UPDATED at 7:15 p.m.: Just hours after Lip Sync Battle co-host Chrissy Teigen broke her monthlong silence after bullying allegations from former reality star Courtney Stodden, another higher profile reality TV personality has accused her of a concerted campaign to ruin his career.
Michael Costello, who came in 4th place on season 8 of Project Runway and was the second runner up on Project Runway All Stars in 2012, posted a lengthy testimonial to Instagram on Monday in which he accused Teigen of a years-long effort to destroy his career.
The designer said it began when he was the victim of an online hoax, which erroneously attributed racist comments to him. Teigen, he claims, lashed out publicly via Twitter in 2014. When he reached out privately to try and explain, Costello says “she told me my career was over and all my doors will be shut from there on. And boy, did she live up to her words.”
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Costello alleges that he began having jobs he had already booked get canceled. He says he heard afterwards that threats from Teigen and a celebrity stylist named Monica Rose were behind the cancelations.
Costello has dressed the likes of Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion, Cardi B as well as helped costume designer Lou Eyrich to create gowns for Lady Gaga’s American Horror Story character. Despite that success, he wrote on Instagram that he considered suicide as recently as last week over the alleged whisper campaign to ruin his career.
“So many nights I stayed awake,” he wrote, “wanting to kill myself. I didn’t see the point of living.”
But Costello says there was a more direct assault by Teigen on his mental well-being. When he reached out to her privately to try and explain he had been mistakenly associated with a racist social media tweet that had been photoshopped, telling her that her public comment was adding more fuel to the fire, Costello claims Teigen texted him directly: “Good! racist people like you deserve to suffer and die.”
The Project Runway alum posted what he said were screen grabs from that text exchange with Teigen.
PREVIOUSLY at 1:40 p.m.: Chrissy Teigen, Twitter’s former queen of stinging repartee who once gave as good as she got in a 280-character feud with (then) President Donald Trump, sounded a much more measured tone in her first online post since May 12.
“It has been a VERY humbling few weeks,” Teigen began in a post to Medium which she also shared to her over 50 million followers on social media. She was referring to the fallout from the controversy surrounding old tweets that showed her cyber bullying former reality star Courtney Stodden.
The Lip Sync Battle co-host went on to say that, in the time since her last post, “I’ve been sitting in a hole of deserved global punishment, the ultimate ‘sit here and think about what you’ve done.’”
I’ve apologized publicly to one person, but there are others — and more than just a few — who I need to say I’m sorry to. I’m in the process of privately reaching out to the people I insulted. It’s like my own version of that show My Name is Earl! I understand that they may not want to speak to me. I don’t think I’d like to speak to me. (The real truth in all of this is how much I actually cannot take confrontation.) But if they do, I am here and I will listen to what they have to say, while apologizing through sobs.
There is simply no excuse for my past horrible tweets. My targets didn’t deserve them. No one does. 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.
Teigen further admitted that she “was insecure, immature and in a world where I thought I needed to impress strangers to be accepted.”
Teigen went on to say she’s had therapy and “more therapy.”
She ended with the following:
“I ask that you allow me, as I promise to allow you, to own past mistakes and be given the opportunity to seek self improvement and change.”