Model Linda Evangelista Says Cosmetic Procedure Left Her 'Deformed' and Destroyed Her Career

Linda Evangelista says a cosmetic procedure she had more than five years ago left her "deformed." The 56-year-old supermodel went to Instagram to explain why she has not been seen publicly for a while, claiming she was "disfigured" by a procedure that led to her career being damaged

"To my followers who have wondered why I have not been working while my peers' careers have been thriving, the reason is that I was brutally disfigured by Zeltiq's CoolSculpting procedure which did the opposite of what it promised," Evangelista said in the Instagram post. She went on to reveal that she suffered a rare side effect that resulted in increased fat cells. 

"It increased, not decreased, my fat cells and left me permanently deformed even after undergoing two painful, unsuccessful, corrective surgeries. I have been left, as the media has described, 'unrecognizable,'" Evangelista said while also admitting to developing Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia or PAH, which has "not only destroyed my livelihood, it has sent me into a cycle of deep depression, profound sadness and the lowest depths of self-loathing."

She concluded the statement by saying: "In the process, I have become a recluse. With this lawsuit, I am moving forward to rid myself of my shame, and going public with my story I'm so tired of living this way. I would likely walk out my door with my head held high, despite not looking like myself any longer."

Evangelista was one of the top supermodels in the 1990s. She has been featured in over 700 magazines and is known for being featured in the 1990 George Michael video "Freedom! 90." In a previous interview, Evangelista talked about being in the video and said: "[George] thought it would make us into a big deal, that it would be good for us. I was like, 'Please, we're here. We've already arrived!'"

But after speaking with Michael, Evangelista changed her mind, telling Vanity Fair in 2015: "Little did I know that to this day, when someone meets me for the first time, they bring up that video. That's what they remember. So yeah, George was right." In 1996 Evangelista won VH1's Fashing Awards Lifetime Achievement Awards. She also received a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in 2003.