Just days after Forever 21 was reported to be considering filing for bankruptcy, Ariana Grande has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the company for hiring a look-alike model and using images of the singer to promote their beauty brand.
According to court documents filed September 2 in California, Forever 21 approached Grande in early 2019 for an endorsement deal with the brand’s beauty store Riley Rose, but she declined due to disagreements over pay (a single Instagram post costs “well into the six figures,” the documents state). Grande then claims the company “stole her name, likeness, and other intellectual property to promote their brands for free,” pointing to Forever 21's “declining success” as the brand’s motive.
Grande’s lawyers point out that following the success of Thank U, Next, Forever 21 began posting several images of Grande to promote their brand, despite the fact that she had no endorsement deal with them.
Grande’s lawyers also claim that Forever 21 “falsely suggested Ms. Grande’s endorsement” by hiring a “look-alike model” who was seen wearing a similar hairstyle and clothes to those Grande wore in the music video for “7 Rings.”
Despite reaching out to Forever 21 to remove all the content, court documents state that Forever 21 did not do so. Grande and her lawyers are asking for no less than $10 million in damages. The lawsuit comes at a turbulent time for the Forever 21 brand, as Bloomberg recently reported the company was looking to potentially file for bankruptcy as a way to close under-performing stores.