Linda Evangelista, the supermodel who rose to fame in the 1990s, said she had become “brutally disfigured” and “unrecognizable” after a cosmetic body sculpting procedure that turned her into a recluse.
“Today I took a big step towards righting a mistake I suffered and kept to myself for over five years,” she says. wrote in an Instagram post on Wednesday.
“To my followers who have been wondering why I didn’t work while my colleagues’ careers were thriving, the reason is that I was brutally disfigured by Zeltiq’s CoolSculpting procedure, which did the opposite of what it promised.”
Ms. Evangelista, 56, said after the fat freezing procedure she developed: paradoxical fat hyperplasia, a side effect in which patients develop firm tissue masses in the treatment areas.
She said the cosmetic procedure left her with “permanent disfigurement, even after two painful, unsuccessful, corrective surgeries.” She said she was not made aware of the risk.
“PAH has not only destroyed my livelihood, it has also sent me into a cycle of deep depression, deep sadness and the lowest depths of self-loathing,” she wrote. “Meanwhile, I have become a hermit.”
Although Ms. Evangelista’s Instagram post mentioned a lawsuit, it was unclear if one had been filed and where.
According to CoolSculpting, the procedure has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of visible fat deposits.
According to the website of Allergan Aesthetics, a global pharmaceutical company whose brands include CoolSculpting, the procedure can cause an enlargement of the treated area about two to five months after treatment, requiring surgical intervention for correction.
Neither Allergan Aesthetics nor the FDA immediately responded to a request for comment Thursday.