Chrissy Teigen’s reps question authenticity of Michael Costello’s Instagram bullying claims amid screenshot inconsistencies… after Project Runway alum accused her of making him consider suicide
- Costello, 38, said Teigen, 35, tormented him amid a misunderstanding that he had used a racial slur online
- Teigen’s team says images of the DMs she purportedly sent were manipulated
- Report indicated technical inconsistencies with purported timing of DMs
- Teigen wrote a Medium post earlier Monday in response to backlash over tweets
- Model was off social media for a month since scandal over old tweets erupted
- In 2011, she wrote Twitter post urging Courtney Stodden, then 16, to kill herself
- At the time, Stodden was being ‘slut-shamed’ for marrying Doug Hutchison, 50
- Teigen also wrote harsh tweet about actor Lindsay Lohan ‘slitting her wrists’
- In Medium post, Teigen admitted to being a ‘troll’ and an ‘a**hole’
- Teigen’s cookware brand has been dropped by Macy’s, Target, Bloomingdale’s
- She was also forced to bow out of a Netflix series co-created by Mindy Kaling
- Dailymail.com has reached out to Teigen’s reps for comment on the story
Reps for Chrissy Teigen on Thursday said that a series of Instagram direct messages Project Runway alum Michael Costello posted online, claiming to be from the model, are not authentic.
Teigen’s rep told Business Insider that the DMs – which the fashion designer, 38, said Teigen, 35, sent him in 2014 – had aesthetic inconsistencies with the timeframe of the alleged communications.
Costello took to Instagram Monday saying that Teigen – based on a faulty belief that he had posted racist messages online – torpedoed his fashion career and left him with suicidal ideations, after taunting him in DMs.
The latest: Reps for Chrissy Teigen, 35, on Thursday said that a series of direct messages designer Michael Costello, 38, posted online, claiming to be from the model, are not authentic
In screengrabs Costello said were DMs he exchanged with Teigen, she purportedly wrote to him, ‘Racist people like you deserve to suffer and die. You might as well be dead. Your career is over, just watch.’
A rep for Teigen told Business Insider that there was manipulation in the messages Costello put online earlier this week.
The outlet noted it had ‘found technical inconsistencies’ in the messages, as multiple identifiers in the messages comes from different versions of the social media outlet, and Teigen’s profile on it, over the years.
The outlet reported Teigen’s messages did not have her verification checkmark, which would indicate that they were from later 2014, when the process was implemented on the social media site; Teigen had a checkmark around early 2015.
A rep for Teigen told Business Insider that there was manipulation in the messages Costello put online earlier this week
Backstory: Costello said that Teigen tormented him amid a misunderstanding that he had used a racial slur online, which he denied, and tried to explain to her at the time to no avail
Another conflicting feature was an icon for video chat, a feature that hadn’t been put on the platform until June of 2018, according to Business Insider, next to a profile photo that Teigen had changed at lease two years earlier.
Costello said that Teigen tormented him as tried to explain to her at the time to no avail. He took to social media after Teigen publicly addressed her ongoing bullying scandal, apologizing in a Medium post on Monday morning in which she admitted to being a ‘troll’ and an ‘a**hole’ while insisting that she is ‘no longer that person.’
Costello wrote on Monday, ‘For the past 7 years, I’ve lived with a deep, unhealed trauma.’
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,’ he wrote.
Costello, who shared texts illustrating the situation, said the model and cookbook author ‘told me that my career was over and that all my doors will be shut from there on,’ and took action to see to such.
Speaking out: Costello added a detailed message about the situation involving the model and her stylist
He said that both Teigen and her stylist Monica Rose had 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.’
Costello said that his efforts to plead his case to Teigen and Rose were for naught.
He said that in trying to get them ‘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.’
In the wake of the exchange, Costello said that he ‘didn’t see the point of living’ with his career in disarray.
‘There was no way I can ever escape from being the target of the powerful elites in Hollywood.’
Costello said he is ‘not okay,’ adding, ‘I may never be okay, but today, I am choosing to speak my truth.’
Costello captioned the post urging his followers not to respond with vitriol toward Teigen and Rose, stressing that it was his own personal process to move forward.
‘You do not have to say anything mean or hurtful about them in the comments I am trying every day to love myself and forget this,’ he said. ‘This is step 1.’
The designer received supportive words from April Love Geary, Olivia Culpo, Audrina Patridge and LeAnn Rimes among others amid his public revelation.
A number of celebs including April Love Geary, Audrina Patridge and LeAnn Rimes chimed in with supportive comments for the embattled designer
He later told TMZ that he doesn’t wish ‘ill’ on Teigen, saying: ‘We are all works in progress and we deserve the opportunity to prove that we can do better.’
‘But progress takes time. We must show through actions that we have changed. After all, action speaks much louder than a 10-minute apology written on a notepad.’
Costello’s post comes as Teigen has come under fire in recent weeks for cruel posts on Twitter aimed at Stodden, Lindsay Lohan, Quvenzhané Wallis, and others.
In 2011, Teigen published a barrage of tweets telling then-16-year-old Stodden, who had just married 50-year-old actor Doug Hutchison, to ‘go to sleep forever’.
Stodden said this was only part of the picture, saying Teigen would also ‘privately DM me and tell me to kill myself.’
Stodden incurred relentless bullying both publicly and in private from Teigen, who tweeted at the then-teen in 2011: ‘My Friday fantasy: you. dirt nap. mmmmmm baby’, followed by: ‘go. to sleep. forever.’
Old tweets from 2013 have also resurfaced in which she described nine-year-old Oscar nominee Wallis as ‘cocky’ and called Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham, then 21, a ‘wh***’.
‘Not a day, not a single moment has passed where I haven’t felt the crushing weight of regret for the things I’ve said in the past’: Chrissy Teigen (seen last month) has written a blog post to apologize for her past bullying tweets
Teigen has been the target of backlash since abusive tweets by the star, originally made in 2011, resurfaced online, including one that urged then 16-year-old TV personality Courtney Stodden (pictured above in 2019), who identifies as non-binary, to kill themselves
Lindsay Lohan was also the subject of an insensitive post by Teigen. A tweet from January 2011 read: ‘Lindsay adds a few more slits to her wrists when she sees emma stone’
Relentless: In one tweet Teigen told the non-binary reality star to ‘take a dirt nap,’ which is slang for death
Hatred: In another tweet she told Stodden ‘I hate you,’ and insinuated that drugs must be responsible for her affected speech
‘Lindsay [Lohan] adds a few more slits to her wrists when she sees emma stone,’ read the tweet dated January 16 2011
Teigen apologized to Stodden last month, but the television personality, who identifies as non-binary, questioned the sincerity of the apology.
Earlier this month, Abraham, 30, said Teigen needs professional help over her ‘highly disturbing’ past tweets, and calls her an ‘unfit person in society.’
‘It’s really just a pathetic statement after someone has gone to therapy publicly for sex shaming, working through my own depression, bereavement, and vulnerabilities at that time,’ Abraham told Fox News.
In her Medium post, Teigen wrote that she plans to reach out personally to the other celebrities she insulted.
Row: Farrah Abraham calls Chrissy Teigen an ‘unfit person in society’ and tells her to ‘get therapy’… after she called Teen Mom star a ‘w***e’ in past 2013 tweets amid cyberbullying scandal
Vitriolic: Teigen shared this tweet about Farrah in 2013
Amid the backlash, Teigen has been dropped by several companies, including Safely, the cleaning brand she founded with Kris Jenner; Macy’s; Target; and Bloomingdale’s.
The large retailers have removed her line of Cravings cookware from its shelves. Teigen has also pulled out of Netflix’s Never Have I Ever.
Teigen was slated to be one of the guest narrators for the series, co-created by Mindy Kaling, but is exiting the gig amid the fallout following her cyberbullying scandal.
Teigen began by writing: ‘Hi all. It has been a VERY humbling few weeks.
Teigen began by writing: ‘Hi all. It has been a VERY humbling few weeks.’
‘I won’t ask for your forgiveness, only your patience and tolerance,’ Teigen wrote
‘I know I’ve been quiet, and lord knows you don’t want to hear about me, but I want you to know I’ve been sitting in a hole of deserved global punishment, the ultimate “sit here and think about what you’ve done”,’ the supermodel wrote.
‘Not a day, not a single moment has passed where I haven’t felt the crushing weight of regret for the things I’ve said in the past.’
Teigen has been the target of backlash since abusive tweets by the star, originally made in 2011, resurfaced online, including one that urged a then 16-year-old Stodden to kill themselves.
Lohan was also the subject of an insensitive post by Teigen. A tweet from January 2011 read: ‘Lindsay adds a few more slits to her wrists when she sees emma stone’
Under pressure: After the barrage of tweets came to light and people called for the model to be ‘canceled’ she issued an apology to Stodden
Moving on: ‘I accept her apology and forgive her. But the truth remains the same, I have never heard from her or her camp in private,’ Stodden wrote last month after the scandal broke
The tweet was shared by user @Leyton last month.
‘I was a troll, full stop. And I am so sorry,’ Teigen writes in her Medium post from Monday.
She added: ‘There is simply no excuse for my past horrible tweets. My targets didn’t deserve them. No one does.
‘Many of them needed empathy, kindness, understanding and support, not my meanness masquerading as a kind of casual, edgy humor.’
Teigen continued: ‘When I first started using social media, I had so much fun with it.
‘I made jokes, random observations. Think of all the engineers, working day and night to develop this amazing new platform and technology, connecting people all over the world to learn, create, and find kindred spirits.
‘And I used it to snark at some celebrities.’
Teigen writes that her tweets were borne out of being ‘insecure, immature and in a world where I thought I needed to impress strangers to be accepted.’
‘If there was a pop culture pile-on, I took to Twitter to try to gain attention and show off what I at the time believed was a crude, clever, harmless quip,’ she wrote.
‘I thought it made me cool and relatable if I poked fun at celebrities.’
Teigen wrote that when she is now confronted with some of her past posts, ‘I cringe to my core.’
Chrissy Teigen founded Safely with Kris Jenner and previously appeared in its marketing materials
Jenner advertising the brand. She is said to be in ‘crisis mode’ after the bullying scandal erupted
‘I’ll honestly get sharp, stabbing pains in my body, randomly remembering my a*****e past, and I deserve it,’ she wrote.
Teigen said that the Twitter persona she built as a ‘bad a** b***h’ was not in step with who she was as a person.
‘I wasn’t mean in my everyday life. More than once, someone would come up to me and say, “You’re so much nicer in person”,’ she wrote.
‘Why was that not a huge red flag?’
Teigen wrote that she wasn’t ‘deserving of sympathy’ and that she explained this in order to provide ‘context.’
‘There’s no justification for my behavior,’ Teigen wrote.
‘I’m not a victim here. The subjects of your sympathy – and mine – should be those I put down.’
Teigen wrote that she has changed and matured in recent years.
‘The truth is, I’m no longer the person who wrote those horrible things,’ the cookware entrepreneur wrote.
‘I grew up, got therapy, got married, had kids, got more therapy, experienced loss and pain, got more therapy and experienced more life.
‘AND GOT MORE THERAPY.’
Teigen added: ‘Life has made me more empathetic.
‘I’m more understanding of what motivates trolling — the instant gratification that you get from lashing out and clapping back, throwing rocks at someone you think is invincible because they’re famous.
‘Also, I know now how it feels to be on the receiving end of incredible vitriol.
‘Believe me, the irony of this is not lost on me.’
Teigen, who has two children with singing superstar John Legend, wrote that she hopes to set an example for their kids.
‘The world needs more kindness and love and I want to contribute to it,’ she wrote.
‘I’ve been on a path of self-improvement for the past decade and that path is going to continue.’
Teigen is feeling the financial pinch triggered by the backlash to her decade-old tweets.
She was dropped from the marketing campaign for Safely, the cleaning brand she founded with Kris Jenner, after sales reportedly plunged because of the controversy over her tweets.
The new brand, Safely, debuted in early May and included both stars in its marketing campaigns, but following the bullying scandal the 35-year-old model has not been seen once.
Before June 5, Teigen hadn’t been seen on husband John Legend’s Instagram since May 16 and hasn’t posted on her own accounts since sharing an apology on Twitter on May 12. The couple is seen above in Los Angeles in February 2020
A source told The Sun: ‘Kris Jenner has been in crisis mode for weeks with Chrissy’s scandal.
‘She likes Chrissy but she’s a numbers girl first and their sales tanked after all of Chrissy’s tweets came out.
‘It’s the worst case scenario for them, they just launched their cleaning brand days before the scandal.’
The backlash against Teigen’s tweets is a blow to the brand, which had hoped to focus on her and her children in advertising campaigns.
Dailymail.com has contacted both Safely and Teigen for comment.
Earlier this month, Teigen made her first appearance on Instagram since the scandal erupted.
The model looked peaceful as she beamed with her daughter Luna, 5, while celebrating her first-ever dance recital. The image was posted to her husband’s account.
At the time of the scandal, Target had discontinued their partnership with Teigen’s line of Cravings cookware — though it was said the two came to an agreement in December before the social media eruption.
Expedia-owned rental site VRBO came under fire for recently running a promo with Teigen, Legend, and their kids Luna and Miles, to celebrate ‘joy and togetherness’
But just weeks later, retail giant Macy’s also dropped her cookware line and it was reported that Bloomingdale’s also backed out of a huge deal with the internet personality.
Expedia-owned rental site VRBO came under fire for recently running a promo with Teigen, Legend, and their kids Luna and Miles, to celebrate ‘joy and togetherness.’
The promo push on social media prompted many enraged users to speak out that the company shouldn’t promote partnerships with a ‘bully.’
After Vrbo retweeted an article about the commercial from People, one user responded: ‘VRBO, cancel the collab you have with Chrissy NOW unless you support telling children to commit suicide.’
Another tweeted: Hey, @vrbo You’re paying @chrissyteigen to do ads for you after she repeatedly messaged an abused minor, telling them to commit suicide? Really?’
‘Using an abuser bully as a spokesperson no thanks,’ another wrote.
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