Kardashians vs. Blac Chyna: Could a famous family’s name hurt them at trial? The brand experts intervene


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Fresh off the peak of the premiere of their new Hulu series, Kim and Khloe Kardashian and Kris and Kylie Jenner went to court last week for the start of their legal war against Blac ChynaRob Kardashian’s former fiancée who is suing her family for millions.

The case stems from a $100 million lawsuit Chyna filed against family members in 2017. Chyna, a model and former reality TV star whose legal name is Angela White, is suing the ‘Keeping Up’ matriarch. with the Kardashians” and her daughters Kim, Khloe and Kylie for the shortfall from the 2016 spin-off ending after one season, and the resulting loss of celebrity income.

Last Monday’s jury selection saw potential jurors weigh in on the trial, with some saying bluntly that they had “a very negative perception of the parties”. Fox News Digital spoke to brand experts to see if the famous Kardashian name could hurt them in their $100 million war with Chyna.

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Evan Nierman, CEO of global crisis PR agency Red Banyan, said the Kardashian name is “almost unmissable in America today.”

In this artist’s sketch of the courtroom, former reality TV star Blac Chyna sits in court in Los Angeles, Tuesday, April 19, 2022. A jury was seated in the trial between the model and former reality star Blac Chyna to the Kardashian family, which she alleges is destroying her television career.
(Bill Robles via AP)

“It’s highly likely that jurors will come to trial with preconceived ideas about the Kardashian name. I don’t think that’s going to hurt them in this particular trial. Jurors who are inclined to love the family will see their perspective while that those who find the Kardashian clan distasteful will likely find Chyna equally, if not more off-putting,” said Nierman, also author of “Crisis Averted: PR Strategies to Protect Your Reputation and the Bottom Line.”

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Eric Schiffer, president of Reputation Management Consultants and top media and branding expert, said it appears Chyna’s strategy from the start “has been to bleed and try to damage the Kardashians’ reputation. “.

“There is a risk that the Kardashians’ famous last name will hurt them with some members of the jury who believe that the Kardashians’ star power and influence could have easily and effectively been used to trash the reality TV career of Chyna,” Schiffer added.

Kardashian attorney Michael G. Rhodes suggested at the start of the trial that Chyna sued to improve her own stardom.

“Is this trial a publicity stunt?” He asked.

“No, not at all,” Chyna said.

“But your career benefits from the attention you get because of this lawsuit,” Rhodes said.

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Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Khloe Kardashian and Kris Jenner are expected to testify at trial.

Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Khloe Kardashian and Kris Jenner are expected to testify at trial.
(Charley Gallay/Getty Images for the Kardashian/Jenner Apps)

“No, not at all,” she replied, “it’s actually very negative.”

Schiffer, however, begs to differ. The brand expert said he thought the trial “would only benefit Blac Chyna because of the attention”.

“Attention in entertainment is beneficial, so any time you can compete against a brand that’s on a higher level, what it’s doing, it’s going to serve it,” Schiffer said.

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Aside from their TV fame, the Kardashian-Jenner clan have become known for their record-breaking successes in entrepreneurship. Kylie runs her own makeup empire, Kylie Cosmetics, and was named the youngest self-made billionaire by Forbes in 2019. In 2021, Kim Kardashian was officially declared a billionaire by the same outlet thanks to her KKW Beauty and SKIMS lines. Khloe Kardashian is the co-founder of popular clothing brand Good American, and a big part of Kris’ job is managing all of her kids and their businesses outside of the ones she built on her own.

Some watching from the outside may believe the Kardashians have a lot more to lose. Nierman says he doesn’t expect the Kardashians’ name to “suffer any lasting damage from this lawsuit.”

Former couple Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian attend the Sky Beach Club at Tropicana Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Former couple Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian attend the Sky Beach Club at Tropicana Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(Gabe Ginsberg)

“Reality television thrives on drama, and the financial fortunes the Kardashians have collectively and independently amassed are inextricably bound up with controversy and an unparalleled ability to ignite rabid public interest in their every move. Their fans will remain. with them, and their enemies will no doubt criticize, while fanning the flames of their fame,” Nierman told Fox News Digital.

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In this artist's sketch of the courtroom, Khloe Kardashian, from left, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and Kris Jenner sit in court in Los Angeles, Tuesday, April 19, 2022.

In this artist’s sketch of the courtroom, Khloe Kardashian, from left, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and Kris Jenner sit in court in Los Angeles, Tuesday, April 19, 2022.
(AP)

Like Schiffer, Nierman said Chyna’s star power would only multiply.

“The lawsuit is a media opportunity for Chyna and getting some buzz around her, which could help her get some extra work down the road. So basically, even if she loses her lawsuit, she could end up winning other manners,” said the expert.

In opening statements earlier this week, Chyna’s attorney, Lynne Ciani, said the evidence included text messages from some of the defendants about Chyna. Schiffer said that while posting personal messages “could be debilitating to family members depending on the context,” he doesn’t suspect any serious reputational damage to the reality TV family.

“There could be damage if additional facts could come to light. Right now, the way the facts have been presented, you won’t see any dumpster fires on their markings,” Schiffer analyzed. “If anything, the defendants’ individual marks may be reinforced due to this family coming together to fight for another family member.”

Nierman reminds the public how strong the Kardashian brand already is.

“The Kardashian brand is too powerful to be derailed by speaking out in this lawsuit. Expect to hear all kinds of salacious accusations spun in court, but don’t expect it to affect their bottom line,” added Nierman.

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Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna share one child, a daughter named Dream.

Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna share one child, a daughter named Dream.
(Greg Doherty)

“Shakespeare’s assertion that ‘what happened is prologue’ applies to the Kardashians in this case. Scandals first helped propel the Kardashians to global prominence, so they didn’t not to worry too much about the reappearance of negative incidents. In fact, widespread talk about them in the media, whatever the context, will probably end up helping them, ”continued the expert.

Although Chyna could be described as the underdog in this legal fight, Nierman said “it’s hard to imagine the general public looking at Chyna with sympathy.”

“She, like her rivals the Kardashians, has built a brand that relies on public exposure and being above it. Average people in America aren’t usually inclined to rally behind someone claiming to be entitled to a salary of 100 million dollars,” the expert said. .

All four members of the Kardashian-Jenner family are set to testify in court, along with ‘Rob & Chyna’ producer Ryan Seacrest. Chyna’s testimony was the first to come.

Chyna and Rob began dating in 2016, before going their separate ways in the summer of 2017. In July 2017, Rob took to Instagram to accuse Chyna of cheating in a series of graphic and expletive posts. Rob also claimed that the mother of his child was an alcoholic and drug addict, making her an unsuitable mother for their daughter, Dream, now 5.

Blac Chyna accuses Kim and Khloe Kardashian and Kris and Kylie Jenner of destroying her reality TV career.

Blac Chyna accuses Kim and Khloe Kardashian and Kris and Kylie Jenner of destroying her reality TV career.
(AP | Getty)

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“You will never see Dream again unless you quit alcohol, drugs, cocaine and X and E,” he wrote. “When was the last time you realized that your daughter [has] I’ve been with me instead of that madhouse where you run men in and out[?] I have never been so despised by a woman in my life. A woman I just paid 16K in rent and a Ferrari I just bought and a lambo and 400K in jewelry. Slim.”

During this social media outburst, Rob accused Chyna of sleeping with another man “in the bed we sleep in with our baby under the roof that I pay for.”

Chyna has since filed a revenge porn lawsuit against her former fiancé, which will go to trial after the defamation case. The model claims that in 2017, Rob took to his social media platforms to share images of her bare breasts, genitals and buttocks.

Chyna’s lawsuit against the Kardashians is expected to last between a week and 10 days. Regardless of the outcome, Schiffer said the legal battle is an opportunity for the public to see the Kardashians come together again as a family.

Blac Chyna is suing the Kardashian-Jenner family members for $100 million.

Blac Chyna is suing the Kardashian-Jenner family members for $100 million.
(Prince Williams/Wireimage)

“The Kardashians are in many ways stronger than ever, and their ability to continue to transform their brand in ways that are presented to audiences as modern archetypes of what is attractive and what family looks like has served them well. [the trial] can just make the Kardashians even more endearing because it fits the script that the family will stand up and fight together for justice,” he said.

Julius Young of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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