For a person that is known her changing looks and style, the “vampire facial” that Kim Kardashian had back in 2013 continued to haunt her until the start of this year. In 2019, she filed a lawsuit related to the procedure claiming that a doctor based in Alabama was promoting the cosmetic procedure using her name and likeness. As we near the end of 2020, let’s take a look back at the resolution of this multi-year saga in early 2020.
As part of the TV show “Kourtney & Kim Take Miami” back in 2013, Kim Kardashian got a “vampire facial” in one episode. After she had the procedure, Kardashian posted a selfie on Instagram where she was covered in blood. A ‘vampire facial” is a PRP (platelet-rich-plasma) procedure that works by using the blood of a patient to trick the body into a healing and repair mode. The blood of the patient is extracted so it can undergo a spinning process that separates the plasma. The liquid PRP is injected back into the body with a micro-needle. This non-surgical procedure utilizes the ability of the body to heal itself through the use of growth factors and stem cells in the blood that can rejuvenate the skin.
A “vampire facial” can also be performed at the same time as dermal fillers since they often contain hyaluronic acid which is a substance that is naturally found in the human body. The filler works to smooth wrinkles while the PRP improves the overall healthy glow of the skin.
In addition to injecting the PRP into the body, it can also be rubbed onto the surface of the skin. This can be accomplished through micro-channels created when other technologies such as laser treatments or microneedling are used.
In 2018, Kim said she regretted getting the facial and would not do it again. She called it a “super uncomfortable experience” because she was pregnant at the time so she could not have any numbing cream or painkillers.
In December 2019, Kim Kardashian decided to sue a doctor in Alabama for using her name and likeness to promote his “vampire facial” services.
In a complaint filed by her attorneys in a California court, she sued Charles Runels and the Cellular Medicine Association for copyright infringement, infringement of registered mark, false association, violation of the right of publicity and California common law trademark infringement.
While Runels did not perform the “vampire facial” on Kim, he did claim to be the owner of the trademark for the procedure.
The complaint claimed that the doctor was spending a good amount of his time “touting the various cosmetic procedures he has purported to trademark” and this included the “vampire facial”. The complaint also included screenshots of the website and promotional materials used by Runels that featured the name and image of Kim Kardashian. A screenshot of an image from his LinkedIn profile that featured Kim was also part of the complaint.
The complaint also stated that Kim and Kourtney did have the procedure but they did not license their name to be used in connection with the treatment. It also said that “Ms. Kardashian was horrified to discover that her name and likeness were plastered all over Runels’ website (www.vampirefacial.com).”
Kim’s legal team said Kardashian had reached out to Runels and his trademark attorney to demand that he stop using her name and image without her consent. The legal team stated that his reply was to ask Kin for monetary compensation and he also refused to remove her photos from his website.
Finally, the lawyers said that the complaint was not about money. It was about “Ms. Kardashian’s choice whether or not to commercially endorse another party’s good and services.”
Runels replied by saying that Kardashian “publicly did a procedure using the name that I own.” He went on to add that Kim “did her usual and very brilliant strategies to make sure that her activities went viral. She was not trying to hide the fact she had the procedure, she advertised it. I did not ask her to either have the procedure done or to advertise it.” He also claimed that he had removed all of the photos in question from his website. Runels hoped that Kim would forgive him for any grief or distress he caused her.
In February of this year, it was revealed that she had settled her lawsuit with Dr. Runels. The doctor agreed to an injunction that prevents him from using the name or likeness of Kim Kardashian to sell his product. In addition, Runels must completely disassociate himself, as well as his “vampire facial” product from Kim Kardashian. If he fails to continue to disassociate himself with Kim Kardashian, she can file another lawsuit against him to address the issue.