This August is the 60th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death, but fascination remains high in the Golden Age of Hollywood actress. Ana de Armas will play her in a biopic that director Andrew Dominik called the “NC-17 version of the Marilyn Monroe story” (he also compared Blonde to if “Citizen Kane and Raging Bull had a baby daughter,” whatever that means), while Kim Kardashian walked the Met Gala red carpet in the same dress that Monroe wore when she seductively sang “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy in 1962. Kardashian was also gifted a lock of the Some Like It Hot star’s hair by kitsch emporium Ripley’s Believe It or Not — except it might not be Monroe’s hair.
Great, next you’re going to tell me the Ripley’s tour guide is fake, too.
“News Alert: Marilyn Monroe Hair Gifted to Kardashian by Ripley’s is Fake. Who styled Marilyn’s hair for the JFK gala: Robert Champion or Kenneth Battelle?” Monroe historian Scott Fortner wrote on Instagram (via People). He continued:
A photo of some blonde hair in a frame with the caption reads, It’s no doubt that one of Marilyn’s most defining physical feature (sic) was her bombshell platinum-blonde hair. This lock was clipped by her hairstylist Robert Champion just prior to her Madison Square Garden performance. Paul Fraser Collectibles sold the hair in 2019. Their description for the lot: “Just hours before her performance, Monroe visited her personal hairdresser Robert Champion at the Coiffures Americana Beauty Salon, housed within the luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue.”
However, Fortner notes, “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.” (He literally has the receipt.)
Kardashian said she was going to do “crazy voodoo sh*t” with her Ripley’s gift, but what if Fortner is correct? What if the hair didn’t belong to Monroe? The Kardashians have been blamed for everything that’s wrong with America — if an ancient evil is about to be unlocked, they’ll be to blame for everything that’s wrong with the world.