Chrissy Teigen may have to find a new word for “troll.”
The model, cookbook author, mother of two and wife of John Legend has been feeling the heat in recent weeks, as revelations of deeply abusive online behavior—not the least of which were decade-old DMs in which Teigen suggested a then-16-year-old Courtney Stodden should kill herself (Stodden has since identified as nonbinary, using they/them pronouns). The allegations, which Teigen did not deny but instead issued a public apology for, cost the self-branded lifestyle expert numerous endorsements and partnerships, in addition to fans and followers. It also compelled the social media maven to take a monthlong break from Twitter—her platform of choice—resurfacing Monday to issue a lengthy and more comprehensive apology for her actions via Medium.
However, that apology was followed by yet another round of accusations about Teigen’s past behavior. This time, the claims came from designer and Project Runway alum Michael Costello, who issued an Instagram missive of his own on Monday night accusing Teigen of sabotaging his career seven years ago, leaving him with “a deep, unhealed trauma” that reportedly led him to contemplate suicide. “I may never be okay, but today, I am choosing to speak my truth,” Costello wrote.
Apparently, the conflict began in 2014, due to a post circulated by a “disgruntled former employee” of Costello’s and created to make it look like the designer had used the n-word.
“[Teigen] apparently formed her own opinion of me based on a Photoshopped comment floating around the internet which has now been proven to be false by Instagram and since taken down,” Costello wrote, Page Six reports. Attempting to clear up the issue with the model and influencer, Costello claims Teigen told him “that all my doors will be shut from there on.”
To prove his point, Costello included what appeared to be a series of screenshots of DMs between he and Teigen. During the exchange, the model allegedly wrote: “Racist people like you deserve to suffer and die. You might as well be dead. Your career is over, just watch.”
“Each time I have pleaded with Chrissy Teigen or Monica Rose to see the whole story before believing a false narrative a former disgruntled employee cast upon me, they didn’t give me the time of day,” he added.
According to Costello, Teigen made good on her promise, as she and her stylist Monica Rose allegedly then “[went] out of their way to threaten people and brands that if they were in any shape or form associated with me, they would not work with any of them,” a claim he says was corroborated by other industry insiders.
“I didn’t see the point of living,” Costello added. “There was no way I can ever escape from being the target of the powerful elites in Hollywood.”
Teigen hasn’t issued a further comment in response to Costello’s allegations, but notably, her Medium post noted that “I’ve apologized publicly to one person, but there are others—and more than just a few—who I need to say I’m sorry to.”
Understandably, the ongoing allegations about Teigen’s behavior are causing some to side-eye husband John Legend, who has arguably bolstered his fame with an unflappably “nice guy” image. Of course, none of us know the mechanics of the couple’s marriage or over-decade-long relationship. However, whether he will suffer some of the blowback against Teigen remains to be seen.
Legend has also remained mum on the issue, save a tweet on Monday in which he quoted a line from his wife’s public apology: “We are all more than our worst moments,” to which he added a series of heart emojis.