Linda Evangelista claimed she has been ‘brutally disfigured’ from a cosmetic procedure as she explained her year absence from the spotlight on Wednesday.
The supermodel, 56, took a tentative step back into the public eye when she blamed her ‘reclusive’ behaviour’ on a disfiguring procedure.
In a statement shared to Instagram, the Nineties-icon claimed she had been ‘permanently deformed’ due to a rare side effect from a cosmetic procedure.
According to Evangelista, she had undergone a CoolSculpting procedure to ‘decrease’ her fat cells, but instead the procedure allegedly ‘increased’ her fat cells.
Dramatic return: The supermodel Linda Evangelista, 56, claimed in an Instagram statement on Wednesday that she had been ‘permanently deformed’ after a CoolSculpting procedure allegedly caused a rare side effect (pictured left, in 2017, and right in 2005)
Rare adverse effect: She claimed she had developed Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia, a condition in which fat cells increase rather than decreasing after a cryolipolysis procedure
Linda’s statement read: ‘Today I took a big step towards righting a wrong that I have suffered and have kept to myself for over five years…
‘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…
‘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 described, “unrecognizable.”‘
The model claimed she wasn’t properly warned of the potential side effects associated with the CoolSculpting procedure.
That was then: Linda is pictured in 2016 in Tokyo
‘I have developed Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia or PAH, a risk of which I was not made aware before I had the procedures…
‘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.
‘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,’ she continued.
‘I’m so tired of living this way. I would like to walk out my door with my held held high, despite not looking like myself any longer.’
During a cryolipolysis procedure, also known as body sculpting, a device that’s usually set below freezing temperature is applied to fat deposits, which causes cell death in the fat tissue.
Usually safe: The procedure Evangelista had normally uses below-freezing temperatures on fat tissue deposits to kill the fat cells, allowing the body to pass them; seen in 2012 in NYC
The body can then pass the dead fat cells.
She described developing Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia, a rare condition sometimes observed after similar procedures in which adipose tissue (or body fat) increases after procedures known as cryolipolysis, even though they usually decrease adipose tissue.
According to Healthline, the increased fat deposits aren’t harmful, but they also don’t appear to go away on their own over time.
The ‘very rare’ condition is most common in men who have undergone cryolipolysis, though it can still affect women.
WHAT IS PARADOXICAL ADIPOSE HYPERPLASIA (PAH)?
Paradoxical adipose hyperplasia is a rare, previously unreported adverse effect of cryolipolysis.
Cryolipolysis uses cooling to damage and destroy subcutaneous fat cells, without damaging the skin to reduce the amount of fat in the treated area.
This phenomenon of PAH has a reported rate of incidence of 0.0051% of the 1.5 million CoolSculpting procedures performed worldwide. Many physicians see numerous cases in their offices.
PAH causes a gradual enlargement of the treated area. It occurs when the stimulus (the freezing of fat cells) activates a reactionary process in the fatty tissue that thickens and expands the fat cells rather than breaking them down and allowing the body to process and remove them.
PAH is only known to occur following a cryolipolysis, or CoolSculpting body contouring treatment.
PAH typically cannot be confirmed until about 6 months post-procedure, with patients complaining that they are getting bigger in the exact shape of the applicator, as depicted below.
Linda singled out the Allergan subsidiary Zeltiq for allegedly performing the botched procedure without informing her of the potential negative side effects.
The post elicited an outpouring of sympathy and supporting from the model’s admirers and friends in the fashion industry.
Moschino Creative Director Jeremy Scott penned: ‘You are and always will be a supermodel now adding super role model of courage to your glorious resume. I love you’.
Mad Men star January Jones said: ‘Love that you’re reclaiming your story. This strength and bravery supersedes any superficial outward appearance. An icon is an icon is an icon. Always❤️.’
Psychological effects: Evangelista said she had become a ‘recluse,’ and her condition caused ‘deep depression’ and ‘self-loathing’; seen in 2014 with her son Augustin in Manhattan
Evangelista’s fellow supermodel Cindy Crawford wrote: ‘Linda — your strength and true essence are forever recognizable and iconic! Bravo!,’ while Gwyneth Paltrow shared her love with a heart emoji.
Fellow supermodel Helena Christensen shared a moving comment for her old friend.
She penned: ‘It would’ve taken immense courage and strength to write these words. I can honestly say that I broke down in tears reading this…
‘Not only because I knew in my heart you somehow had been quietly going through something deeply personal and disturbing but also because I thought of all the scars life leaves on us all, whether physical or emotional and how long we suffer mostly in silence and alone.
All star support: Linda was met with gushing support from her celebrity friends
‘It is so important and beautiful when someone steps out of the shadow and are brutally honest and real. Thank you for being beautiful inside and out.’
Naomi Campbell, who soared to fame alongside Linda in their heyday, wrote: ‘Elos I applaud you for your Courage and strength to Share your experience and not be held hostage by it anymore .. You know I love you…
‘We love you and here for you always Right by your side .. I can’t imagine the pain you gone through mentally these past 5 years ., your free of it now….
‘Remember who you are , and What you have achieved and your influence and all the lives of people you have touched , and still doing so to this very day by sharing your story . Proud of you , and support you every step of the way’.
Linda previously told the Mail On Sunday that she hadn’t had any work done and hoped to grow old gracefully.
She said: ‘There was a picture of me in the press recently just after I’d had a facial, in which I was wearing no make-up. It was claimed that I had had this and that procedure done, and it was rubbish…
‘I probably will have surgery – not right now, but I am getting close. If it’s important to me I will have it, and announce that I’ve had it.’
On her side: Fellow supermodels Cindy Crawford and Helena Christensen shared moving comments to support her, while Gwyneth Paltrow posted a heart emoji; seen in 2005 in Milan, Italy
The model muse was best known in the nineties as one of the world’s six supermodels, a group which also included Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer and Kate Moss.
Linda got her start in modelling at the age of 16 when she took part in the Miss Teen Niagara beauty pageant, where she was spotted by a representative from Elite Model Management.
Her unique and versatile look meant that Linda was able to snag a multitude of modelling jobs, quickly becoming one of the highest paid models in the industry.
Since then, she has starred in campaigns for brands including NARS, Fendi, L’Oreal, Chanel, Talbots and Moschino.
These days she spends less time on the catwalk, but Linda is still a regular fixture in magazines and ad campaigns.
As of 2014, Linda was worth approximately $18million (£11.7million).
She has one child, an 14-year-old son named Augustin, with former flame, French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault, who is now married to actress Salma Hayek.
Glam: Linda is seen at the Met Gala in 2015