Linda Evangelista has made a startling claim about a beauty procedure which she said left her “brutally disfigured”.
The Canadian supermodel, who rose to prominence in the 1990s, took to Instagram on Thursday to explain the reason she hasn’t been working in the industry is allegedly due to the shocking effects of a fat freezing service.
She also revealed she is planning legal action against the company involved.
“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 claimed in her post.
“It increased, not decreased, my fat cells and left me permanently deformed even after undergoing two painful, unsuccessful, corrective surgeries.”
A post shared by Linda Evangelista (@lindaevangelista)
The 56-year-old said as a result she has developed paradoxical adipose hyperplasia or PAH, a risk she claims she wasn’t made aware of before she had the procedure.
“PAH 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 said.
“In the process, I have become a recluse.”
Evangelista, who has been featured on more than 700 magazine covers over her career and is one of the most accomplished models of all time, said she kept the health battle a secret for more than five years.
“Today I took a big step towards righting a wrong that I have suffered and have kept to myself for over five years,” she wrote.
Evengelista’s post mentioned a lawsuit and said she is “moving forward to to rid myself of my shame, and going public with my story”. It is unclear if the lawsuit has already been filed.
“I’m so tired of living this way. I would like to walk out my door with my head held high, despite not looking like myself any longer,” she wrote.
PAH has been reported as a rare complication after cryolipolysis (fat freezing).
It’s when the treated area becomes larger rather than smaller in the weeks after the procedure, leaving a “painless, visibly enlarged, firm, well-demarcated mass” under the skin.
“Based on data from the manufacturer of the cryolipolysis equipment, PAH has been estimated to occur in one out of every 4000 treatment cycles, for an incidence of 0.025 per cent,” a report in Science Daily stated.
PAH can be treated with liposuction, but patients must wait a few months before treatment, the report explains.
“Surgeons must be extremely sensitive when dealing with patients who have PAH, both when explaining the problem and when offering them a potential surgical solution.”
At this stage, Evandelista hasn’t shed any more details about the procedure, except that it left her looking “unrecognisable”.
The former model, who captioned the post with hashtags ‘the truth’ and ‘mystory’, left her almost one million Instagram followers in shock after revealing what had allegedly happened.
“Dearest wonderful Linda I am so sorry to hear this! I love you and respect you beyond words!” one fan wrote.
“You are the greatest icon, forever beautiful from the inside out. We are all here to support you and love you,” said model Carolyn Murphy.
“Thank you for sharing. Can’t even imagine what you are going through. Know that you are loved, admired and respected and nothing will ever change that. Stay strong Linda!” another follower added.
The majority of images Linda shares on her Instagram are are flashback photos during her time as a model alongside industry peers Cindy Crawford and Noami Campbell.
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