Ariana Grande files lawsuit against Forever 21 seeking at least $10M

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Ariana Grande performs onstage during Ariana Grande Sweetener World Tour at Staples Center on May 07, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for AG)

Ariana Grande has filed a lawsuit against Forever 21 and Riley Rose for “unauthorized use” of her “name, image, likeness and music” to promote their brands and elicit sales.

According to court documents obtained by ABC News, the Los Angeles-based superstar is seeking “damages in an amount to be proven at trial, but in no event less than $10 million.”

The retailer apparently sought the Grammy-winning singer’s endorsement “in or around early 2019,” according to the lawsuit, “which she explicitly declined due to Forever 21’s unwillingness to pay the fair market value for a celebrity of Ms. Grande’s stature.”

PHOTO: Shoppers walk past a branch of Forever 21 store in London, Aug. 9, 2019.
Shoppers walk past a branch of Forever 21 store in London, Aug. 9, 2019.

The document went on to cite use of Grande’s images and music in the brand’s social media posts on Instagram in January and February 2019.

“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,” the lawsuit stated.

The lawsuit included images of the brand’s campaign, compared with photos of Grande, as evidence of their claim.

In February, the singer became the first artist to be Nos. 1, 2 and 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 simultaneously since The Beatles did it in 1964, according to Billboard. All 12 of the songs from the “Thank U, Next” album landed on the Billboard Hot 100 list.

Grande sells a variety of items on her website with “Thank U, Next” branding, including hats, socks, sweatshirts and more.

PHOTO: Signage on a storefront announces the imminent arrival of a Riley Rose beauty and make up store in Herald Square in New York, June 28, 2019.
Signage on a storefront announces the imminent arrival of a Riley Rose beauty and make up store in Herald Square in New York, June 28, 2019.more +

The suit, which also named Riley Rose, the beauty company started by the daughters of Forever 21’s founders, as a defendant, claimed that both brands “fearing irrelevance in a rapidly evolving market with increasing competition,” allegedly stole Grande’s “intellectual property to promote their brands for free.”

According to the lawsuit, while the singer has used her success and star power to “expand her career beyond the music industry through various commercial” deals, she is “selective of the brands” she partners with “and frequently turns down endorsement proposals.”

The privately-owned clothing retailer that sells mostly to women ages 14 to 24 has approximately 815 stores in 57 countries around the world.

Forever 21 and Riley Rose did not immediately return ABC News’ request for comment.

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