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Ariana Grande sues Forever 21 for $10M

Ariana Grande has filed a suit against Forever 21, accusing the fashion brand of using a look-alike model in a promotional campaign that appears to be inspired by the pop star’s “7 Rings” music video.

In a complaint obtained by PEOPLE, Grande, 26, alleges that after she declined to participate in an endorsement deal in early 2019, Forever 21 and its sister brand, Riley Rose, used her “name, likeness and other intellectual property to promote their brands for free.” Grande turned down the deal because, according to the complaint, the compensation offered by Forever 21 for proposed social media marketing was “insufficient for an artist of her nature.”

Between January and February 2019, Forever 21 launched a campaign on its website and social media accounts that allegedly capitalized the success of Grande’s album, Thank U, Next and allegedly copied scenes from her “7 Rings” music video.

Forever 21 published “at least 30 unauthorized images and videos misappropriating Ms. Grande’s name, image, likeness, and music in order to create the false perception of her endorsement.”

In addition to hiring a model who resembles Grande and wore her hair in the same double buns style that the singer did in the “7 Rings” music video, Forever 21 allegedly also displayed “7 Rings” audio and video in the background of its posts, used lyrics from the song in the caption and included photographs of Grande without her authorization. The number seven logo shown in the pop star’s music video also appeared in some campaign images posted on Forever 21’s Instagram feed.

The Instagram posts were deleted by Forever 21 in April 2019. Grande is seeking “no less than $10 million” in damages from Forever 21 for misappropriating and profiting from her “influence and star-power for approximately 14 weeks.”

Grande isn’t the first star to sue a fashion company for using their likeness. Kim Kardashian West was awarded $2.7 million in damages from Misguided USA after she accused the company of using photos of her, without permission, to sell Kardashian-inspired knockoff designs.

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