Chrissy Teigen's team claims the Instagram direct messages posted by Michael Costello are fake. Now, the fashion designer is hitting back, saying Teigen "remains the same bully."
Earlier this week, Teigen addressed her past cyberbullying in a lengthy apology. While the Cravings author, 35, didn't name names, she said she's "in the process of privately reaching out to the people I insulted." Costello came forward and alleged he was bullied by John Legend's wife in 2014 and posted purported screenshots as proof.
Although Teigen hasn't publicly responded, someone from her team did.
Team Teigen pointed out to Insider on Thursday the messages appear to have been manipulated. Some inconsistencies of note: the verified checkmark is missing from next to Teigen's name, the image shows purple and blue messages, a design implemented by Instagram in 2020, the model's profile photo is one Teigen changed no later than 2016 and there's a video chat icon, a feature the platform introduced in 2018.
Costello, who said he's "traumatized, depressed and have thoughts of suicide" due to the bullying, is standing by his story.
"The fact that Chrissy Teigen’s team is desperately trying to prove the DM's are fake and attempts to discredit Michael Costello, a victim of trauma and bullying by Chrissy Teigen both online and offline, confirms that she remains the same bully, despite her public apology," a spokesperson for Costello tells Yahoo Entertainment.
In 2014, an unverified screenshot allegedly showed Costello using the n-word. He claimed the screenshot was fake. That allegedly prompted a direct message exchange with Teigen, who purportedly called him a "racist" and said "you will get what's coming to you."
"When a victim feels like their only recourse is to speak up, and the abuser's first move is to discredit the victim and shame him publicly, this perpetrates victim-blaming and it costs lives. Seven years ago, when Michael Costello presented Chrissy Teigen with evidence directly that the alleged racist comment she saw was fake, she refused to believe him. Now, her team is quick to discredit Michael's character in an attempt to salvage her image and partnerships negatively impacted by her decade-long problematic behavior," the statement continues.
"Beyond the DM's and the public comments Chrissy Teigen left on Michael Costello's Instagram for the world to see, there are emails and documents unreleased to the public which confirms Chrissy Teigen has gone beyond social media to blacklist Michael Costello offline, making him endure over seven years of suffering – mentally and financially," Costtello's spokesperson adds. "Michael Costello is only one of the many victims who are living with long-lasting, unhealed traumas from Chrissy Teigen's decade-long bullying behavior. Chrissy Teigen's team has yet to reach out to us, or any of her other victims."
Costello has been accused of bullying himself. First by singer Leona Lewis, although they publicly made amends, and later byReal Housewife of Atlanta star Falynn Guobadia.
Teigen has been engulfed in a bullying scandal for a month, ever since Courtney Stodden called out the model for sending harassing messages a decade ago. The author publicly apologized saying she's "ashamed" of her behavior. Teigen took some time away from social media before resurfacing with a lengthier apology on Monday.
Legend told paparazzi his wife is "doing great" amid the controversy.
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