Wild 'n Out star B. Simone has pledged to make amends following allegations that her self-help book, Baby Girl Manifest the Life You Want, features several pages of content directly lifted from other bloggers.
In a clip shared on her Instagram, Simone responded to the plagiarism accusations by telling her 5 million followers that the situation was now a “legal matter” which stopped her from going into detail. However, she said she was prepared to take “full accountability.”
“I’ve never written a book. I’ve never been an author, so as an influencer, as a creative, as an entrepreneur, me and my team outsourced. We hired a team that we trusted that we thought could bring my vision to life, and they did a lot of things without my knowledge and I am here to fix it,” she said.
The 30-year-old, who leveraged her viral comedy clips online into a career as an influencer and designer, shared that she was inspired by her own success to create a guide for young women to teach them how to “change their mindset into manifest.”
At least six bloggers have come forward to accuse Simone of plagiarism, including Mo Seetubtim, founder of The Happiness Planner. She told BuzzFeed News that she became aware of the alleged plagiarism on social media after some of her customers flagged it to her.
“I was more shocked than angry — shocked that she’s so famous and she thought she could get away with taking other people’s work and publishing as her own,” said Seetubtim.
“I bought her book to find out what else is in there and found that three of our printables were used," she claimed. "They took the exact copies. Didn’t even modify anything, not even the fonts, other than changing the color to pink. It’s just really bad plagiarism. At least modify the content? Plus, I found out that she didn’t just take our content. Her whole book is a collection of stolen content.”
Baby Girl Manifest the Life You Want went on sale at the end of March following initial delays, which at the time Simone said was because she “wanted some things changed in it.”
It has since sold more than 12,000 copies, according to the influencer, and features four chapters, personal diary entries, and work pages.
Simone claimed to have no knowledge of how the book came to feature several pages of content allegedly created by other women, but said that she prepared to “take full accountability.”
In her accompanying caption, the self-proclaimed manifest queen wrote: “Even though this was not intentional, I am still so very sorry to the content creators and I understand their frustration 100%.”
Simone, whose business portfolio includes a vegan and cruelty-free makeup line, clothing, and a YouTube channel with more than 500,000 subscribers, confirmed the immediate pause on sales.
“The books have been taken down. We’re stopping all sales until this matter is black and white, clear as day, I don’t want any gray areas,” she said.
Seetubtim shared that Simone’s team had reached out and blamed the ordeal on the design company they had used.
“In the first message, her manager said they’re filing a lawsuit against the design company and that they had no idea that that was happening and that they’re doing due diligence,” she said. “But the internet police have found out that the manager herself is the owner of the design company. We’ve kept our cool and said we will get our lawyer to reach out and ask for compensation for copyright infringement.”
BuzzFeed News has contacted representatives for B. Simone for comment.