The folks at the Ripley's Believe It or Not! museum are saying Kim Kardashian did not damage the classic Marilyn Monroe dress she wore to the 2022 Met Gala — and as the dress's legal owners, they ought to know.
The "Kardashians" star, 41, borrowed the sequined dress Monroe wore to a 1962 birthday fundraiser for President John F. Kennedy from the museum to the wear to the star-studded gala in May — and has been accused online by multiple people of ruining the dress ever since.
Earlier this week, Scott Fortner, a Monroe historian who oversees the Marilyn Monroe Collection, posted what appeared to be before-and-after pics of the dress on Instagram to illustrate how Kardashian allegedly trashed it.
“Without question, the damage is significant,” Fortner wrote, noting the dress now had “missing crystals” and “some left hanging by a thread.”
In his post, Fortner said he received the pics of the gown from someone who saw it on display at Ripley’s Hollywood location on June 12.
However, on Thursday, the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum — which bought the gown in a 2016 auction for $4.8 million — cleared the air in a blog post on its website.
“Kim Kardashian’s walk up the Metropolitan Museum’s stairs at this year’s Met Gala caused quite the stir, but one thing Ripley’s Believe It or Not! can say with confidence is that it did not cause damage to Marilyn Monroe’s famed ‘Happy Birthday’ dress from 1962,” Ripley’s said in the post.
The museum went on to say that when it acquired the Jean Louis-designed dress, which it now values at $10 million dollars, it was already flawed.
"A report written on the dress’s condition in early 2017 states, '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," the post explained.
"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," the post continued.
The museum also reiterated that Amanda Joiner, Ripley’s VP of publishing and licensing, was with the dress during its transport from Orlando to New York and then all through the evening with Kardashian.
"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," Joiner said in a statement included in the post.
The post also clarified that Kardashian, who shed 16 pounds to don the gown, did not pay the museum to wear the dress — nor did the museum pay Kardashian. "Rather, Kardashian made a charitable donation to two charities in the greater Orlando area on behalf of the company," said the post.
Ripley's intends to continue displaying the dress "in as-is condition" at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Hollywood through fall 2022.