Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is coming to Kim Kardashian’s rescue.
Earlier this week, photos surfaced supposedly showing Marilyn Monroe’s iconic “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress before and after Kim K wore it at the Met Gala in May. The snaps showed some crystals missing from the gown along with some other visible damage, causing a social media frenzy from people who were already mad Ripley’s Believe It or Not! let the reality star wear the dress.
Now, Ripley’s is attempting to set the record straight, defending Kim Kardashian and their decision to loan her the dress by insisting she didn’t actually damage the garment.
In a statement posted to its website, Ripley’s says one thing they “can say with confidence” is that Kim’s walk up the Met Gala stairs “did not cause damage to Marilyn Monroe’s famed ‘Happy Birthday’ dress from 1962.”
Kardashian only wore the dress for a a few minutes, using it to make her entrance at the Met Gala red carpet before changing into a replica of the gown for the rest of the evening.
“I’m extremely respectful to the dress and what it means to American history,” Kardashian told Vogue last month. “I would never want to sit in it or eat in it or have any risk of any damage to it and I won’t be wearing the kind of body makeup I usually do.”
Having exchanged several hands over the years, Ripley’s got the dress at an auction in 2016 for $4.8 million. According to the museum, the wear and tear the dress suffered over 50-plus years was detailed in a 2017 report, including “a number of the seams are pulled and worn” and “puckering at the back by the hooks and eyes.”
“Kim Kardashian wearing the ‘Happy Birthday’ dress has been hotly contested,” the statement continues, “but the fact remains that she did not, in any way, damage the garment in the short amount of time it was worn at the Met Gala.”