Marilyn Monroe stamps accidentally used picture of drag impersonator

Nick Duffy January 24, 2017
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A New York artist has threatened to sue an African nation over a commemorative Marilyn Monroe stamp.

The Central African Republic has a contract with stamp agency Stamperija, which produced stamps featuring a range of famous people including the late Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe.

But New York artist Jimmy James was shocked to discover one of the stamps, issued in 2014, is actually based on a famous picture of him impersonating Marilyn.

The photo of ‘Marilyn’ on the stamp is actually from a 1991 advert that James took part in for the brand L.A. Eyeworks.

The artist is now threatening legal action if he is not compensated.

James’ attorney Mark Jay Heller told the New York Post: “Although the recognition and inclusion of [James] in this collection of stamps is appreciated… the publisher has not only failed and omitted to secure [consent] but has also failed to compensate him.

“Hopefully, this discriminatory conduct will be atoned for and redressed by immediately compensating Jimmy James in response to our legal demand seeking reasonable remuneration.”

The stamp appears to have been produced by stamp agency Stamperija under a contract with the nation. The agency has attempted to remove the picture of the stamps from their website, but PinkNews was able to obtain an archived copy.
Marilyn Monroe stamps accidentally used picture of drag impersonator

It’s not the first time such a mix-up has been made.

Jimmy James explained to HuffPo last year: “I remember threats of lawsuits from the lawyers of the Marilyn Monroe estate over the L.A. Eyeworks ad I did; I was devastated by that. The iconic image had to be stricken from the records and hidden away so that no one would ever see it… twenty two years later due to the Internet, the image was set free.

“Now it’s probably one of the most mistaken identity photos that people think is Marilyn herself.

“People are getting tattoos of it thinking it’s Marilyn – but it’s me! Kinda funny, but kinda not. That era [of impersonating Marilyn] is over for me.”

More: drag, Law, lawsuit, Marilyn Monroe, stamp, US

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