore it at the Met Gala, referencing a 2017 report on its condition in several posts. An after image, taken on June 12 at the Ripley’s Hollywood location by ChadMichael Morrisette, was sent to Fortner.

“To anyone who may be questioning the actual condition of Marilyn Monroe’s ‘Happy Birthday Mr. President’ dress prior to being purchased by @ripleysbelieveitornot or implying that low-quality photos of the dress were shared to somehow make the newly discovered damage to the dress seem worse than it actually is, this is 4K video that I took of the gown while it was on display at @juliens_auctions in November of 2016,” Fortner wrote in one post. “Without question, the damage is significant.”

Before Fortner’s posts, museum curators spoke out about the ethics of the move, criticizing Ripley’s decision to lend Kardashian the dress — a decision that was made two months before the gala.

Ahead of Kardashian’s Today appearance, Ripley’s also denied damage to the dress.

“Kim Kardashian’s walk up the Metropolitan Museum’s stairs at this year’s Met Gala caused quite the stir, but one thing Ripley’s Believe It or Not! can say with confidence is that it did not cause damage to Marilyn Monroe’s famed ‘Happy Birthday’ dress from 1962,” the museum said in a statement. “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.”

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