Reality television star/tattoo artist Kat Von D raised some eyebrows this past week, when news surfaced that the illustrated woman had sent her former Israeli-born employer, Ami James, an autographed photo some months ago bearing a swastika and the invective “burn in hell Jewbag.”
James’ tattoo parlor is the subject of The Learning Channel’s popular reality program Miami Ink. The show propelled the 26 year-old Von D (born Katherine Von Drachenberg) to stardom and landed her her own spin-off series, LA Ink.
Upon being fired from “Miami Ink” last year, tattoo artist Kat Von D allegedly signed a photograph addressed to her former boss, Ami James, and drew a swastika and a flaming Star of David on it. Subtle, no?
TMZ has obtained the photograph in question, a headshot of Kat that reads, “Burn in hell Jewbag.” No one witnessed Kat write the message, but Chris Garver, another tattoo artist on “Miami Ink,” tells TMZ Kat personally handed him the photo.
When Ami, who is Jewish, received the photo, sources tell us he went to TLC and was rebuffed. We’re told after Ami had a lawyer intervene, TLC went to a handwriting analyst who concluded “there is a 99% probability that Kat Von D” wrote the message. In early July 2007, Avi’s lawyer went to TLC with the analysis. They simply sent him a letter back that acknowledged receiving the results and said, “We trust that this information will be kept strictly confidential.”
Kat’s spinoff show, “LA Ink,” premiered a month later.
Both TLC and Von D deny the allegations, Von D telling reporters: “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.” She added, “I always have been, and will continue to be an advocate for tolerance of all races, religions and ways of life.”