John Reznikoff Authenticated Marilyn Monroe Hair from Robert Champion Verified Fake Via DNA Testing

Much has been said in recent weeks about the Marilyn Monroe hair that Ripley’s gifted to Kim Kardashian as part of their lending her Marilyn Monroe’s dress, which they purchased at Julien’s Auctions in 2016 for over $4.8 million dollars. Marilyn wore the gown on May 19, 1962 at Madison Square Garden as she sang “Happy Birthday Mr. President” to John F. Kennedy.

Ripley’s placed a number of Marilyn items that they own in Kim K.’s Met Gala dressing room, including a lock of hair. On their website they showed a photo of the hair in her dressing room, claiming that it had been cut from Marilyn’s head the night of the JFK gala by Robert Champion, and the hair had been authenticated by John Reznikoff.

On May 6th, 2022, I broke the news, which went viral, that the hair gifted to Kardashian was fake because Robert Champion actually did not cut Marilyn’s hair for the JFK gala. Kenneth Battelle did, which was verified via the actual receipt for his services (dated May 18 and 19, 1962).

With the news of the fake hair, Ripley’s backpedaled and issued a statement that basically said, “We didn’t give Kim hair from THAT lock of Robert Champion Marilyn Monroe hair that was authenticated by John Reznikoff (from the JFK gala because we now know THAT hair is fake since it was Kenneth Battelle who styled her hair for the gala), but instead we gave her hair from A DIFFERENT lock of Robert Champion Marilyn Monroe hair we own that was also authenticated by John Reznikoff. (See my full article on Ripley’s backpedaling and why John Reznikoff authenticated Marilyn Monroe hair being a problem here.)

Ripley’s even went so far as to EDIT their original caption to the photo on their website of the hair that was displayed in Kim Kardashian’s dressing room. They removed references to the JFK gala, Robert Champion and John Reznikoff completely! See before and after photos below. 

A recent social media post and online article from TMZ states that my claim that the hair Ripley’s gifted to Kim K. (which Ripley’s says came from Robert Champion and was authenticated by John Reznikoff) is fake has been “debunked.” In fact, the exact opposite has been confirmed.

IN THE LATEST TWIST TO THE STORY, DNA testing has verified that Marilyn Monroe hair from Robert Champion that was authenticated by John Reznikoff is indeed fake.

In the French documentary, “Marilyn, Femme d’Aujourd’hui,” (Marilyn, Woman of Today, and also referred to as “Her Final Secret”), director François Pomès sets out to determine if Stanley C. Gifford is in fact Marilyn Monroe’s biological father via DNA testing of Marilyn’s hair compared to the DNA of Gifford’s biological granddaughter. Pomès acquired eight strands of Marilyn Monroe’s hair from John Reznikoff, all of which were authenticated and verified real by Reznikoff. Five strands were attributed to Robert Champion (allegedly having been cut from Marilyn’s head in preparation for the JFK gala) and three strands that were originally from the man who embalmed Marilyn after her death, Allan Abbott. As part of the process, Abbott saved several locks of Marilyn’s hair.

Rather unsurprisingly, the hair attributed to Robert Champion resulted in a negative DNA test, verifying unequivocally that he did not cut and style Marilyn’s hair for the JFK gala. We knew this already however, just due to the existence of a bill from Kenneth Battelle for services rendered on May 18 and 19, 1962 (the 19th being the date of the JFK gala).

There are a few other facts that are certainly relative to this issue, outlined below:

  • Robert Champion himself never claimed to have cut Marilyn’s hair for the JFK gala. In his own biography he writes about styling the hair of his friend Maria Callas for the gala, but not Marilyn’s. He claims to have touched up Marilyn’s makeup, but it’s reported that Marie Irvine (the makeup artist who actually did do Marilyn’s makeup for the gala) was at the event. If she was there, why would Champion have “touched her up?” Champion wrote about Marilyn in two chapters in his book: Chapter 36 and Chapter 37.

  • Champion claims in his biography to have cut and styled Marilyn’s hair, “when she wanted a special look for an appearance.” However, unlike the many other hairstylists that Marilyn frequented, there is no documented record of Champion ever having cut or styled Marilyn’s hair. There are no invoices, bills or receipts, nor are there any checks from Marilyn’s account paid to Champion or to his salon for services.
  • Champion claims to have had a lock of Marilyn’s hair, which was sold at auction (and purchased by Reznikoff) in 2005. The hair was saved in a pink envelope with the words, “Maralyn (sic) Monroe’s Hair, 1962,” written on it.

If THIS is the lock of hair gifted to Kim Kardashian, note that THIS TOO ISN’T REAL HAIR. Two very interesting points of note: (1) Marilyn’s hair was not a honey blonde color in 1962. Starting in 1960, Marilyn’s hair was a much lighter blonde and eventually went nearly platinum by 1962. She even referred to it as “pillowcase white.” This hair sold at auction, attributed to the year 1962, couldn’t possibly be Marilyn’s hair. Her hair was never that color in 1962. See photos below. And (2), why exactly is Marilyn’s name spelled incorrectly on the envelope? One would think that a hairdresser would know how to accurately spell the name of a client and friend.

March 10, 1960

 

February 1, 1961

 

June, 1962

  • Marilyn’s personal 1962 phone books, which I happen to own (view here), are a treasure trove of information as to who was close to Marilyn. There are references to several other hairdressers, but no reference to Robert Champion or his salan in either phonebook.

Importantly, the hair that was acquired by Abbott actually did confirm that Stanley C. Gifford is Marilyn Monroe’s father. It’s now verified.

So, what’s the bottom line here?

  1. The JFK Gala hair that was AUTHENTICATED and VERIFIED by John Reznikoff as being Marilyn Monroe’s actually wasn’t, proven through DNA testing.
  2. The alleged Marilyn Monroe hair purchased by Reznikoff at auction in 2005 couldn’t possibly be Marilyn’s as it was never that color of blonde in 1962.
  3. There is no evidence whatsoever that Robert Champion ever cut Marilyn Monroe’s hair.

The bottom line is this…the Marilyn Monroe hair that Ripley’s gifted Kim Kardashian, which according to them was verified by Reznikoff, is in fact fake. Whether the hair they gave her came from the JFK gala collection of hair or the hair Reznifill acquired at auction in 2005, it is fake.