Meryl Streep Slams Karl Lagerfeld Over Dress 'Controversy'

Oscar-nominated Meryl Streep is firing back at Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld.

On the eve of the 2017 Oscars, where Streep is nominated for her performance in “Florence Foster Jenkins,” (the 20th Oscar nom of her career), the actress has released a statement in response to comments Lagerfeld made to Women’s Wear Daily.

“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.”

In an article, published on the WWD on Thursday, Feb. 23, Lagerfeld said that work was already underway on a modified gown from the famed fashion house’s new Haute Couture collection when Meryl’s team pulled the plug.

“I made a sketch, and we started to make the dress,” Lagerfeld told WWD.

The designer went on to claim that days later, a phone call came in from a member of Streep’s camp. “Don’t continue the dress. We found somebody who will pay us,” Lagerfeld alleges the messenger stated. Lagerfeld added, “A genius actress, but cheapness also, no?”

Leslee Dart, Meryl Streep’s publicist, emphatically denied the story, telling Access Hollywood on Friday, “The WWD story is completely untrue… Ms. Streep would never wear anything in exchange for payment. This can be corroborated by Nancy Walsh at Chanel.”

On Friday, Marcy Medina, West Coast Editor for Women’s Wear Daily told Access Hollywood, “We stand by our story. I mean we go by what the designer told us. As far as payment is concerned, that’s something that goes on between the actresses team and fashion houses.”

Meryl’s statement is a response to Lagerfeld’s attempt to clarify his earlier comments, as posted on WWD early Saturday: “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.”

— Keith Freshwater