After Karl Lagerfeld accused Meryl Streep of “cheapness” when it came to the Best Actress nominee’s gown for the Oscars—a statement that promptly escalated into rounds of statements from all parties involved, including Chanel—Streep clapped back on Saturday evening with her own fierce take on the matter, accusing Lagerfeld of defamation.
To fill you in: In a story published Thursday by Women’s Wear Daily, Lagerfeld claimed that, per Streep’s request, he had begun working on a Chanel gown for the actress to wear at Sunday’s Academy Awards. Then, he said he received a call from her team saying she’d opted instead for a gown she’d be paid to appear in. “A genius actress, but cheapness also, no?” he added.
Streep’s team responded that Lagerfeld’s account was a “completely untrue story,” adding that it is “against her personal ethics to be paid to wear a gown on the red carpet.”
Chanel also chimed in with a statement to The Hollywood Reporter saying: “Chanel engaged in conversations with Ms. Streep’s stylist to design a dress for her to wear to the Academy Awards, with the full understanding that she was considering options from other design houses. When informed by the stylist that Ms. Streep had chosen a dress by another designer there was no mention of the reason. Chanel wishes to express our continued and deep respect for Ms. Streep.”
Then, on Saturday—after the story had exploded—Lagerfeld clarified his earlier statement in a message sent to WWD and Streep’s representatives: “Chanel engaged in conversations with Ms. Streep’s stylist, on her request, to design a dress for her to wear to the Academy Awards. After an informal conversation, I misunderstood that Ms. Streep may have chosen another designer due to remuneration, which Ms. Streep’s team has confirmed is not the case. I regret this controversy and wish Ms. Streep well with her 20th Academy Award nomination.”
But Streep’s not willing to let the matter go just yet. On Saturday evening, she issued a powerful statement to E!, People and WWD (at least) that really kicked things up a notch.
“In reference to Mr. Lagerfeld’s ‘statement,’ there is no
‘controversy’: Karl Lagerfeld, a prominent designer, defamed me, my
stylist, and the illustrious designer whose dress I chose to wear, in
an important industry publication. That publication printed this
defamation, unchecked. Subsequently, the story was picked up globally,
and continues, globally, to overwhelm my appearance at the Oscars, on
the occasion of my record breaking 20th nomination, and to eclipse
this honor in the eyes of the media, my colleagues and the audience. I
do not take this lightly, and Mr. Lagerfeld’s generic ‘statement’ of
regret for this ‘controversy’ was not an apology. He lied, they
printed the lie, and I am still waiting.”
As she mentioned, Streep’s current Best Actress nomination for Florence Foster Jenkins is her 20th Academy Award nomination, more than any other actress has received—proof she’s fierce on and off the screen.