Lock of Marilyn Monroe’s hair given to Kim Kardashian was 'fake’, expert claims

A Marilyn Monroe expert believes the lock of hair gifted to Kim Kardashian of the Some Like It Hot star was fake… and they appear to have proof.

At this year’s Met Gala, Kim was – unsurprisingly – one of the biggest talking points of the fashion extravaganza after donning the iconic gown previously worn by Marilyn when she sang Happy Birthday to President John F Kennedy in 1962.

Having also worn another dress from the late Gentlemen Prefer Blondes starlet for the afterparty, Kim was given a surprise gift from Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! museum, when she was handed a silver box containing ‘an actual lock of Marilyn’s iconic platinum hair’.

The museum, who lent the first Marilyn dress to Kim, originally said in a post published on its website that the lock of hair was cut off by her hairstylist Robert Champion shortly before her performance at Madison Square Garden for President Kennedy’s birthday.

However, Scott Fortner, a Marilyn historian who runs the site The Marilyn Monroe Collection, debunked this statement on Instagram, explaining that it was Kenneth Battelle who cut and styled the cinema icon’s hair for the event.

Titling the Instagram post: ‘News Alert: Marilyn Monroe Hair Gifted to Kardashian by Ripley’s is Fake,’ he wrote: ‘News Flash: Robert Champion did not cut and style Marilyn’s hair for the JFK gala. It was actually the one and only “Mr. Kenneth” (Kenneth Battelle) who had the honors.

‘Battelle is responsible for Marilyn’s famous hairstyle from that night, as documented by a receipt from Lilly Dache Beauty Salon (see photo). The receipt, dated May 25, 1962 list a “Hair Dress” and references May 18 and 19, 1962.

‘May 19th was the date of the Kennedy gala. The bottom the receipt reads, “Kenneth Services at home Fri + Saturday.” Marilyn paid $150.00 for the service.’

He added: ‘So, I think we have to now wonder: Just who’s hair is she actually sleeping with?’, before thanking the Instagram account @classichollywoodwomen for pointing out ‘this super juicy tidbit’.


In a follow-up Instagram post, Scott revealed that the description of the lock of Marilyn’s hair on Ripley’s website had been edited to omit mention of the hairstylist Robert.

The hairstylist is still mentioned in a different section in the caption for a piece of tissue adorned with Marilyn’s lipstick, which says: ‘ Marilyn Monroe sealed her last public performance with a kiss.

‘Before she hit the stage at Madison Square Garden in 1962 to sing “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy, Robert Champion, New York City hairstylist to the stars, refreshed her Marilyn’s lipstick and then blotted with a tissue, imprinting her lips forever.’

In a statement sent to People, a representative for Ripley’s stressed that the lock of hair given to Kim was authentic, explaining that it wasn’t the same lock of Marilyn’s hair displayed in the reality star’s dressing room.

‘Ripley’s exhibit collection contains six different samples of Marilyn Monroe’s hair — all authenticated and truly Marilyn’s,’ they said.

‘The hair gifted to Kim was given by Marilyn Monroe to Robert Champion. This clipping was authenticated by John Reznikoff, one of the most respected and trusted experts in the field of hair collecting.’

In another statement shared on Instagram, Ripley’s wrote: ‘It was gifted to Kim at Ripley’s Orlando HQ on April 23, 2022 – not the night of the Met Gala. A second, different clipping was exhibited in Kim’s Met Gala dressing room on May 2, 2022.’

The museum also attached a screenshot of a letter by hair collector John ‘detailing his opinion on the hair’s credibility’.

Metro.co.uk has contacted representatives for Kim Kardashian and Ripley’s for comment.

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