At the end of last week, Destiney Bleu, a designer to stars like Beyoncé, Serena Williams, and Lady Gaga, took to Twitter to accuse Khloé Kardashian of blatantly knocking off a number of her designs. She quote tweeted Khloé’s Good American promotional video, writing, “When someone buys 1 of everything on your site, has you make them custom @dbleudazzled work, never posts it or wears it, then copies it.”
The video in question features a number of bedazzled bodysuits that bear a strong resemblance to some of the pieces Bleu has created. The denim brand, however, was quick to respond to the allegations, first posting three images in a row on its Instagram account of Cher, Diana Ross, and Britney Spears all wearing sheer, glittery bodysuits, writing in the first caption, “Important to know your fashion history #nofrauds.” Followers of the account clearly weren’t buying it, however, filling up the comment section with Kim K’s emoji of choice, a snake. The company then released an official statement regarding Destiney Bleu which reads, “Under no circumstances did Good American or Khloé Kardashian infringe on another brand’s intellectual property and we are going through the proper legal channels to handle the situation.”
It seems that on Thursday the youngest Kardashian’s clothing company did in fact pursue the proper legal channels, sending Bleu a cease and desist letter for defamation of character, demanding that she stop making “false statements,” “make an appropriate corrective statement” and “that [Destiney’s] trolls stop attacking [Khloé Kardashian’s] social media channels.” And that evening, Bleu’s lawyers responded in kind, providing a 27-page legal document of literal receipts obtained by PEOPLE.
The document attempts to disprove Kardashian’s lawyers’ claims that she has “never heard [Destiney’s] name” and “never saw [her] samples” by providing not only a detailed timeline of their client’s interactions with Khloé’s assistant and then stylist Monica Rose but screenshots of all of their email exchanges back and forth as well as invoices for the pieces Bleu ultimately sold her, including a pair of customized underwear bedazzled with the name, “Tristan Thompson.”
According to Bleu the timeline of events goes as follows:
11/10/2016 – Alexa Okyle, Khloé Kardashian’s executive assistant, emails Destiney stating that Khloé discovered Destiney’s line and wanted to see a lookbook.
11/15/2016 – Khloé orders fishnet tights and a custom jersey.
12/05/2016 – Khloé orders an additional 12 items, for a total of $925, plus gives final details on the custom jersey ordered by Khloe on 11/15/2016.
12/09/2016 – Khloé’s assistant requests that the items all be sent directly to Khloé Kardashian’s house in Calabasas, provides Khloé’s address, and adds Destiney’s messenger to the gate list.
12/09/2016 – Khloé’s stylist, Monica Rose, emails Destiney asking to borrow black and nude body suits. [These are the same bodysuits as in the images above which Bleu alleges were later copied by Good American]
12/13/2016 – Khloé’s 11/15/2016 order messengered to Calabasas address. Soon after, Destiney receives an email stating that “Khloé loves it all.”
1/06/2017 – Destiney receives another email from Alexa, stating that “Khloé also loves these bras & panties, can we get these too.” The email was accompanied by photos from Destiney’s Instagram account, showing 16 more items that they wanted to purchase from Destiney for a total of $1560.
1/09/2017 – Destiney receives an email from Alexa, asking if they could keep the bodysuits that Monica Rose pulled because Khloé loves them. Destiney informs Alexa that she would loan the items if worn temporarily for appearances. If they were being kept, however, they needed to be paid for, as they are $700 items.
1/30/2017 – Destiney receives a request from Khloé to purchase a sample bra that Destiney had loaned them for custom sizing purposes.
3/27/2017 – Destiney sends Monica Rose an invoice for three body suits, two of which are those that were copied by Good American, for a total of $2100.
4/12/2017 – Destiney emails Khloé’s assistant regarding photographs Destiney saw of Khloé wearing a bodysuit extremely similar to on purchased from Destiney, at the video/photo shoot for the Good American campaign. Destiney received no reply.
5/18/2017 – Destiney receives an email from Jenna Baker, assistant designer at the “Kendall + Kylie” clothing line, wanting to purchase a nude body suit with nipple bursts. Ms. Baker attached a photo of one that Destiney had loaned her for a prior shoot.
Bleu’s lawyers conclude that a cease and desist letter isn’t even appropriate in this particular case, as they write, “even if Destiney’s accusations of copying were incorrect (and they are not), it would still not be defamation because Khloé Kardashian is a public figure and the standard that must be met for defamation of a public figure is actual malice. See Kaelin v. Globe Comm. Corp., 162 F.3d 1036, 1039 (9th Cir. 1998) (“A public figure in a defamation case cannot recover unless he proves by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant published the defamatory statement with actual malice, i.e., with knowledge that it was false….”). There is obviously no actual malice here, which would require that Destiney knew her accusations were false when she made them.”
The letter goes on to state, “Destiney has a Constitutionally-protected right to inform others that Khloé Kardashian has copied her designs. She will not silently abdicate that right in response to a frivolous, two-bit email from you threatening legal action. If Khloé wants to continue stealing designs from indie creators and mass produce them with no credit, then Khloé will rightly face judgment in the court of public opinion.
Also, we note that your public statement about this issue is carefully crafted to say that Khloé Kardashian did not ‘infringe on another brand’s intellectual property’. Of course, she didn’t – copying clothing and fashion is generally not intellectual property infringement. It is not illegal for Khloé to copy Destiney’s designs—it is just tacky, disrespectful, and in bad taste. There is also something deeply uncomfortable about someone with Khloé’s wealth and power appropriating designs and fashion directly from a black woman with a small business without crediting her, making cheap knockoffs, and then attempting to threaten her into silence. You should be ashamed.”
In response, Good American has released the following statement to PEOPLE:
“Ms Bleu’s claim that Good American and Khloé Kardashian copied or stole her designs is flagrantly false and little more than a cheap publicity stunt and an attempt by Ms Bleu to get her 15 minutes of fame. Ms. Bleu did not create the concept or design of a bodysuit with crystals – a fashion style that has been around for decades as evidenced by the fact that Cher has been wearing these styles for over 25 years. The Good American design team designed a range of eleven bodysuits and had never heard of Ms. Bleu or seen her designs.
The letter from her lawyer -sent to the press for no legitimate reason – is outrageous, defamatory and misleading in the extreme. Good American will absolutely not stand for anyone trying to damage its reputation and plans to deal with this through the proper legal channels.”