Kim Kardashian filed a lawsuit against, Old Navy, a low- priced clothing chain for using her look-alike, Melissa Molinaro, in their series of advertisements.
The reality show star sued Old Navy and its parent company, The Gap Inc., in a Los Angeles federal court alleging that the company deliberately infringed upon her public persona by deceiving people into thinking it was her in the advertisement.
TMZ reports that the lawsuit is asking for nearly $20 million in damages.
Kardashian has invested substantial time, energy, finances and entrepreneurial effort in developing her considerable professional and commercial achievements and success, as well as in developing her popularity, fame, and prominence in the public eye, the lawsuit states.
The celebrity has 8 million followers on Twitter and more than 5 million fans on Facebook. The advertisements, it is believed will serve in confusing her followers and take advantage of her immense following.
Kardashian's attorney, Gary Hecker said in a statement: Kim Kardashian is immediately recognizable, and is known for her look and style. Her identity and persona are valuable. When her intellectual property rights are violated, she intends to enforce them. Kim Kardashian has her own clothing store.
I've worked hard to support the products I'm personally involved with and that I believe in, Kardashian said in the release.
The video of the ad which is available on YouTube has been viewed by 2 million people. The commercial titled super C.U.T.E. began airing in February.
The look-alike, Melissa Molinaro, is an actress, dancer and singer. She was a competitor on the show 'Pussycat Dolls Present, The Search for the Next Doll' and 'Making the Band 3.' She has acted in the film, Honey 2.She has a recurring role on The Young and the Restless, and appearances in TV shows How I Met Your Mother Brothers, Grounded for Life, Rodney and Happy Family. She denies that she got the Old Navy campaign because she looks like Kim. She said in an interview, To me is extremely flattering, I mean she is a beautiful woman in her own right....and I'm flattered. That's an amazing compliment. She also said that the casting call for the ad was for a good dancer/actor.
Some are wondering why the reality star filed a lawsuit now as the campaign has been on air since February. Maybe because Melissa Molinaro is dating her ex-boyfriend Reggie Bush, is what some websites are reporting.
A spokesperson for Gap Inc. offered No comment.