Kimberley Vlaeminck’s Strange Tattoo Case

A recent incident in the Belgian town of Courtrai in June of 2014 is one of the most well-known tattoo-related news stories.

It concerns Kimberley Vlaeminck, an 18-year-old girl who got 56 stars tattooed on her face at Rouslan Toumaniantz’s tattoo studio.

Within days, the tale had spread across Europe and the world, with a visibly enraged Vlaeminck threatening to sue Toumaniantz, claiming that she had only requested for three stars and that the others had been added when she fell asleep.

Toumaniantz refuted this version of the story. Vlaeminck had not only requested fifty-six stars, but she had also remained wide awake while he was applying them and gave every evidence of being pleased with the job he had done when she paid and left the parlour, according to the tattooist.

At one point, he offered to cover half of the cost of Vlaeminck’s tattoo removal therapy. The narrative extended far beyond Courtrai and Belgium, with people debating whether Vlaeminck was the unfortunate victim or was attempting to transfer responsibility, and suddenly the story came to an end.

Vlaeminck admitted to Dutch television that she had requested all fifty-six stars and praised Toumaniantz’s work.

She hadn’t been sleeping (this will come as no surprise to anyone who has ever gotten a tattoo – it may not be agony, but sleeping through 56 tattoos on your face is difficult.) and she was terrified when her father reacted angrily. Toumaniantz’s promise to pay for the surgery has subsequently been retracted.