Wisconsin shooter Kyle Rittenhouse’s mom tried to sell ‘Free Kyle’ bikinis and other merch to raise money for his upcoming trial


Kyle Rittenhouse merch
Merchandise sold on the “Free Kyle” store uses models with the clothing and text photoshopped onto them. It isn’t clear if they consented to advertising clothing for Kyle Rittenhouse. Free Kyle USA website
  • 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. Shopify didn’t immediately return Insider’s request for comment.

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

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.

“I alone control this website and Kyle’s Defense Fund,” she wrote. “Upon Kyles [sic] acquittal and return of the cash bail, Kyle wants to use remaining funds to help others fighting for their God-given right to defend themselves, their family, and their community.”

Rittenhouse’s family and defenders say Kyle Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense, and he has pleaded not guilty in the case. Much of the merchandise features the phrase “Self defense is a right, not a privilege,” a quote attributed to him.

Rittenhouse has become a right-wing icon. President Donald Trump declined to condemn Rittenhouse for killing anti-racism protesters, and his administration has been directed to make sympathetic comments about him.

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.”

kyle rittenhouse beanie
Merchandise sold on the “Free Kyle” store uses models with the clothing and text photoshopped onto them. It isn’t clear if they consented to advertising clothing for Kyle Rittenhouse. Free Kyle USA website

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. It’s not clear if the models gave their consent for their images to be used for the webstore. 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 defense fund website shows that it has raised $59,000 through merchandise sales and direct donations so far.

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