Representatives for Chrissy Teigen are firing back at Project Runway star Michael Costello, who shared pictures of a direct message conversation allegedly showing the model and actress bullying Costello, claiming that Costello’s screenshots are fabricated.
“In an article published by Business Insider on June 17, Teigen’s rep has said that the Instagram direct messages shared by Costello on June 14—accusing Teigen of cyberbullying the designer in 2014—are fake,” E! News reported Friday. “The outlet noted that the screenshots showed inconsistencies that may suggest they were altered in some fashion.”
As The Daily Wire noted earlier this week, “Costello shared his personal story of Teigen in an Instagram post on Monday, accusing the besieged model of using her power and influence to undermine him and cancel lucrative contracts. Costello said that since 2014, Teigen has purposely tanked his career because she believed him to be a racist because of a photoshopped Instagram post.”
“Costello said Teigen drove him to the brink of suicide. He noted that last week he wrote letters to his family and close friends intending to commit suicide and is now under their constant surveillance, and also said he made his story about Teigen public in an attempt to cope with the ‘trauma,” The Daily Wire reported.
“For the past 7 years, I’ve lived with a deep, unhealed trauma,” Costello wrote in the now-viral Instagram post. “I wanted to kill myself and I still am traumatized, depressed and have thoughts of suicide.”
Friday, however, Business Insider reported on what Teigen’s reps are calling a series of inconsistencies in Costello’s screenshots indicating that the series of messages could be fabricated.
People Magazine reported that the inconsistencies include “a missing verified checkmark next to Teigen’s name – which would suggest the screenshots were taken in 2014, before Instagram’s verification program had launched – in the same screengrab featuring purple and blue messages, a design implemented by the social media platform in 2020.”
“The screenshots also showed a video chat icon – something that was introduced on Instagram in 2018 – alongside a profile photo that Teigen had changed no later than 2016,” People said.
Costello, through a representative, denied Teigen’s team’s accusations in a statement to E! News.
“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,” the rep told the outlet.
Teigen has been under fire for weeks after allegations surfaced that she cyberbullied reality television star Courtney Stodden using Twitter’s direct message function. Shortly after, Macy’s and Target dropped partnerships with the model and cookbook author, though both retailers say they made the decision to part ways with Teigen before the harassment claims came to light.
On Monday, Teigen issued a lengthy apology for her previous behavior, writing on Medium that there is “no excuse” for her “past horrible tweets.”
“There is simply no excuse for my past horrible tweets. My targets didn’t deserve them. No one does,” she wrote. “Many of them needed empathy, kindness, understanding and support, not my meanness masquerading as a kind of casual, edgy humor. I was a troll, full stop. And I am so sorry.”