There's a reason the media once wondered if Kat Von D was "the next Mel Gibson." Accusations of anti-Semitism have hounded the famed tattoo artist for more than a decade now. But is the 36-year-old really hateful toward Jewish individuals? Read on and judge for yourself…
In 2007, the then-Miami Ink star allegedly autographed a headshot of herself with an anti-Semitic message to Ami James, her former boss. "Burn in hell, Jewbag," the message reads, alongside sketches of a swastika and of a flaming Star of David. Sources told TMZ Ami took the photo to TLC and was rebuffed, so he returned with a lawyer. That's when TLC allegedly hired a handwriting analyst who concluded "there is a 99 percent probability that Kat Von D" wrote the message, and TMZ says TLC told Ami's lawyer they had received the results and "[trusted] that this information will be kept strictly confidential."
But TLC was singing a different tune when the news broke. "Kat vehemently denied authoring the text, and after completing the investigation, it was determined that insufficient evidence existed to conclude that she had," the network said in a statement at the time. "Therefore, no disciplinary action was taken."
Meanwhile, Kat commented on the controversy through her publicist, saying, "The recent accusation of a publicity photo of me with offensive and anti-Semitic comments and graphics allegedly written by me is completely false and unfounded and clearly a forgery. This was already proven many months ago to be 100 percent untrue. I always have been and will continue to be an advocate for tolerance of all races, religions and ways of life."
Then, in 2010, Kat started dating motorcycle guru Jesse James, who was also the subject of anti-Semitic accusations at the time — because of photos of him wearing a Nazi hat and doing a Nazi salute. His attorney told CNN the hat was given to James as a gag gift from his Jewish godfather, and in another effort to dispel the accusations, the attorney said James had lived for nearly a month in an Israeli kibbutz.
And in 2015, Kat announced new lip shades in her Everlasting Liquid Lip collection, one of which was titled "Selektion." As ABC News reports, "Selektion" is now a taboo word in Germany, as it was the Nazis' term for choosing which death camp prisoners would be executed.
Perhaps Kat Von D didn't actually write that autograph to her former boss… and perhaps she didn't know about Jesse's Nazi impersonating… and perhaps she didn't know the implications of that German word. But all these stories do make one wonder…