‘Southern Charm’ Star Naomie Olindo Accused Of Plagiarism By Charleston Local

Southern Charm star Naomie Olindo is in the hot seat after a local artist in Charleston accused her of plagiarism. An artist named Nick Rypkema believes Olindo copied his contemporary style when she painted a mural on the side of Saltwater Cowboys in Mount Pleasant. Olindo’s painting featured similar color schemes and elements — such as a lighthouse and palmetto trees — as Rypkema’s art in Charleston.

'Southern Charm' star Naomie Olindo
Naomie Olindo | Photo by Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Naomie Olindo admits to using Rypkema’s work as inspiration

In light of the plagiarism accusations, Olindo openly admitted to using Rypkema’s work as inspiration. The reality star says that the restaurant manager gave her a photo of one of Rypkema’s murals and wanted something similar for Saltwater Cowboys. Olindo designed her mural directly off the original piece and does not believe she did anything wrong because she was not paid for the job.

“I very openly used inspiration from his mural, having no idea who painted it or that it would ever even be an issue,” Naomie Olindo shared.

According to Post and Courier, Olindo never claimed that the mural was an original piece and never tried to pass it off as her own. She also argued that artists inspire each other all the time and that her version was not meant to be an exact copy of Rypkema’s art. The owners of Saltwater Cowboys have yet to comment on the drama.

Rypkema responds to the plagiarism claims

Although Naomie Olindo does not see anything wrong with what she did, Rypkema has a completely different perspective on the situation. Not only does he believe Olindo committed plagiarism, but he also feels like he should be compensated for her actions.

Rypkema says that he was paid $10,000 to paint murals on the sides of buildings in Charleston and that people should not be able to copy his work without paying a fee. He was also disappointed that Naomie Olindo did not give him any credit when she debuted the mural on social media.

Olindo and Rypkema have spoken to each other on social media about the situation. Rypkema says that the Southern Charm star offered to give him credit on social media, but he turned down the offer because it was not “fair compensation” for copying his style.

He also claims that Olindo slammed him for only having a handful of followers on social media and threatened to take him to court if he didn’t quiet down.

What does Naomie Olindo think about the controversy?

Olindo recently reiterated that she did not mean to hurt anyone by painting the mural or upset another artist. In light of the drama, the reality star chose to paint over the mural and plans to do something completely different in its place.

She has not revealed what she will paint on the side of the building, but she did say that her close friends will help her out. Olindo also praised local artists for their hard work and said she was sorry about how everything played out.

It is unclear what will happen now that the controversial mural has been painted over. The head of the Redux Contemporary Art Center in Charleston, who hired Rypkema to paint a mural on their building, hooked him up with a lawyer. But after Olindo painted over the mural, Rypkema says that he will not take her to court for copying his art.

The drama isn’t over for Olindo

While Naomie Olindo can breathe a sigh of relief for the mural debacle, the drama on Southern Charm is just heating up. In the latest development, Olindo responded to what Cameran Eubanks said about her boyfriend, Metul Shah. As fans will recall, Eubanks referred to Shah as “exotic,” which offended many viewers. Olindo took to Instagram over the weekend and came to Eubanks defense.

The Southern Charm star revealed that none of the parties involved were offended by the remarks, which she does not consider offensive. She also added that Eubanks adores Shah and did not mean to insult him in any way.

Olindo and Shah have been dating for a little over a year. Their romance comes after Shah’s breakup with Craig Conover, whom she dated for three years. The pair separated in the fall of 2017.

New episodes of Southern Charm air Wednesday nights on Bravo.