Kim Kardashian defended by Ripley's after Marilyn Monroe dress scandal

New York, New York - Ripley’s Believe It or Not! has denied that Kim Kardashian damaged Marilyn Monroe’s iconic "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" dress when the reality star wore it to the Met Gala last month.

Kim Kardashian wore Marilyn Monroe’s iconic dress at the Met Gala in May.
Kim Kardashian wore Marilyn Monroe’s iconic dress at the Met Gala in May.  © Collage: MIKE COPPOLA & Dimitrios Kambouris / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

After images surfaced on social media showing apparent damage to the iconic dress, which caused an uproar among historians and textile conservators, the entertainment company finally waded into the fiery discourse. It wanted to "say with confidence" that Kardashian’s outing in the famed gown "did not cause damage."

"Our mission is to both entertain and educate visitors and fans, and sparking conversations like the discourse around Marilyn Monroe’s dress does just that," the company said Thursday in a statement posted on Ripley’s website, promising to debunk the allegations.

"No matter which side of the debate you are on, the historical importance of the dress has not been negated, but rather highlighted. A entirely new group of young people have now been introduced to the legacy of Marilyn Monroe," it continued.

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"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."

Ripley's claims dress already had signs of damage

Marylin Monroe famously wore the dress when she sang Happy Birthday, Mr. President to John F. Kennedy.
Marylin Monroe famously wore the dress when she sang Happy Birthday, Mr. President to John F. Kennedy.  © VALERY HACHE / AFP

Ripley’s, which acquired the gown at auction in 2016 for nearly $5 million, had initially denied Kim Kardashian permission to wear it because it didn’t fit her.

Footage Ripley’s released after the gala showed the Skims founder struggling to pull up the gown, even with the help of special handlers, and insisting on wearing more shapewear to make it work. Kim said she ultimately lost 16 pounds in mere weeks to be able to wear it.

Ripley’s said that when it acquired the dress at auction, a report written on the dress’ condition in early 2017 noted that "'a number of the seams are pulled and worn. This is not surprising given how delicate the material is. There is puckering at the back by the hooks and eyes,' among other instances of damage."

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The attractions company continued to display the historic gown at a number of its attractions around the world and said Thursday that it "understands the risks associated with this."

"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," insisted Ripley’s vice president 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."

According to the LA Times, Kardashian also flew the dress from New York to California on her private jet, having only worn it for a portion of the Met Gala.

Cover photo: Collage: MIKE COPPOLA & Dimitrios Kambouris / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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