Now, the popular retailer is responding to the singer's claims that they "stole her name, likeness, and other intellectual property to promote their brands for free."
In a statement to TODAY Style, Forever 21 addressed the lawsuit and the $10 million Grande is seeking: “Forever 21 does not comment on pending litigation as per company policy. That said, while we dispute the allegations, we are huge supporters of Ariana Grande and have worked with her licensing company over the past two years. We are hopeful that we will find a mutually agreeable resolution and can continue to work together in the future."
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According to court documents, Forever 21 approached the pop singer about a possible endorsement deal centered around social media marketing in December 2018. Negotiations between Grande's team and the retailer "never came to fruition because the amounts that Forever 21 offered to pay for the right to use Ms. Grande’s name and likeness were insufficient for an artist of her stature."
As it turns out, a single Instagram post from Grande is worth upward of six figures and a more extensive endorsement deal or marketing campaign can earn much more.
The lawsuit alleges that when negotiations fell through, Forever 21 hired a look-alike model for the social media campaign and dressed her in clothing/hairstyles that resemble Grande.
The model also allegedly struck a signature Grande pose in the campaign.
"The resemblance is uncanny and Forever 21's intent was clear: to suggest to the viewing public that Ms. Grande endorsed Forever 21, its products, and was affiliated with Forever 21," the document reads.
In addition, Grande claims Forever 21 played her song "7 Rings" in the background of the post.
"Rather than pay for that right as the law requires, Defendants simply stole it by launching a misleading campaign across its website and social media platforms primarily in January and February 2019," the complaint reads. "The campaign capitalized on the concurrent success of Ms. Grande’s album Thank U, Next by publishing 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."
When Grande came across the campaign, her team promptly asked Forever 21 to remove it. The lawsuit alleges Forever 21 "misappropriated and profited from Ms. Grande's influence and star-power for approximately 14 weeks."
TODAY Style reached out to Grande's lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli at O'Melveny, for comment but has not heard back.