Fauxdashian Alert! Kim Kardashian Sues Old Navy Over Campaign Clone

Reality star files suit against retailer giant over lookalike-starring ads from earlier this year

By Gina Serpe, Ken Baker Jul 20, 2011 4:53 PMTags
Kim Kardashian, Melissa MolinaroFlynet Pictures

Not so super c-u-t-e now, is it Old Navy?

Though really, the surprise here isn't that Kim Kardashian has filed suit against the clothing giant for using a fairly uncanny lookalike in their recent ad campaign. The surprise here is that it took Kim so long to finally get around to filing the paperwork on this Fauxdashian fiasco.

But this morning, she's righted that wrong.

Kim's attorney, Gary Hecker, filed the federal lawsuit against Old Navy in U.S. Disctrict Court bright and early this morning, over the retailer's "unauthorized use of Kardashian's name, likeness, identity and persona."

In addition to compensatory and punitive damages—which a source tells E! News could total up to $20 million—Kim is also seeking an injuction against the company for the alleged violations.

"I've worked hard to support the products I'm personally involved with that I believe in," Kim said.

So why after waiting so long is she only now filing suit? Well, it's not a pride thing—despite the fact that the ad's Kim doppelgänger, Melissa Molinaro, is now rumored to have coupled up with none other than Kardashian ex Reggie Bush (hey, the guy's clearly got a type).

No, as any good businesswoman can tell you, it's not personal—it's just business. Specifically, the business the Kardashians went into with Sears last year. You don't get to be worth $65 million by not looking out for your sponsors, after all.

"It could ruin her relationship with Sears if she's affiliated with Old Navy," a source explained. "To protect her image, she had to file a lawsuit. She doesn't even mention Melissa in the lawsuit. He name is not even in it. The commercial came out in February and Old Navy was tweeting that she looked 'just like Kim K!'"

Indeed they did.

Back in February, a (now highly regrettable) tweet from Old Navy's Twitter account read: "Breaking News!! @CBSNEWS reports that Old Navy's Super CUTE star looks like @kimkardashian. #LOL. What do you think?"

Well, they got Kim's answer. Probably not what they were hoping for.

While it remains unclear exactly how much Kim will seek in damages, a source told E! News that her legal team will be taking a look at Old Navy's sales figures this year to determine whether or not there was a bump in revenue in the wake of the ads.

"Celebrities have the exclusive right to control the use of their likeness and identity, and to choose the products they endorse," Hecker said of the alleged image misappropriation.

"Kim Kardashian is immediately recognizable, and is known for her look and style. Her identity and persona are valuable. When her intellectual property rights are violated, she intends to enforce them."

As for Old Navy, the company told E! News, "We have not seen any legal filing/received any such lawsuit, so we cannot comment."

In the meantime, the bride-to-be is busy prepping for her wedding shower, which will take place this Saturday at her mom's house.