Why Is Jeffree Star Being Sued By Anna Nicole Smith’s Estate?

As one of the highest-paid YouTubers in the platform’s history, controversial beauty guru Jeffree Star is no stranger to conflicts and accusations. Since Star founded Jeffree Star Cosmetics in 2014, the 34-year-old has become almost as well-known for his drama with other YouTubers and media personalities as he has for his cutting-edge makeup creations.

But recently, The Blast revealed that Star’s latest troubles went beyond mere YouTube drama. Star was sued by the estate of Anna Nicole Smith, an iconic Playboy model, actress, and sex symbol who tragically passed away in 2007 at the age of 39. Smith’s estate accused Star of using the TV personality’s likeness and name to sell several popular Jeffree Star Cosmetics products.

Anna Nicole Smith
Anna Nicole Smith | JIM RUYMEN/AFP via Getty Images

Star was recently sued by Smith’s estate

Smith was best known for her iconic, vivacious signature look, which included cleavage-baring feminine dresses, curve-hugging outfits, blue eyeshadow, blonde curls piled high – and, of course, thick, bright lipstick in an orange-tinged, strawberry-red hue. According to The Blast, it was the latter that seemed to inspire Star’s lipstick and lip liner shades titled “Anna Nicole.”

The late model’s estate filed a lawsuit against Star in Los Angeles Superior Court for allegedly using Smith’s “name, image, and likeness to advertise for sale and sell its different commercial products.” The suit noted the “substantial commercial value” of using Smith’s likeness.

According to the plaintiffs, Star had no right to use Smith’s name, signature look, or images of her likeness in his makeup products or on his packaging materials. The documents also noted that, not only did the beauty YouTuber not have permission to do so, but he also didn’t offer any compensation to Smith’s estate for the sale of his Smith-inspired products.

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The products in question are no longer on Star’s site

The products referenced by Smith’s estate included two shades of Star’s well-known velour liquid lipsticks and velour lip liner, both called “Anna Nicole.” Star’s matte, long-lasting velour liquid lipsticks are known for their bold colors and high pigmentation, making them an obvious product to pair with Smith’s larger-than-life, ultra-sexy persona.

The Anna Nicole shade is no longer visible on Jeffree Star Cosmetics’ official website. (It’s possible that it was replaced with the Strawberry Crush shade, which appears similar.) However, it can still be found on other beauty suppliers’ sites, where the Anna Nicole shade is described as “a fiery, bright orange red with a matte finish.”

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The lawsuit requested unspecified damages

The plaintiffs involved in Smith’s estate sought unspecified damages for Star’s alleged unauthorized use of the model’s name and appearance. If the YouTuber loses the suit, he could have to turn over his profits from any sales of the velour liquid lipsticks or lip liner in question, according to ET Canada.

The documents also mention the popularity of Star’s (allegedly) Smith-inspired products – with the velour liquid lipsticks selling out many times so far and described as a “cult classic” in marketing materials.

Star hasn’t yet publicly responded to the suit. Meanwhile, amid the controversy, the entrepreneur dropped a brand-new, all-green “Blood Money” palette on November 7.