Hours after Chrissy Teigen published a second, longer public apology for harassing Courtney Stodden on social media in 2011, in one instance telling Stodden they should die, Project Runway contestant Michael Costello took to Instagram Monday evening to detail what he describes as a campaign by Teigen to ruin his career. ‘“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,” he wrote. “I wanted to kill myself and I still am traumatized, depressed, and have thoughts of suicide.” According to the designer, the harassment began after Teigen left a comment on his Instagram page in 2014, accusing Costello of racism after seeing what he claims was a fake racist comment Photoshopped by a “former disgruntled employee” to publicly embarrass him.
“When I reached out to Chrissy Teigen to communicate that I was the victim of a vindictive cyber slander, and the 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,” Costello, who appeared on season eight of Project Runway and Project Runway All-Stars in 2012, said. “And wow, did she live up to her words.” According to the designer, friends and colleagues in the industry informed him that Teigen and stylist Monica Rose had allegedly “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.”
“So many nights I stayed awake, wanting to kill myself. I didn’t see the point of living,” Costello said, revealing that he wrote personal letters to family and friends in preparation for a suicide attempt. “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, crumbled from one comment.”
In his post, Costello also included images of alleged DMs with Teigen, who refused to believe the designer’s claim that the comment she saw were fake. “Racist people like you deserve to suffer and die,” the former Lip Sync Battle host allegedly wrote. “You might as well be dead. Your career is over, just watch.”
Update June 15, 9:00 p.m.: Costello himself is now facing allegations of “hurtful” behavior from singer Leona Lewis. In a statement posted to Instagram, Lewis claimed that in 2014, Costello refused to dress her for a charity fashion show due to her size. The “Bleeding Love” singer explained that she was made to feel “awkward and uncomfortable” at the fitting for the event “as the dress was a sample size and he/his team clearly did not want to alter it to fit me.” She continued, “This came as a total surprise because weeks prior I was told that they would make the dress work for me. At the next fitting, the night before the show, with no explanation at all, Michael refused to turn up. He no longer wanted to dress me and he abandoned his commitments to me and the show which made me well aware that I wasn’t the body type required.”
Lewis wrote that the incident left her “with deep insecurities,” and explained that though she is not “discounting Michael’s experience” with Teigen, “the pot calling the kettle black in this situation doesn’t sit right” with her. Costello addressed the accusations on his Instagram, tagging Lewis and claiming that he is “not sure” what happened.