Last month, Ariana Grande sued clothing chain Forever 21 for $10 million, claiming the company infringed on her copyrights and trademarks after they couldn’t reach an endorsement deal. But now, the company has informed the Problem singer that the lawsuit has been put on pause because they just filed for bankruptcy.
Forever 21 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on September 29th, and Grande is going to have to wait for the company to restructure and for some decisions to be made in their bankruptcy case.
— The Fashion Law (@TheFashionLaw) September 7, 2019
In her filing, Grande claimed that Forever 21 attempted to sign her for an endorsement deal in 2018, but after a few weeks of negotiations, they were unable to reach an agreement. The Thank U, Next singer’s lawyers explained that the company wasn’t willing to pay “the fair market value for a celebrity of Ms. Grande’s stature.”
“Fearing irrelevance in a rapidly evolving market with increasing competition from other fast fashion brands, rather than pay Ms. Grande, Forever 21 and Riley Rose, the beauty company started by the daughters of Forever 21’s founders (collectively, “Defendants”), instead stole her name, likeness, and other intellectual property to promote their brands for free,” reads the suit.
According to The Blast, since they weren’t able to make a deal with Grande, Forever 21 ended up publishing 30 unauthorized pics and videos “misappropriating” her name and likeness, and the singer immediately noticed that the images in Forever 21’s new ad campaign looked just like her. Grande believes this was an attempt by the company to make it appear that she was endorsing the brand.
Grande’s lawyers called it a “misleading campaign” that was trying to capitalize on the success of Grande’s latest album, as Forever 21 copied some of her looks from her 7 Rings music video, and she also says they hired a model for their campaign who looks just like her.
In late September, Grande paused the lawsuit against the retail giant so they could have some time to come up with a settlement offer. They agreed to a court date of November 8th, and in the meantime they also agreed to confidential mediation.
However, now that the retailer is out of cash, Ariana Grande is going to have to wait even longer. She is suing Forever 21 for $10.6 million, which breaks down to $10 million in damages and $600K for using her song without permission.