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Did Kim Kardashian ‘Ruin’ Marilyn Monroe’s Dress?

Red Carpet Looks from The Met Gala ...
Red Carpet Looks from The Met Gala 2021

Claim

Photographs show that Kim Kardashian "ruined" Marilyn Monroe's dress during the May 2 2022 Met Gala in New York.

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On June 13 2022, the Twitter account @PopCrave claimed that Kim Kardashian had “ruined” Marilyn Monroe’s dress when she wore it to the May 2 2022 Met Gala:

@PopCrave attached two photographs, labeled “Pre-Met Gala” on the left, and unlabeled on the right. In the tweet, the account claimed “Marilyn Monroe’s iconic dress has reportedly been damaged after being worn by Kim Kardashian at the Met Gala,” but the tweet did not further explain the source or context of the images.

Both images featured what looked to be two watermarks. One was for “the Marilyn Monroe Collection,” and the other appeared to be a username: @1morissette. On Instagram, an account with the @1morrisette handle did exist — but images of the dress were not among its most recent posts. Broadly, the claims immediately attracted a horde of users complaining about Kim Kardashian.

On Instagram, the account @marilynmonroecollection shared three separate posts (all with that same watermark) on June 13 2022. The first of three included a lengthy text portion:

It was clearly written by someone frustrated by the purported images, and read:

[Image of the] dress on display at Ripley’s Hollywood location on June 12, 2022. 🥺 Shared with me by @1morrisette .

So much for keeping “the integrity of the dress and the preservation.” @ripleysbelieveitornot , was it worth it?
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“Great care was taken to preserve this piece of pop culture history. 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!⁠”

Source: Ripley’s Press Release, May 2 [2022]
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And to be fair, Ripley’s said it did try to protect the dress: “We basically had many conversations with Kim and her team and put a lot of requirements in place with security and with the handling of the dress,” Amanda Joiner, a vice president of licensing and publishing at Ripley’s, said to the Daily Beast. “The dress was never with Kim alone. It was always with a Ripley’s representative. We always ensured that at any time we felt that the dress was in danger of ripping or we felt uncomfortable about anything, we always had the ability to be able to say we not were going to continue with this.”

Source: Slate.com, May 5 [2022]

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After receiving Kardashian’s request to wear the dress a couple of months ago, “we had to make some decisions as far as whether or not we were willing to let Kim borrow the dress,” Joiner said. “We did two different fittings with her. The first one was in L.A. in April and then the second one later in April to see whether or not the dress would fit. The biggest challenge that we had is that we really wanted to make sure that we kept the integrity of the dress and the preservation, because it’s 60 years old, and we feel that it’s such an iconic piece of fashion, both from a historical perspective, but also from a pop culture perspective.”

Source: The Daily Beast Interview with Amanda Joiner, Vice President of Licensing and Publishing at Ripley Entertainment, May 3 [2022]

#marilynmonroe

Based entirely on the angry series of posts above, several media outlets ran with the story that Kim Kardashian had destroyed Marilyn Monroe’s dress. Page Six reported that the garment was “allegedly damaged,” Screenrant suggested it was “seemingly damaged,” and a late-breaking New York Post item was headlined:

Kim Kardashian may have damaged Marilyn Monroe Met Gala dress: claim

In the article, the Post admitted the rumors were thirdhand at best:

The historic dress once worn by Marilyn Monroe that Kim Kardashian showed off at the 2022 Met Gala appears to be damaged from its night out, according to an observer.

The Marilyn Monroe Collection Instagram account posted new photos Monday [June 13 2022] showing the bedazzled dress, which Monroe wore to sing “Happy Birthday Mr. President” in 1962 to then-President John F. Kennedy. But the dress appeared to be “missing” a few crystals, claimed the account, which added that others seemed to be “hanging by a thread.”

To recap, a viral @PopCrave tweet featured Instagram content shared by the Marilyn Monroe Collection on June 13 2022. The Marilyn Monroe Collection shared images forwarded to them from a user (@1morrisette, who didn’t feature their own posts), based on what @1morrisette claimed they observed at the Hollywood location of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

On June 13 2022, we contacted Ripley’s Believe It or Not! to ask whether the claim had merit. When asked about damage to the dress, an individual at that location told us that it had not been damaged, and that the claim was entirely untrue.

On June 13 2022, rumors Kim Kardashian “ruined” Marilyn Monroe’s dress spread virally, largely due to a tweet by @PopCrave. The claims purportedly moved from an Instagram user to the Instagram account for the Marilyn Monroe Collection (in a series of angry posts). A representative for Ripley’s in Hollywood denied the claims, and @1morrisette did not have any posts featuring purported damage to the dress.