Kim Kardashian Sues Old Navy Over Ad Look-Alike

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on July 20, 2011 1:10 PM

Kim Kardashian and Old Navy aren't exactly BFF these days. Not after Old Navy launched an advertisement which allegedly uses a model that looks strikingly similar to Kim. Kardashian has now sued the clothing company, alleging $20 million in damages.

Old Navy's ad campaign actually uses a model named Melissa Molinaro. And, it seems that not only do Molinaro and Kardashian have a similar "look," but they also share a similar dating history: Molinaro has reportedly dated Kardashian's ex, Reggie Bush.

Kardashian's Old Navy lawsuit doesn't name Molinaro, however. She is more concerned about the use of her image and likeness in the Super C-U-T-E Old Navy ads, reports E! Online.

Old Navy will likely have a difficult time refuting the fact that they were unaware that their model looked a bit similar to Kardashian. A tweet from Old Navy's account in February acknowledged that CBS News reported that their model looked like Kim, E! Online reports.

A celebrity's image, or likeness, is usually considered something similar to a property right. Celebrities - and individuals - have the right to use their image, such as their name or likeness, in a way that they want to. This is considered a "right of publicity" where celebrity image is involved.

So, is Kardashian's "likeness" appropriated in the Old Navy ad? Maybe it is, though viewers might want to judge for themselves:

There does seem to be a resemblance.

And, Kim's suit isn't the first of its kind against so-called look-alikes or fakes. Lindsay Lohan launched a lawsuit against E*Trade for using a "milkaholic" baby named "Lindsay" in one of their commercials. The case was later settled out of court.

Though, Kim Kardashian's Old Navy suit appears that it might have a bit more merit than Lohan's "milkaholic" suit, considering the resemblance (that Old Navy even acknowledged) between Molinaro and Kim. Kardashian, who sued in federal court, might have another reason to be litigious: a source says she is upset at the possible business ramifications considering she has a deal with Sears, reports E! Online.

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