Who Is the Girl in the Old Navy Ad, Anyway?

She's Done More Than Get a Retailer Sued by Kim Kardashian

By Published on .

By now you've probably heard that the latest celebrity waging a legal war against a big brand is uberdiva Kim Kardashian. (If you hadn't, here's TMZ's post on the matter today.)

Apparently Kardashian is suing Old Navy for as much as $20 million because the star of its latest ad campaign supposedly bears too much of a likeness to her.

So who is the alleged lookalike? Her name is Melissa Molinaro, and she's a singer, actress and dancer who was born in Toronto and raised near Detroit, where her father and brother work in the automotive industry. And she also just happens to be dating Kardashian's ex, football player Reggie Bush.

What's interesting about the lawsuit is that the media has actually fueled what sounds to be at the crux of Kardashian's argument, with many news outlets pointing out how much she bears a resemblance to Molinaro as soon as the Old Navy ads came on air.

While Molinaro is by no means a front-page (or phone hack-worthy) celebrity, she actually has other acting creds and has worked with many brands before as a promotional model. Among them are Microsoft, Nivea, Del Taco and Skechers -- which Kardashian also endorses.

An aspiring singer, her current video, a heavily auto-tuned number called "Dance Floor," has nearly 350,000 views. A prior one -- released as she was just coming off her turn as a contestant on the CW show "Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll" -- called "I Believed" had 650,000 views on YouTube. She's also in the new movie "Honey 2" and was a guest on the TV show "How I Met Your Mother ."

Asked to comment on the suit, her lawyer, Daniel K. Stuart, of Manatt Phelps & Phillips, told Ad Age : "I haven't seen it, and the first I've heard of it is the story on TMZ."

Ms. Molinaro has had a few choice words about the rumored lawsuit today over Twitter. She retweeted the TMZ story and in a pointed dig at Kardashian wrote, "Some people think it's all about them it's sad."

Here's a commercial she did for Del Taco last year, in which she plays a seductress in an ad that mocks late-night spots featuring 1-900 numbers.

What do you think -- dead ringer for Kim or not? And the lawsuit -- dead in the water or not?

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