Kim Kardashian addressed the Marilyn Monroe dress scandal for the first time Tuesday — insisting she didn’t have it on long enough to cause any damage.
Appearing on the “Today” show, the 41-year-old reality TV star recalled with a smile that it was “such a process” to get into the iconic “Happy Birthday” dress, with handlers from Ripley’s Believe It or Not! wearing gloves to protect it while dressing her.
“I showed up to the red carpet in a robe and slippers and I put the dress on at the bottom of the carpet, went up the stairs — I probably had it on for three minutes, four minutes,” Kardashian told the NBC morning show..
“And then I changed right at the top of the steps,” she said, insisting rumors that it got damaged were simply not true.
She said Ripley’s — which has already denied the rumors — “worked together so well” with her to ensure the treasured dress survived.
“There were handlers in gloves that put it on me,” she said with a smile.
She said that she was extra careful with Monroe’s dress because “I respect her, I understand how much this dress means to American history,” she said.
“With the theme being American, I thought, ‘What is more American than Marilyn Monroe singing happy birthday to the President of the United States?’”
Kardashian also fought back against criticism that she lost 16 pounds to be able to wear the iconic garment.
“I looked at it like a role, and I really wanted to wear this dress. It was really important to me,” she said.
That desire also “taught me a lot about my lifestyle and my health” as she dropped the weight, she said.
“Since then, afterward, I continued to eat really healthily — I’m down 21 pounds now,” she said.
“I’m not trying to lose any more weight, but I have more energy than ever,” she said, noting how she had cut out sugar and junk food. “I just completely changed my lifestyle,” she said.
In fact, Kardashian said there was only one scandal from the night — that so many people admitted online that they had no idea who Monroe was.
“That was the most shocking thing to me,” she said of the tragic actress, who died of an overdose in 1962, aged just 36.
“And that’s why I was so happy to at least have that opportunity to … share this moment so that it could live on,” she said.
While it appeared to be the first time Kardashian directly spoke about the dress scandal, Ripley’s earlier insisted that the Hulu reality star “did not, in any way, damage the garment in the short amount of time it was worn at the Met Gala.”
“From the bottom of the Met steps, where Kim got into the dress, to the top where it was returned, the dress was in the same condition it started in,” noted Ripley’s VP of Publishing and Licensing, Amanda Joiner, who remained with the dress the day of the Met Gala during transport from Orlando, Fla., to New York.