Chrissy Teigen and her husband, John Legend, directly responded to Michael Costello's allegations that he was also the victim of Teigen's online bullying in the early 2010s. Costello, a fashion designer who appeared on Project Runway, claimed on Monday that Teigen sent him messages on Instagram in 2014, accusing him of being a racist and nearly driving him to suicide because he felt blacklisted in the industry. Teigen has denied the allegations and claimed Costello faked the screenshots he published on Monday. Costello has since deleted his Monday post but is sticking with his story.
Teigen shared a statement from her representatives on Instagram Friday, alleging that the direct messages were faked. They acknowledged that Teigen did post a public comment on Costello's Instagram page in 2014 after he was accused of making a racist remark. In his post Monday, Costello claimed he sent DMs to Teigen, denying he commented, but she continued calling him racist and told him he "might as well be dead," and his "career is over." Costello also claimed Teigen and her friends made it impossible for him to get work in the fashion industry. Teigen's team denied this. They also pointed out that Costello's screenshots included a color format that Instagram didn't have until last year. Teigen's post also included screenshots of messages Costello sent her, in which he compliments her posts and asks for her help.
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"No idea what the f— Michael Costello is doing," Teigen wrote alongside her team's statement. "He just released a statement where he didn’t at ALL acknowledge how fake the dm’s were, & now claims to have emails that don’t exist. So while he conjures those up (hopefully with someone more talented in fakes this time), here. And remember yesterday how confused he was about Leona Lewis’ stylists being so kind to him in recent years? Well, imagine my surprise when I have these from the past 3 years."
Teigen later went on to ask her fans not to bully Costello, but she threatened to sue him if he continued accusing her of bullying him. "I’ve taken it ALL. I’ve heard it all. I just beg for you to know the truth," she wrote. "Michael, you are now causing actual pain to people who are trying to better themselves. Enough. Or this WILL go further. Not here, but an actual court of law. And every dime we win will go to an anti-bullying charity focused on turning this s— show into a positive. I wish you peace and healing. I have some places I’ve been attending if you’d like the [connections]."
Legend retweeted a link to Business Insider, which pointed out the issues with the original screenshots Costello published. The singer called the DMs between Teigen and Costello "made up, completely fake, never happened." He later added that he did not understand "why anyone would fake DMs to insert themselves in this narrative, but that's what happened. I encourage everyone who breathlessly spread this lie to keep that same energy when they correct the record."
Meanwhile, Costello is not changing his story. Shortly after Teigen and Legend posted their statements Friday, Costello shared another one, suggesting that the fact Teigen's team came out against the DMs he claims she sent him is proof "that she is the same bully she always has been, despite her fake apology to the public." Costello insists Teigen has "gone out of her way to close doors to my career" and told colleagues she would not work with them if he was involved. "I have receipts of emails and confirmations from these individuals and companies," he claimed. Costello will not be commenting further, he said, because "this has been a nightmare, not just for me, but for my family."