New Bullying Accusations Hit Chrissy Teigen as Designer Michael Costello Accuses Her of Career Sabotage; John Legend Shows Support

Costello's allegations emerged the same day Teigen issued a lengthy apology for past online behavior.

Chrissy Teigen arrives for the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards on January 26, 2020, in Los Angeles.
Chrissy Teigen arrives for the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards on January 26, 2020, in Los Angeles.
Photo: Valerie Macon/AFP (Getty Images)

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.



I don’t know what led Teigen to so hatefully treat the 16 year-old years ago, and I don’t know enough about this to understand most of it, but I can say with no doubt that there is not one person commenting here that wants any of us to be made aware of their worst moments.

My wife and I had a wonderful long weekend, after a week that really set up some amazing things in our life. The first day of this particular weekend was stained by some of the worst behavior either of us has ever shown.

Those couple of hours during which we both suffered greatly and acted like we would NEVER act in front of someone else would really have most of the people we’ve ever met feeling certain ways about either or both of us.

But those moments don’t define us. We did what we did, then we handled our shit, and we really had quite an amazing weekend, including much of that day, but we don’t ever want to act how we did again, and we would never want to be judged by how we acted at some of our worst moments.

I’m not giving Chrissy Teigen a free pass for shitty behavior. But I am glad that we were able to learn from our mistakes, and I’m always trying to be a better person and not dig in on some wrongness that will them make it harder for me to undo. I’ll try not to judge the arguably too-young bride or the woman who heinously lashed out at her years ago, and not only because I know I’ve done wrong, too.