Wisconsin shooter Kyle Rittenhouse's mom tried to sell 'Free Kyle' bikinis and other merch to raise money for his upcoming trial
- Kyle Rittenhouse's family opened a merch store to fund his legal defense after he was charged with homicide after shooting two anti-racism protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August.
- The store sold "Free Kyle" bikinis, crop tops, and sports bras, The Daily Mail reported.
- The e-commerce platform,
Printful, cut it off and the store has now moved to a different platform, apparently run by Shopify. Shopifydidn't immediately return Insider's request for comment.
- One model whose likeness was used in the merchandise images told Insider they were "shocked and disgusted" by them.
Kyle Rittenhouse's family opened up a merch store to raise money for the 17-year-old charged with homicide, at one point selling "Free Kyle"-branded bikinis and sports bras to fund his legal defense.
Wisconsin prosecutors have accused Rittenhouse of shooting and killing two anti-racism protesters and injuring a third in Kenosha this summer. He was arrested the following morning in Illinois and extradited to Wisconsin, where in November he was released on a $2 million bail.To raise money for his legal defense, which his mother estimates will cost between $2 million and $2.5 million, his family is selling merchandise. His mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, wrote that she controls the defense fund.
Rittenhouse's family and defenders say
An e-commerce platform kicked Rittenhouse's family off. They've moved on to a new one.
According to the "Free Kyle" Twitter account associated with the family's website, the store received more than 400 orders before its vendor, Printful, cut them off for violating its acceptable use policy (the top-selling item was a "Free Kyle" logo mug, followed by a T-shirt)."We have chosen to discontinue our business relationship with this store in order to mitigate business risk," Printful said in a statement. "Ultimately, we don't want to be affiliated with a store that's involved in such a complex, controversial, and ongoing case." The "Free Kyle" Twitter account blamed "#CancelCulture" on Printful de-platforming them and canceling existing orders, and have since moved to a different e-commerce platform to power the site.
According to The Daily Mail, the Printful store included a $43 "Free Kyle" bikini, a $40 sports bra, and a $25 crop top.
The new web store has a more limited selection, with beanies, T-shirts, hoodies, and mugs. It appears to show models with pro-Rittenhouse phrases digitally edited onto the clothing.One model whose likeness was used in the merchandise told Insider they didn't consent to them, and that they would reach out to the Rittenhouse family to have it taken down. They asked Insider to keep her identity private our of fear that speaking out publicly would risk her employment.
"I am an avid and passionate supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement and I'm in shock and disgust that my image and likeness is being used for this dishonorable cause," they told Insider.
A message sent through the Free Kyle website wasn't immediately returned.The new website's source code shows that it is powered by the e-commerce platform Shopify. A representative for Shopify didn't immediately return Insider's request for comment.
"The three people in the article are Printify employees and models, who have not consented to advertising content that breaches Printify Terms and Conditions," the representative said.The defense fund website shows that it has raised $59,000 through merchandise sales and direct donations so far.
This article has been updated.
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