CLAIM: Kardashian Fashion Empire Built By Sweatshops
According to a blistering Star cover, the Kardashians are mired in an ugly “sweatshop scandal” involving their fashion merchandise.
The magazine quotes Charles Kernaghan, who serves as executive director of the watchdog group, the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights, as saying the Kardashians are “in bed with some pretty bad people” and use factories in a region notorious for “slave labor” sweatshops. Whoa! Slight problem: Kernaghan himself claims he never specifically tied the Kardashians to labor abuses, and that there’s no proof they’ve personally done anything wrong.
Kernaghan even told TMZ his comments about factory conditions and practices in China’s Guangdong region — not necessarily their factories — were taken out of context to connect the Kardashians to “slave labor” tactics. In fact, Kernaghan says he advised Star to “wait” before publishing its allegations, because the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights had not (yet) discovered any abuses among the manufacturers employed by the Kardashians.
Meanwhile, one of the Kardashian businesses specifically mentioned in the Star piece – ShoeDazzle – is hitting back at the Star story. Robert Shapiro, a ShoeDazzle co-founder, tells Gossip Cop, “We were stunned to hear those false allegations.” He notes that the company’s chief operating officer, Deborah Benton, has “personally” visited the factories, and that other personnel have ensured that they’re dealing with manufacturing partners “with the highest standards.”
Shapiro emphasizes that Star failed to find any evidence whatsoever, instead relying on out-of-context quotes from Kernaghan. “We’ll be demanding a retraction, a correction,” he tells Gossip Cop, warning that if Star doesn’t take back the claims, ShoeDazzle will “absolutely” pursue all available “legal remedies.”