Ariana Grande's argument against Forever 21 is ‘legitimate’: Judge Napolitano

The hit song "7 Rings," in which Grammy winner Ariana Grande enthuses about the problem-solving capabilities of money, is at the root of a $10 million dilemma.

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That's the amount the pop star is seeking from fashion retailer Forever 21 over claims that it used a “look-alike” model in ads after she rejected the store's proposal for a promotional deal last year. According to Judge Andrew Napolitano, Grande is making a ‘very legitimate’ argument.

According to the lawsuit, the brand posted misleading photos using a model whose hairstyle, accessories and imagery resembled Grande's look in her “7 Rings” music video.

Photo shows example of what Ariana Grande claims is Forever 21's unauthorized use of her brand, September 3, 2019. (source: lawsuit)

Another example of what Ariana Grande claims is Forever 21's unauthorized use of her brand, September 3, 2019. (source: lawsuit)

Napolitano said it’s unlawful to use Grande’s image to sell something without paying her.

“If this case is not settled, a jury in Los Angeles will be looking at the same pictures we're now looking at and saying, 'Aren't they confusingly similar?,” he told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo. “The law is that Forever 21 or anybody can't just take Ariana Grande’s image and duplicate it or nearly duplicate it in order to sell something without getting a licensing fee.”

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According to the complaint, Grande “became the most-followed woman on Instagram in the world,” with more than 160 million followers. She has an additional 64 million on Twitter.

Forever 21,  known for relatively inexpensive clothing and accessories, is preparing for a potential Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, according to Bloomberg.