[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
If you didn’t read Chrissy Teigen‘s essay Monday morning, it was a moving, sincere apology paired with a sort of editorial about growing up and getting better and learning empathy.
The Cravings author held herself accountable for being a Twitter troll, framing herself has having looked for attention by poking fun “at celebrities.” She even wondered regretfully:
“Why did I think there was some invisible psycho-celebrity formula that prevents anyone with more followers from experiencing pain?”
But this new accusation isn’t the story of her going after someone “with more followers” than she had so other people would think she was cool and funny. This is an allegation of her trying to ruin a person behind closed doors because of something she saw online.
Just a few hours after her Medium post, celebrity fashion designer Michael Costello took to his Instagram to reveal his own story of an alleged run-in with Chrissy just a few years ago in 2014. At least that’s when it started. For him, what he says she did has continued for years — leading to him being on suicide watch the past few days.
“I didn’t want to do this but I can not be happy until I speak my mind. I need to heal and in order for me to do that I must reveal what I’ve been going through. I wanted to kill myself, and I still am traumatized, depressed, and have thoughts of suicide.”
OMG! What happened?? He continues:
“For the past 7 years, I’ve lived with a deep, unhealed trauma. I didn’t share this with anyone because I was living in fear. In fear of losing some of my post profitable brand relationships; in fear of losing friends and allies; and in fear of being blacklisted even more by the power elites who run the industry.”
Losing brand relationships? Being “blacklisted by the power elites”? We aren’t talking about mean tweets here. This is a whole other level.
Here’s where his Chrissy story begins:
“In 2014, I received a public comment from Chrissy Teigen on my Instagram page, accusing me of being a racist. She 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. When I reached out to Chrissy Teigen to communicate that I was the victim of a vindictive cyber slander, and that everything she thought I was is not who I am, she told me that my career was over and that all my doors will be shut from there on.”
And the Project Runway alum provides the receipts, too:
“Deserve to suffer and die”? Yeesh. Not even because of something she experienced but because of a rumor she saw online? Reminder, this was 2014. She was already a big celebrity, and we all know better than to believe everything we see on the internet.
Allegedly, she didn’t stop at just wishing him ill will. Costello continues:
“And wow, did she live up to her words. Throughout the next few years, I would book jobs only to be pulled off last minute with no explanation. I would regularly get texts and calls from our mutual friends and colleagues that her and Monica Rose, a powerful stylist in fashion, have gone 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.”
They tried to destroy his career, his life, over a rumor?? If this and the receipts are indeed real, she wasn’t some out-of-control teen. She was 28 years old. At least, she was when it started. It’s unclear how long this went on, though Costello makes it sound like he’s suffered the ramifications ever since.
Remember last year when Michael called out his celeb clients for ignoring his charity request? We can’t help but wonder if they didn’t want to be associated with him so publicly because of this “social justice” campaign??
Chrissy said in her Medium piece that she is trying to reach out now to those she hurt with her mean tweets. Interestingly, Michael says he reached out many times to Chrissy and her posse:
“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.”
Michael goes on to describe how the pain of having everything taken from him over a lie made him feel like death was the only answer.
“So many nights I stayed awake, wanting to kill myself. I didn’t see the point of living. There was no way I can ever escape from being the target of the powerful elites in Hollywood, who actually do have powers to close doors with a single text. Not only was I the target of cyber defamation, I was also getting blacklisted in real life. I have suffered tremendously the past few years and kept silent because there was no way for me to ever escape this. Now, I am finding the courage from within to share my truth because I cannot heal from the darkest hour of my life until I reveal.”
The darkest hour wasn’t years ago; it was last week, when he says he wrote what essentially were supposed to serve as suicide notes:
“Last week, I wrote personal letters to my family and closest friends because I thought that taking my own life would be the best way out. No matter what I did, I just could not escape the false narrative that Chrissy Teigen, Monica Rose, and their friends believed in. I told my family how much I love them, how much I care for them, and just how sorry I was for my decision. Since then, everyone in my family has had me on a close watch against my will.”
He is obviously still in a place where he’s hurting and afraid, but thankfully it sounds like he might be turning a corner — starting with this post. He writes:
“As a result of what Chrissy Teigen did to me in 2014, I am not okay. I may never be okay, but today, I am choosing to speak my truth.”
Michael wants to make it clear his journey of recovery does NOT include getting revenge on Chrissy. He says he isn’t even trying to drag her by posting this, just that he needs to share to begin to heal:
“I wish no harm on anyone and I don’t wanna go back-and-forth fighting with anyone. I just want people to realize that I, too, am human and this was the most inhuman treatment to ever be endured by someone who has seen their decades of hard work, years of building a brand, crumble from one comment.”
Hmm. We think he may be obliquely referencing her post with that “I, too, am human” line. And of course the timing of his allegation cannot possibly be a coincidence. Nor can the fact he talks about her reaching out, just as she does in her post, calling it her own personal My Name Is Earl… He writes:
“These bullies could’ve reached out to me anytime, but they refused. Instead, they would much rather see me suffer and laugh at my demise.”
Michael finishes by turning another one of Chrissy’s lines against her. She said in her post that she was “not seeking or deserving any sympathy,” writing:
“There’s no justification for my behavior. I’m not a victim here. The subjects of your sympathy — and mine — should be those I put down.”
Well, in what seems like the most direct response to what Chrissy put out today, Michael says he doesn’t want that sympathy:
“To this day, I still am not able to recovered from the years of trauma I have experienced. I am not asking for sympathy from you. I am especially not asking fro sympathy from Chrissy Teigen, Monica Rose, and those who believed the false narratives they heard about me.”
Instead he says:
“I simply want to set myself free.”
We certainly hope unloading all of this helped.
And again, please heed his words when he says he isn’t looking for vengeance, for the same thing to happen back to Chrissy. He makes ones last plea for peace in his caption, writing:
“You do not have to say anything mean or hurtful about them in the comments . I am trying everyday to love myself and forget this happen. This is step 1.”
We wish Michael better days ahead. You can see the post for yourself (below):
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
[Image via Michael Costello/Instagram/Ivan Nikolov/WENN.]