lawsuits | Jun 28, 2024 |
Kim Kardashian moves to dismiss Judd Foundation lawsuit

The legal saga of Kim Kardashian and her designers, Tommy and Kathleen Clements, versus the Judd Foundation just keeps going. The latest development: On Thursday, Kardashian’s attorneys moved to dismiss the suit.

The lawsuit, filed in a California court in March, details a back-and-forth between the Judd Foundation, Clements Design and Kardashian that stretches back to August 2022, when the reality star posted a tour of her Skkn by Kim office to Instagram. In the since-removed video, Kardashian stops at a minimalist plywood table and says, “If you guys are furniture people, and I’ve gotten really into furniture lately, these Donald Judd tables are amazing.” The tables, as it turned out, were not authentic Judds, and the late artist’s foundation eventually went to court.

In the new filing, Kardashian’s attorneys call the suit “a ploy designed to maximize publicity” and draw on her fame. They point out that, of the 11 legal complaints filed by the Judd Foundation, only one of them actually pertains to her conduct—the rest are based on the actions of her designers. The claim that does call out their client specifically hinges on her “false endorsement” of the alleged fake tables and chairs, a claim her legal defense writes is “intellectually dishonest, unprecedented, and implausible.”

The document goes on to state that Kardashian simply misspoke when describing the plywood pieces that have caused such a public skirmish, and argues that the video is noncommercial speech—making the idea that she was in some way advertising the furniture, in their view, moot.

“By Plaintiff’s rationale, somebody giving an Instagram video tour of their home who mistakenly refers to a décor detail—whether the name of the builder, a window brand, or even a sofa designer (e.g. their “Restoration Hardware” couch)—could be sued privately for ‘false endorsement,’” the filing reads. “It’s a ridiculous proposition to argue that describing a purchased item by name (erroneously or not) might be construed as an ‘endorsement’ by the maker of that item.”

The Clements filed a separate motion to dismiss the case last month. In their motion, the AD100 firm ​​accuses the Judd Foundation of attempting to “stifle competition in the market, prevent other designers from creating their own wooden tables and claim minimalism as its own.” Like Kardashian, the firm also accuses Judd’s estate of suing for publicity.

The judge overseeing the case, Maame Ewusi-Mensah Frimpong, is scheduled to revisit the Clements’ motion in October; Kardashian, meanwhile, has a court date in August.

In response to Kardashian’s motion, Megan K. Bannigan of Debevoise & Plimpton, the attorney representing the Judd Foundation, said: “Rather than acknowledging her mistake and disposing of the fake furniture, Ms. Kardashian has decided to prolong this dispute and distract from the issues by filing a motion to dismiss. Although the Judd Foundation would have preferred to resolve this privately without resorting to litigation, it will continue to do what is required to protect the legacy of Mr. Judd and Donald Judd furniture. Judd Foundation is confident that it will prevail over Ms. Kardashian’s motion.”

This story has been updated to include a statement from the Judd Foundation.

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