A complete timeline of the Chrissy Teigen bullying scandal as star says she’s been ‘cancelled’

A complete timeline of the Chrissy Teigen bullying scandal as star says she’s been ‘cancelled’

Chrissy Teigen has issued her latest message of self-flagellation weeks after she was publicly denounced as a troll.

The model has been largely silent on social media since non-binary TV star Courtney Stodden, 26, accused her of bullying them when they were just a teen.

On Wednesday, Teigen, 35, published a lengthy a Instagram message describing how she feels “sick with herself”.

The mum-of-two, who is married to award-winning singer John Legend, wrote that she felt “lost” and “depressed” but admitted she’d “done something wrong”.

So what do we know about the accusations against her? And how have people responded to her declarations of remorse? Here’s a full overview of the controversy to date.

Courtney Stodden tweets – 2011

In May, Stodden spoke out about abusive messages Teigen had sent them a decade ago.

The model and reality television personality became famous as the 16-year-old bride of actor Doug Hutchison, who was 50 when they married in 2011.

Teigen allegedly harassed Stodden on Twitter at the time, both publicly and via private message, sending them dark and threatening notes.

The now 26-year-old told an interview with Daily Beast:  “She wouldn’t just publicly tweet about wanting me to take ‘a dirt nap’ but would privately DM me and tell me to kill myself. Things like, ‘I can’t wait for you to die.”

Teigen’s response – May 2021

The accusations plunged Teigen into an online storm, prompting her to issue a four part-statement on May 12.

It began: “Not a lot of people are lucky enough to be held accountable for all their past bulls*** in front of the entire world. I’m mortified and sad at who I used to be. I was an insecure, attention seeking troll. I am ashamed and completely embarrassed at my behavior but that is nothing compared to how I made Courtney feel.”

She continued: “I have worked so hard to give you guys joy and be beloved and the feeling of letting you down is nearly unbearable, truly. These were not my only mistakes and surely won’t be my last as hard as I try but god I will try!!

“I have tried to connect with Courtney privately but since I publicly fueled all this, I want to also publicly apologize. I’m so sorry, Courtney. I hope you can heal now knowing how deeply sorry I am.

“And I am so sorry I let you guys down. I will forever work on being better than I was 10 years ago, 1 year ago, 6 months ago.”

Stodden’s riposte

Teigen’s claim that she had “tried to connect” with her former victim was undermined in an Instagram post uploaded by Stodden just hours after the 35-year-old shared her grovelling statement.

“I accept her apology and forgive her. But the truth remains the same, I have never heard from her or her camp in private,” Stodden wrote.

They added that Teigen had also blocked them on Twitter, sharing a screenshot as proof.

“All of me wants to believe this is a sincere apology, but it feels like a public attempt to save her partnerships with Target and other brands who are realizing her ‘wokeness’ is a broken record,” Stodden said.

Public outcry and axed deals

Scores of social media users agreed with Stodden’s suspicions that Teigen’s statement was more self-interested than sincere.

The 35-year-old swiftly attracted criticism for her older tweets, including a 2011 post mocking Lindsay Lohan’s issues with self-harming and a 2013 message branding ‘Teen Mom’ star Farrah Abraham a “whore”.

The unearthing of these cyber attacks led to Teigen’s Cravings cookware line — which she proudly promoted to her millions of followers — being pulled from Macy’s department store.

The 35-year-old also left a voiceover role on Netflix comedy ‘Never Have I Ever’, and retreated from social media.

Teigen’s fresh apology – June 2021

Breaking her silence with a blog post shared to publishing platform Medium, Teigen described her old tweets as “awful, awful” and said she was “truly ashamed” of them.

“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 humour.

“I was a troll, full stop. And I am so sorry.”

The 35-year-old admitted that her actions were prompted by a quest for validation, writing: “In reality, I was insecure, immature and in a world where I thought I needed to impress strangers to be accepted.

“If there was a pop culture pile-on, I took to Twitter to try to gain attention and show off what I at the time believed was a crude, clever, harmless quip. I thought it made me cool and relatable if I poked fun at celebrities.

“Now, confronted with some of the things that I said, I cringe to my core.”

Teigen, who was widely praised last year for sharing stark pictures of the loss of her third child, said she is no longer the person who posted nasty social media messages.

“I grew up, got therapy, got married, had kids, got more therapy, experienced loss and pain, got more therapy and experienced more life,” she added.

And she said she hopes her children – daughter Luna, five, and three-year-old son Miles – will “recognise my evolution”.

Teigen added: “My goal is to be so good that my kids will think this was all a fairy tale. Not the fake good. The good that has the best intentions, the good who wakes up wanting to make her friends, family, her team and fans as happy as possible.”

How people reacted

Both of Teigen’s apologies proved divisive. While scores of commentators condemned them as little more than PR stunts, others insisted that everyone has the ability to change and should be able to seek forgiveness.

Right-wing pundit Candace Owens is one of her fiercest critics. Here’s what she had to say in the wake of the model’s June statement:

Teigen was allegedly also blacklisted from arguably the most high profile guest list in the country:

Here’s how other sceptics have responded:

However, plenty of fans came out in force to defend the Hollywood star:

Michael Costello accusations – June 2021

No sooner had Teigen published her apology to Stodden, fresh allegations emerged.

This time they came from designer Michael Costello, 38, who opened up about feeling “traumatised, depressed” and having “thoughts of suicide” after alleged bullying by the model.

“For the past seven years, I’ve lived with a deep, unhealed trauma,” the 38-year-old wrote in an Instagram post, admitting that he was scared of sharing his experience with anyone for fear of a backlash from “the power elites who run the industry”.

Costello referenced an alleged 2014 comment in which Teigen had branded him “racist” for using the n-word.“

“She apparently formed her own opinion of me based on a photoshopped comment floating around the internet which has now been proven to be false by Instagram and since taken down,” he said.

“When I reached out to Chrissy Teigen to communicate that I was the victim of a vindictive cyber slander and that everything she thought I was is not who I am, she told me that my career was over and that all my doors will be shut from there on.”

He also claimed that for the next few years, he was pulled off jobs at the last minute and had mutual friends telling him that Teigen and her stylist Monica Rose are going “out of their way to threaten people and brands that if they were in any shape or form associated with me, they would not work with any of them”.

The designer admitted that the fallout had left him “wanting to kill” himself, adding: “I didn’t see the point of living.”

“There was no way I can ever escape from being the target of the powerful elites in Hollywood, who actually do have the powers to close doors with a single text,” he continued.

“Not only was I the target of cyber defamation, but I was also getting blocklisted in real life.”

The 38-year-old’s post also featured apparent screengrabs of his past conversations with Teigen.

In one message, it appears as though she wrote: “Racist people like you deserve to suffer and die. You might as well be dead. Your career is over, just watch.”

Screengrab of Michael Costello\u2019s alleged chat with Chrissy TeigenScreengrab of Michael Costello’s alleged chat with Chrissy TeigenMichael Costello/ Instagram

Teignen’s threat of legal action

Teigen fired back at Costello’s allegations and threatened to take legal action, accusing him of sharing faked messages.

She wrote: “No idea what the f*** Michael Costello is doing. 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.”

She added: “Please do NOT bully this man under the masquerade of defending me. I’ve taken it ALL. I’ve heard it all. I just beg for you to know the truth.

“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 shit show into a positive. I wish you peace and healing. I have some places I’ve been attending if you’d like the connects.”

Costello responded with fury on Instagram page, saying Teigen was “the same bully she always has been, despite her fake apology to the public”.

In what he said would be his last statement on the controversy before taking a break from social media, he wrote: “I’ll say this again. Chrissy Teigen has gone out of her way to close doors to my career by making calls, sending texts, telling colleagues and companies that if I were attached to a project that she would not work with them.

“I have receipts of emails and confirmations from these individuals and companies.”

Teigen’s husband, Legend, defended her on Twitter and said the exchange Costello shared was “completely fake”.

A statement from Teigen’s representatives added: “Chrissy is completely surprised and disappointed by Michael Costello’s recent attack, which includes fictional ‘screenshots’ from 2014 of supposed private messages that Chrissy did not send.

“In October 2014, she did post a comment on Mr. Costello’s Instagram when he was publicly accused of making a racist remark. After he denied the accusation, and claimed it was based on a photoshopped comment, Chrissy deleted the comment, as was reported at the time.

“Chrissy has acknowledged her past behaviour and the pain she has caused, but she will not stand for anyone spreading false accusations to further demean her name and reputation.

“Chrissy will continue to do the work she needs to do to be the best person she can be. She hopes Michael Costello can do the same.”

Michael Costello said Teigen was ‘the same bully she always has been’Getty Images

Teigen’s Instagram statement - July 2021

Following weeks of silence, Teigen shared a lengthy update to Instagram detailing her mental health struggles after joining the so-called “cancel club”.

Sharing a photo of her legs in torn jeans as she lay across a sofa at home, the 35-year-old began her post: “Iiiii don’t really know what to say here…just feels so weird to pretend nothing happened in this online world but feel like utter s*** in real life.

“Going outside sucks and doesn’t feel right, being at home alone with my mind makes my depressed head race.

“But I do know that however I’m handling this now isn’t the right answer. I feel lost and need to find my place again, I need to snap out of this, I desperately wanna communicate with you guys instead of pretending everything is okay.

“I’m not used to any other way!!”

The former swimsuit pin-up and wife of John Legend described the so-called “cancel club” as fascinating, writing: “I have learned a whollllle lot”.

“Only a few understand it and it’s impossible to know til you’re in it,” she added.

Teigen acknowledged that complaining about being “cancelled” sounds “whiney when you’ve clearly done something wrong”.

She said: “It just sucks. There is no winning. But there never is here anyhow.”

The mum-of-two ended her statement by saying: “All I know is I love you guys, I miss you guys, and I just needed an honest moment with you because I’m just…tired of being sick with myself all day.

“I don’t even know if it’s good to say any of this because it’s gonna get brutally picked apart but I dunno. I can’t do this silent s*** anymore!

“If you or someone you know has also been cancelled please let me know if there is a cancel club reunion because I could use some time off my couch! Thank you and goodbye I love you.”

You can find helpful tips on how to start a conversation on mental health, or if you are worried about someone else, on Samaritans website.

You can contact the Samaritans helpline by calling 116 123.

The helpline is free and open 24 hours a day every day of the year. You can also contact Samaritans by emailing jo@samaritans.org. The average response time is 24 hours.

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