Kim Kardashian wore Marilyn Monroe’s dress — but did she really get Marilyn’s hair?

Three angles show a woman with upswept blond hair posing in a gold gown and white fur jacket
Kim Kardashian attends the 2022 Met Gala in a dress last worn by Marilyn Monroe.
(Evan Agostini / Associated Press)
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Ripley’s Believe It or Not! said it gave Kim Kardashian a famous lock of Marilyn Monroe’s hair, but should you believe it? Probably not.

It turns out — according to a social media post from a Monroe historian — the lock of hair may not be as authentic as Monroe’s Jean Louis gown, which Kardashian wore upon arrival at last Monday’s 2022 Met Gala.

Just a few days before wearing Monroe’s iconic “Happy Birthday Mr. President” dress to the gala (before changing into a replica inside the event, and then switching into another notable Monroe dress for an afterparty), Kardashian was given a lock of hair by Ripley’s — an occasion the museum posted on Instagram.


Kardashian was ecstatic to receive the hair clipping, telling Ripley’s, “This is so special to me. ... This is sleeping with me every night.”

Conservators and fashion historians were baffled when Kim Kardashian wore Marilyn Monroe’s ‘Happy Birthday, Mr. President’ gown to the 2022 Met Gala.

May 3, 2022

Ripley’s also published an “exclusive inside look” into Kardashian’s Met Gala dressing room, which was filled with Monroe and John F. Kennedy memorabilia, including a lock of hair. Ripley’s claimed it was cut from Monroe‘s head by hairstylist Robert Champion before her Madison Square Garden performance for Kennedy.

The museum said the lock of hair had been “authenticated by John Reznikoff, one of the most respected and trusted experts in the field of hair collecting.”

However, on Thursday, Monroe historian and collector Scott Fortner had some news for the rest of us: The hair is actually fake, he said.

Crediting Instagram account @classichollywoodwomen for the scoop, Fortner explained — with photographic evidence — that the lock of hair Ripley’s claimed was cut and styled by Champion was actually the work of hairstylist Kenneth Battelle.

On Friday, the beauty mogul and reality TV star posted on Instagram that she donned another historic Monroe gown — from when the fallen star attended the 1962 Golden Globes — to a private celebration after Monday’s Met Gala.

May 6, 2022

Addressing the Ripley’s article, Fortner wrote on Instagram that “one could assume” the hair given to Kardashian was the same hair Ripley’s put on display in Kardashian’s dressing room — and with that in mind, Fortner denounced the authenticity of the lock of hair.


The post included a photo of a receipt from Lilly Daché Beauty Salon with Monroe’s name on it, referencing the dates May 18 and May 19, 1962 — May 19 being the day of Kennedy’s birthday celebration. The bottom of the receipt reads “Kenneth Services at home Fri + Saturday.”

“I think we have to now wonder,” Fortner wrote, “Just who’s [sic] hair is she actually sleeping with?”

Fortner followed up Friday with more photos of Battelle and Monroe to honor the work that the hairstylist did throughout his career with the actor.