Chrissy Teigen and John Legend Accuse Michael Costello of Faking Those Bullying DMs

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On Friday, Chrissy Teigen issued a statement denying the recent accusations of bullying made by designer Michael Costello. More over, the Cravings author asserts, the images of direct messages allegedly sent by Teigen to the former Project Runway contestant, including one stating “you might as well be dead,” were, in fact, Photoshopped into existence. “Chrissy Teigen very clearly and contritely apologized for insensitive public tweets she made around a decade ago,” the Lip Sync Battle host wrote on Instagram. “She did not acknowledge nor apologize for sending private messages directing or encouraging self-harm.” As you might recall, Teigen recently apologized for targeting a then-teenage Courtney Stodden in public posts sent in 2011. Stodden, however, alleged to the Daily Beast that Teigen also sent them DMs of a similar bullying nature. “She wouldn’t just publicly tweet about wanting me to take ‘a dirt nap,’ but would privately DM me and tell me to kill myself,” Stodden claims. “Things like, ‘I can’t wait for you to die.’”

Meanwhile, earlier this week, Costello wrote an Instagram post asserting he had been left “traumatized” with “thoughts of suicide” following an alleged years-long whisper campaign by Teigen and stylist Monica Rose to undermine his career. While acknowledging an initial public comment she made in 2014 reacting to a racist post falsely attributed to Costello, a comment Teigen indicates she later deleted, however, the model and actress says the “receipts” Costello posted to prove Teigen subsequently threatened his career via DM are straight-up false.

“When the supposed screenshots from 2014 were originally circulated last week, the name on Chrissy’s account was misspelled,” she writes. “This week, the fabricated screenshots were cleaned up with the correct spelling of Chrissy’s social media handle. However, they could not actually be from 2014 because they feature elements that were not a part of the instagram app in 2014,” including, allegedly, a video-chat function and updated color scheme.

“Chrissy has every right to correct the record and defend her name,” the statement concludes. “She hopes this can be a time of honest reflection and healing.” Her husband, John Legend, also retweeted an Insider article Friday reportedly debunking the images posted to Costello’s Instagram, photos the outlet reports “appear to be manipulated.”

“Chrissy apologized for her public tweets, but after her apology, Mr. Costello fabricated a DM exchange between them,” Legend tweeted. “This exchange was made up, completely fake, never happened.” After Costello went public with his allegations, singer Leona Lewis accused the designer himself of bullying, allegedly refusing to dress her due to her size, an incident for which Costello also subsequently apologized.

In a statement reported by E! News, the designer refuted Teigen’s claims that he had faked their correspondence. “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,” he said via a spokesperson.

Chrissy Teigen Accuses Michael Costello of Faking Those DMs