Kim Kardashian, Old Navy Settle: Kopy-Kim Banned from Ads?

By Robyn Hagan Cain on August 30, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The Kim Kardashian Old Navy lawsuit has been settled through mediation, reports The Hollywood Reporter. Sadly, the most famous Kardashian won't be duking it out with the budget retailer in court over her right of publicity.

But could this settlement prompt an entirely new lawsuit?

Kardashian filed a right of publicity lawsuit against Old Navy and its parent company, Gap, Inc., in a Los Angeles federal court last year after Old Navy aired advertisement that featured Melissa Molinaro. The media described Molinaro as a Kim Kardashian look-alike. (You can view the ad here and judge for yourself whether Molinaro could be easily mistaken for Kardashian.)

Kardashian's lawsuit claimed that Old Navy's advertising campaign was intentionally designed to dupe the public into believing the reality TV diva was appearing in the commercials, according to the Los Angeles Times. That was problematic for Kim, who also has a wallet-friendly clothing line at Sears. Damages in the suit were estimated between $15 million and $20 million, and Kim was seeking an order banning Old Navy from using Molinaro in future ads.

So Kim Kardashian is still famous, and now she's probably even richer. But what about Molinaro?

An attorney for Old Navy said at a January hearing that Molinaro was famous in her own right and her appearance in the ad wasn't intended to draw similarities to the reality TV starlet, the New York Daily News reports.

Melissa Molinaro is a working actress. Entries on her IMDB profile date back to 2002.

Kim Kardashian is a working ... person. Entries on her IMDB profile date back to 2003 (as Paris Hilton's friend on The Simple Life) and more notably 2007 (when her sex tape hit the market.)

Let's assume arguendo that Kim plans to sue every company that tries to use Molinaro in a commercial. Kardashian could effectively put an end to Molinaro's commercial acting and endorsement opportunities, just because she's the more famous of the two.

Is that fair to Melissa Molinaro? More importantly, could she sue Kim Kardashian?

Related Resources:

Copied to clipboard