Model Linda Evangelista is speaking out and sharing new photos of herself after revealing she was left “brutally disfigured” by a cosmetic procedure gone wrong.
Last year, Evangelista said she underwent Zeltiq’s CoolSculpting procedure to decrease fat cells. But she alleged it “did the opposite of what it promised” and “left me permanently deformed,” leading her to become a “recluse.” She’s now speaking out in her first interview on the subject with People magazine.
“I loved being up on the catwalk,” she told People. “Now I dread running into someone I know. I can’t live like this anymore, in hiding and shame. I just couldn’t live in this pain any longer. I’m willing to finally speak.”
Evangelista said she began noticing bulges on her body after the procedure and that a doctor diagnosed her with paradoxical adipose hyperplasia. While she says she “tried to fix it myself,” she says the doctor told her “no amount of dieting, and no amount of exercise was ever going to fix it,” and after undergoing two liposuction surgeries, “It wasn’t even a little bit better.”
“I don’t recognize myself physically, but I don’t recognize me as a person any longer either,” Evangelista added.
She has filed a lawsuit against the parent company of CoolSculpting, Zeltiq Aesthetics, seeking $50 million in damages. A representative for CoolSculpting told People its procedure, which has been cleared by the FDA, “has been well studied with more than 100 scientific publications and more than 11 million treatments performed worldwide.”
Evangelista previously said that with her lawsuit, she is “moving forward to rid myself of my shame,” and she told People her goal is to “shed myself of some of the shame and help other people who are in the same situation as me.”