Kim Kardashian “did not in any way” damage Marilyn Monroe’s dress.
The 41-year-old reality star made an appearance at Met Gala 2022 in May wearing the iconic gown worn by the late Hollywood legend in 1962 when she sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to then-President John F Kennedy.
Collector Scott Fortner branded Ripley’s Believe it Or Not “irresponsible” for loaning her the iconic gown and accused the brunette beauty of causing “irreparable” damage to the gown.
However, the museum have hit back and insisted the dress, which Kardashian wore to go up the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s steps before changing into a replica, was returned in the same condition it had been handed over.
It said: “Kim Kardashian wearing the “Happy Birthday” dress has been hotly contested, but the fact remains that she did not, in any way, damage the garment in the short amount of time it was worn at the Met Gala.
“‘From the bottom of the Met steps, where Kim got into the dress, to the top where it was returned, the dress was in the same condition it started in’, noted Ripley’s VP of Publishing and Licensing, Amanda Joiner, who was continuously with the dress the day of the Gala and during transport from Orlando to New York.”
And the company was quick to highlight that the ‘Kardashians’ star had made a charitable donation in recognition of being allowed to wear the dress.
“A recent social media post asked, ‘Was it worth it?’ Kim Kardashian did not pay Ripley’s Believe It or Not! to wear the dress, nor did the company pay her. Rather, Kardashian made a charitable donation to two charities in the greater Orlando area on behalf of the company.
“Ripley’s Believe It or Not! will continue to exhibit the dress — in as-is condition — at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Hollywood through Fall 2022.”
The company’s statement came after Scott accused the organisation of not “protecting and preserving” the dress properly.
He said: “I do feel that it [was] irresponsible, this is not just a dress. This is a cultural icon. It’s a political icon. It’s a Hollywood icon. It’s part of American history from an event that happened 60 years ago and… it should have been archived and preserved and taken care of. I think the disappointment that I’m experiencing is Ripley has made multiple statements that they were doing everything that they could to protect and preserve the gown.”
The collector, who is the curator of the “world’s largest private collection of Monroe’s personal property and archives”, had shown his Instagram followers that the gold sequinned number was “missing crystals” with some “left hanging by a thread”.
He said it was irreparable because the fabric was no longer available.
Alongside the post, he added: “So much for keeping the integrity of the dress and the preservation. Was it worth it?”
“Without question, the damage is significant!”