“News Alert: Marilyn Monroe Hair Gifted to Kardashian by Ripley’s is Fake,” wrote Monroe historian Scott Fortner after Kim Kardashian wore the late icon’s dress to the 2022 Met Gala
Kim Kardashian’s latest one-of-a-kind possession might not be so rare. After Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! gifted the Kardashians star, 41, a supposed lock of Marilyn Monroe’s hair, Monroe historian Scott Fortner debunked the news on Friday — and he has the (literal) receipts to prove it.
“News Alert: Marilyn Monroe Hair Gifted to Kardashian by Ripley’s is Fake,” Fortner wrote on Instagram. “Who styled Marilyn’s hair for the JFK gala: Robert Champion or Kenneth Battelle?”
He shared a screenshot from Ripley’s website, featuring a display of the hair, which was supposedly authenticated by University Archives founder John Reznikoff. They claimed the hair was cut from Monroe’s head by hairstylist Robert Champion ahead of her iconic Madison Square Garden performance for President John F. Kennedy’s birthday on May 19, 1962, three months before her death.
“News Flash: Robert Champion did not cut and style Marilyn’s hair for the JFK gala,” Fortner wrote. “It was actually the one and only ‘Mr. Kenneth’ (Battelle) who had the honors. Battelle is responsible for Marilyn’s famous hairstyle from that night, as documented by a receipt from Lilly Dache Beauty Salon.”
Reps for Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! and Reznikoff did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.Kardashian has faced mixed responses after wearing Monroe’s iconic dress from her famous “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” performance to the 2022 Met Gala.
Fortner previously told PEOPLE that Kardashian wearing the dress, which Ripley’s bought for $4.81 million in 2016, is “cause for concern” as “the fabric for the dress was literally sculpted to [Monroe’s] body to precisely match every curve.”
“While I understand the appeal of wanting to wear such an iconic gown, it can’t be dismissed or overlooked that anyone other than Marilyn Monroe wearing the famous ‘Happy Birthday Mr. President’ dress might be cause for concern for several reasons,” Fortner said, adding: “The dress was custom-made for Marilyn Monroe. It’s not an off-the-rack garment.”
Monroe’s estate has since said that the late icon would approve of Kardashian’s rewear at the Met Gala, according to TMZ.
Prior to the follicle confusion, Kardashian thanked Ripley’s for loaning her the dress in the first place. “Thank you Ripley’s Believe It or Not! for giving me the opportunity to debut this evocative piece of fashion history for the first time since the late Marilyn Monroe wore it. I am forever grateful for this moment. ✨🕊,” she wrote on Instagram last week.