Kim Kardashian won’t be blazing any new legal trails when it comes to the use of look-alike celebrities in advertisements.
The socialite and reality TV star has settled a high-profile $20 million lawsuit against The Gap over an Old Navy TV commercial that featured a similar-looking brunette reality star named Melissa Molinaro.
Kardashian followed other famous people, including Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Vanna White and Bette Midler, in bringing a lawsuit against an advertiser for misappropriating her personality. This case, however, never reached any significant ruling before coming to a resolution.
What the case did bring was a lot of personal drama.
Around the time the Old Navy commercial was cast, Molinaro reportedly was dating one of Kardashian’s ex-boyfriends, football star Reggie Bush, who was one of the people The Gap wanted to depose.
The Gap also had sought information about why the clothing retailer Bebe decided to drop its Kardashian clothing line, financial records concerning Kardashian’s clothing deals and further information about “Kim Kardashian’s reputation as a singer and dancer.”
No trial will mean that The Gap won’t attempt to show that Kardashian couldn’t support her claims that the commercial damaged her brand value nor that Kardashian couldn’t sing and dance as well as Molinaro. It also will mean that Kardashian’s lawyers won’t call to testify members of the media who reported about Old Navy’s marketing plans as well as members of the public who maybe weren’t confused by the advertisement.
Instead, the lawsuit has been settled privately after the two sides engaged a mediator, Daniel Weinstein, who has experience resolving high-profile cases. Terms of the settlement aren’t yet known, but the Old Navy commercial in question appears to have been taken down from YouTube, surviving only in all the news reports on the subject.
Meanwhile, Old Navy recently has hired actual celebrities for commercials, including Jason Priestley (Beverly Hills 90210) and Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory, Blossom). The double-take at seeing the pitch person remains.
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