Hailey Baldwin accused of plagiarism for failing to attribute Instagram quote


One of the constant refrains about the crop of nepotism-models and Insta-models is “why are they a thing?” I feel that deep in my soul. I do not understand why Cara Delevigne is a thing. I do not understand why Kendall Jenner is a thing. And I really don’t understand why Hailey Baldwin is a thing. Much like the other Instamodels, Hailey is the daughter of someone “famous” (her father is Stephen Baldwin), and Hailey does manage to get some work as a model, although she’s probably never going to be as big as the other Instamodels. Anyway, Hailey is in trouble. Last month, in the midst of some petty Instagram drama involving some friends (Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber), Hailey posted this Instagram:


She has since deleted it. Now, I don’t think anyone really believed that Hailey wrote that, but she used the quote without attribution, and now she’s in trouble. The author of the quote is a writer by the name of Melissa Molomo. Molomo is now pissed off at Hailey.

Hailey Baldwin has been plagiarizing her soulful wisdom, claims an author who is threatening the model with legal action. Long Island author Melissa Molomo, who actually wrote the uncredited quote, has fired off a cease and desist letter — exclusively obtained by Page Six — demanding that Baldwin apologize and stop lifting her work. In the letter, Molomo’s attorney, Z Zoltan Stein, writes, “In copying and using Ms. Molomo’s work without permission, you have taken credit and caused confusion as to whom the original author of this work is,” adding that the IMG model — who is the daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin — could be liable for damages up to $150,000.

The letter also demands that Baldwin “make a social media post apologizing for stealing Ms. Molomo’s content and fraudulently passing it off as your own.” The text is from Molomo’s book, “Say What’s Real,” but was excerpted on Molomo’s social-media accounts and signed #MelissaMolomo and @MissSayWhatsReal. But Baldwin — who is currently walking the runways at London fashion week — seems to have removed the mention of the book or its author before posting the missive to her own 7.5 million Instagram followers. Reps for Baldwin didn’t get back to us.

[From Page Six]

From what little I understand about plagiarism and social media, I think Hailey would have been just fine if she posted the quote… with attribution. If she had posted it and tagged Melissa Molomo or just said “quote by Melissa Molomo,” none of this would have happened. But because Hailey just left the quote up on Instagram without attribution and “let” people think that she wrote it (???), that’s the problem. My problem is that I still doubt that most people believed Hailey wrote it. I’ve read interviews with these Instamodels. They are some of the dumbest kids in the world. For now, Molomo is just sending a cease-and-desist letter, but a lawsuit could be coming. I sort of hope Molomo does sue! But as I said, Hailey took the IG down.


Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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20 Responses to “Hailey Baldwin accused of plagiarism for failing to attribute Instagram quote”

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  1. Dani says:

    What? I post quotes all the time without the name of who wrote it. Sometimes I see it elsewhere without a name. Is it because I’m not a semi famous child of a crazy Baldwin?

    • swak says:

      While it is not okay to do that, you do not have millions of people following you on instagram. Proper credit should always be given.

    • Dominique says:

      It’s really not okay to do that even though it seems harmless, Dani. Imagine if it was a sketch, drawing or design. Would you feel the same way? People’s words are just as much of an invention as a sculpture or a picture. You should always give credit where it is due.

  2. detritus says:

    Well I hope she learned a lesson on taking credit for other peoples creativity.

    Top photo is very Guess Girl. She is beautiful enough for print but there is not much there otherwise. I’ll take her over a Hadid but Kendall over her. and Cara over all of them.

  3. Erinn says:

    If this is the case, half the posts on instagram are open to law suits.

  4. Bridget says:

    Serious question. Does this girl even have a high school education? She may not even understand that you’re supposed to cite someone (obviously common sense, but I don’t expect the Insta girls to have that either)

  5. Pepper says:

    I highly doubt she nabbed it from the author’s social media. Once you put those things out there hundreds of IG accounts that only post quotes pick them up, and they don’t attribute unless the name means something to people (for instance Marilyn Monroe, MLK, Ghandi, Jefferson, Muhammed Ali, Terry Pratchett etc.).

    She’s just grabbed a random quote she thought was fitting from one of these accounts and reposted it, as hundreds of thousands of people do on IG everyday.

    She clearly wasn’t trying to claim credit, if you want to do that on IG you use the caption to claim it or put your name under the quote, or you write it on paper and take a picture of that. No one would have thought she wrote it, and she could safely assume that would be the case.

    • Georgia says:

      Exactly! Seems to me the writer has found a way to get some press for herself. I mean, I had never heard about her before… not that I am going to remember her name anyway… or whoever that Baldwin girl is tbh.

      • Trixie says:

        Seriously? We’re now blaming writers for “attention seeking” when they ask people to give them credit for their work?

      • Dominique says:

        You guys are scaring me….it is purposefully acceptable to want credit for something you created. A simple hashtag with her name would have sufficed. Thank you for getting it, Trixie.

  6. Colette says:

    This is ridiculous.
    Is she sending the same letter to everyone who has posted her work on instagram or Twitter?

  7. Neelyo says:

    She is so bland looking.

  8. Val says:

    I always make an effort to tag and hashtag whoever I’m reposting (or wherever I’m reposting from), just so that they know that their work is appreciated, and if anyone wants to see more they know where to go.
    If someone thinks something I posed is mine, I correct them… otherwise it’s just dishonest.

    I don’t get why she didn’t just edit Melissa’s name into the description box? Problem solved.

  9. Leah says:

    They all do that, harry styles posted a photo without the photographers permission. And photographer called him out.. Lack of respect for artists work and copyright is odd in people who call themselves creatives such as a musician.

  10. Adtiu says:

    You can post and not attribute as long as Hailey doesn’t gain, i.e. money from it and it does,not harm the author.
    The cease and desist letter is standard protocol.

  11. Denise says:

    I only see Stephen Baldwin’s goofy face in hers. I can’t take her seriously as a model. However she came upon the quote, she learned a lesson.

  12. Dominique says:

    There are a lot of you commenting where you’re defending plagiarism just because of the frequency in which it happens on Insta. This is really troubling. It is never okay, ever!