'Deliverance' actor Ned Beatty dies at 83
Kim Kardashian denies claims she bought 'looted' Roman statue
The documents, filed Friday in California, allege that the reality star and mogul was involved in the illegal smuggling of the statue, which was seized in 2016 at the Port of Long Beach near Los Angeles. A customs form for the shipment, which contained 40 "Antiques & Modern Furniture & Decorations Objects" valued at $745,882, named Kardashian West's trust as the importer.
Investigations into the statue identified it as a "Fragment of Myron's Samian Athena, Limestone, Roman, 1st - 2nd century A.D." that was "looted, smuggled and illegally exported from Italy."
An offshoot of Italy's Ministry of Cultural Heritage requested that the statue be returned in accordance with a bilateral agreement between Rome and Washington, the documents note.
Kardashian West is denying any involvement in importing the statue, according to CNN. Her spokesperson said she "never purchased this piece" and that "this is the first that she has learned of its existence."
The spokesperson told CNN they think the purchase was forged, as Kardashian West never received it and was unaware of the transaction.
"We believe that it may have been purchased using her name without authorization and because it was never received [and] she was unaware of the transaction. We encourage an investigation and hope that it gets returned to the rightful owners," the spokesperson said.
The court documents reportedly note that one of the item's shippers was art dealer and interior designer Axel Vervoordt, who has worked with Kardashian West before.
A representative for Vervoordt told CNN they were just notified of the U.S. government's forfeiture of the statue, claiming, "There is no evidence that this piece was illegally imported from Italy. Our client, as well as our gallery and the gallery from whom we've bought the piece have always acted in good faith when dealing with the work."