This gift could be a “fake” – believe it or not.
Kim Kardashian rocked generations of fans when she walked the Met Gala red carpet in one of Marilyn Monroe’s most iconic looks.
The dress was on loan from Ripley’s Believe it Or Not! Museum in Orlando, Fla., which also reportedly surprised the 41-year-old reality TV star with what is said to be a lock of the legendary bombshell’s platinum blonde hair – just before she was serenaded by President John F. Kennedy in Madison Square Garden a serenade brought 1962 birthday.
However, Monroe historian Scott Fortner claims to have debunked parts of Ripley’s story and may have the receipts to prove it.
“News Alert: Marilyn Monroe Hair gifted to Kardashian by Ripley’s is fake,” Fortner said on Instagram. On Friday, the collector reshared Ripley’s clip of Kardashian accepting her gift, followed by a screenshot from the museum’s website and what Fortner described as a photo of a 1962 hair salon receipt hair-loom’s origins questioned.
According to his website TheMarilynMonroeCollection.com, Fortner is said to own the world’s largest private collection of Monroe’s belongings and archives, where he also published a blog post calling Kardashian’s Monroe lock a “fake.”
In a statement to The Post, Ripley clarified her description of the lock of hair granted to Kardashian, as well as a “second, separate” lock of hair only on display in her Met Gala dressing room — neither of which can be positively linked to JFK’s birthday .
According to Ripley’s first description, “just before her performance at Madison Square Garden, the curl was cut off by her hairstylist, Robert Champion,” as she sang the politician’s famous “Happy Birthday.”
The museum notes that the lock of the starlet’s signature blonde bob “was authenticated by John Reznikoff, one of the most respected and trusted experts in the field of hair collecting.”
The museum now claims that both locks — the one pictured in her video with Kardashian and the one pictured in her dressing room on their website — are authentic. However, they have conceded that they cannot prove that the lock, which originally belonged to Champion, was taken prior to the MSG show.
“The hair that was given to Kim was given to Robert Champion by Marilyn Monroe. This clipping has been authenticated by John Reznikoff, one of the most respected and trusted experts in the field of hair collecting. It was given to Kim at Ripley’s Orlando headquarters on April 23, 2022 — not on the night of the Met Gala. A second, different cutout was displayed in Kim’s Met Gala dressing room on May 2, 2022,” Ripley explained in her correction to The Post.
“The article on Ripleys.com describing the pattern displayed in Kim’s dressing room has been amended,” they said, presenting the 2006 credentials of their hair expert, Reznikoff.
Fortner had claimed that Hairstylist Champion never touched Monroe’s hair that infamous night.
“Paul Fraser Collectibles sold the hair in 2019,” he explained in the caption of his post. “Her description for the ticket: ‘Just hours before her performance, Monroe visited her personal hairstylist, Robert Champion, at the Coiffures Americana Beauty Salon, located in the Bergdorf Goodman luxury department store on Fifth Avenue.’ ”
He continued, “One might assume that the hair that was given to KK was part of that amount of hair that was cut by Robert Champion ‘just before her MSG appearance.’ “
News Flash: Robert Champion did not cut and style Marilyn’s hair for the JFK Gala. It was actually the only “Mr. Kenneth’ (Kenneth Battelle) who had the honor,” Fortner testified on social media.
“Batelle is responsible for Marilyn’s famous hairdo that night, as documented by a receipt from Lilly Dache’s beauty salon… The May 25, 1962 receipt lists a ‘hairdress’ and references May 18th and 19th, 1962. The May 19th was the date of the Kennedy Gala. The bottom of the receipt says Kenneth Services at home Fri + Saturday. Marilyn paid $150 for the service,” the expert explained.
Reznikoff and Fortner did not respond to the Post’s request for comment.