UPDATE: In a statement released on their IG page on May 9, Ripley’s states they gave Kim Kardashian some of Marilyn Monroe’s hair from a “different lot of hair” that they own, and it wasn’t from the same lot of hair that was in Kim’s dressing room (and THAT hair in the dressing room had provenance stating it was from Champion after having cut Marilyn’s hair the night of the JFK gala, which we now know isn’t true).
In their statement, Ripley’s says the hair Kim Kardashian received was from a different lock of hair…that Champion received directly from Marilyn Monroe.
Both locks of hair Ripley’s mentions were directly attributed to Robert Champion, and both were authenticated by John Reznikoff. It should be noted that Reznikoff authenticated the hair that was said to have come from Marilyn’s head the night of the JFK gala, which we now know actually didn’t happen.
I’ve broken down all of this information in a subsequent blog article here.
Whether Kardashian recieved hair believed to have been cut from Marilyn’s head on May 19, 1962 by Robert Champion OR associated with Champion in any other way, there is ZERO evidence that Robert Champion ever took scissors to Marilyn’s hair. There are no invoices, receipts, or checks written to Champion as recorded in Marilyn’s personal files. I happen to own Marilyn’s complete record of financial transaction statements reflecting the activities in her bank accounts at City National Bank and Irving Trust Company from January 1, 1962 to August 3, 1962. Out of 99 pages in total detailing monthly withholds, receipts and disbursements broken down by type of expense, there is not one mention of paying Robert Champion for services in 1962. There are, however, mentions of many other hairdressers and makeup artists.
Yet another astonishing occurrence from KK “borrowing” the famous “Happy Birthday Mr. President” dress from Ripley’s was their giving her some of Marilyn Monroe’s hair. (Click here)
The Ripley’s website has a post titled “Exclusive Look Inside Kim Kardashian’s Met Gala Dressing Room.” Many Marilyn artifacts owned by Ripley’s can be seen, including Marilyn’s makeup case from the 1999 Christie’s auction. 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 currently lists a large lock of Marilyn’s hair on their website. Their description for the lot:
On the night of May 19, 1962, Marilyn Monroe gave one of the most famous performances of her career, during a celebration for President John F. Kennedy’s 45th birthday at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Monroe sang a sultry version of ‘Happy Birthday Mr President’ whilst wearing a virtually see-through dress, fuelling rumours of a secret affair with the President which have endured to this day.
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.
After he had cut and styled her hair, Monroe asked Champion to attend the event with her, so that he could touch up her hair and make-up just before she went on-stage.
Upon her arrival at Madison Square Garden, Monroe was presented with her outfit for the evening. Designed by Jean Louis, the highly revealing, flesh-coloured dress was covered in thousands of rhinestones, and was so tight Monroe had to be sewn into it, delaying her stage entrance.
Robert Champion recalled those moments before her performance:
“As we stood for a long time backstage at Madison Square Garden, she was very nervous about her appearance. I refreshed her lipcolor, powdered her nose, checked her blusher, and then she was announced again ‘Miss Marilyn Monroe, better late than never.’ In her very tight gown, she had difficulty ascending the make-shift stairs and I assisted her to the top where the spotlight hit her. The next is history.”
Again, the Ripley’s Marilyn Monroe hair has the same provenance, as having been cut from Marilyn’s head on May 19, 1962, in preparation for her performance at the JFK gala.
News Flash: Robert 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.
The receipt, dated May 25, 1962 list a “Hair Dress” and references May 18 and 19, 1962. May 19th was the date of the Kennedy gala. The bottom the receipt reads, “Kenneth Services at home Fri + Saturday.” Marilyn paid $150.00 for the service.
It’s not logical that Marilyn would have had her hair done twice on May 19th, 1962. There is documented evidence that Kenneth Battelle did her hair that night. Therefore, the lock of hair given to Kim Kardashian by Ripley’s is FAKE.
The hairdressers Marilyn actually did frequent, such as Kenneth Battelle, Sydney Guilaroff, Pearl Porterfield, Agnes Flanagan, Peter Leonardi, George Masters, Gladys Rasmussen, and even the very first person to dye Marilyn’s hair blonde, Sylvia Barnhart, is very well documented, either via invoices, bills or payments to them for services, photo evidence of them actually doing her hair and/or as listed in her personal phone books. Champion is not listed in either of two Marilyn Monroe personal phone books, which I own.
Robert Champion isn’t mentioned as having been a hairdresser for Marilyn Monroe in any documentary or book, (other than his own).
Any and all Marilyn Monroe hair stated as having come from Robert Champion is believed to be fake as there is no evidence that she ever went to him for is services.
Kenneth Battelle, the man who actually did cut and style Marilyn’s hair for the JFK gala is listed in both of Marilyn Monroe’s 1962 phonebooks that I own.
He was so famous that like Cher and Madonna, he was often referred to by one name: Kenneth. He was the hairdresser to the stars, also having Lucille Ball and Jackie Kennedy as clients.
They met in 1958. Marilyn often had him over to her home to cut, treat and style her hair. He accompanied her to Chicago in 1959 on her press tour for “Some Like it Hot.”
He did her hair for her release from Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in March of 1961.
He visited Marilyn in her East 57th street apartment on May 18th and May 19th, 1962, in preparation for the JFK gala.
The last time he did her hair was in June of 1962, for Bert Stern’s Vogue shoot.
In 2002, Kenneth described Marilyn to Susan Dominum of New York magazine as “a wisp we were lucky to have known.”