Linda Evangelista has continued to speak out about undergoing a cosmetic procedure that left her “deformed”.
The 58-year-old supermodel spoke about the rare side effects of the procedure during an interview with The Sunday Times, published on 26 November. Her comments come two years after she claimed she had an “increase in fat cells” and was left “brutally disfigured” after she tried CoolSculpting, which is a brand name for the fat-freezing process cryolipolysis.
During her recent interview with The Sunday Times, Evangelista - who first underwent cosmetic sessions from 2015 to 2016 - shared her thoughts about her physical appearance now. She also noted that, despite the backlash she’s received for the plastic surgery, she’s not criticising herself over the outcome of the Coolsculpting.
“Well, I don’t blame myself anymore. I’m not hard on myself any longer. And how people feel about me still bothers me a little bit, but it used to bother me a lot,” she said. “I know now that I didn’t do anything wrong.”
She went on to describe the ways she used to blame herself for her experience after the plastic surgery. However, she ultimately decided not to let the feelings get to her.
“For the longest time I thought I did. I’m not completely rid of it, but I work hard at getting rid of the guilt and the shame,” she said. “And I’m not letting it ruin my life. I wouldn’t have stayed locked up if I’d known how many people cared.”
In September 2021, Evangelista took to Instagram to share the rare side effects she experienced after the procedure. She alleged that she was left “permanently deformed even after undergoing two painful, unsuccessful, corrective surgeries”.
Following the 2021 procedure, the supermodel filed a lawsuit against Zeltiq, the company that markets CoolSculpting, for $50m in damages. She settled the lawsuit in July 2022, although the terms of the settlement are unclear.
“I’m pleased to have settled the CoolSculpting case. I look forward to the next chapter of my life with friends and family, and am happy to put this matter behind me,” Evangelista wrote on her Instagram Story at the time.
Throughout the last two years, Evangelista has opened up about why she decided to undergo the CoolSculpting procedure in the first place. “Those CoolSculpting commercials were on all the time, on CNN, on MSNBC, over and over, and they would ask: ‘Do you like what you see in the mirror?’ They were speaking to me,” she explained during a September 2022 interview with British Vogue. “It was about stubborn fat in areas that wouldn’t budge. It said no downtime, no surgery and… I drank the magic potion, and I would because I’m a little vain,” she said. “So I went for it – and it backfired.”
She specified that after the procedure, she developed paradoxical adipose hyperplasia, which is when the fatty tissue in the body grows instead of shrinking in response to the treatment. She said that while she tried everything to reverse the results, nothing helped. She then recalled that she’d later hit a low point where she tried to stop eating.
“I was so embarrassed, I’d just spent all this money and the only way I could think of to fix it was zero calories, and so I just drank water,” she said. “Or sometimes I would have a stick of celery or one apple. I was losing my mind.”
During an interview with Vogue in August, she also shared that she hasn’t been concerned about how her appearance could change through ageing. However, she also acknowledged how that remark was a little “hypocritical,” as she revealed that she still gets botox.
“I don’t mind and I never did mind ageing. Ageing gets us to where we want to be, and that’s for me a long life,” she said. “[Makeup artist] Kevyn Aucoin was so afraid of wrinkles and he never got them. I want wrinkles - but I Botox my forehead so I am a hypocrite - but I want to grow old.”
Elsewhere in the interview with The Sunday Times, Evangelista, who’s been diagnosed with breast cancer twice in the last five years, specified that her biggest ambition now is “to stay alive”. She noted that since her cancer returned in July 2022, after it was first detected in 2018, she’s lived her life with “one foot in the grave”. However, she said that’s a perspective that makes her grateful for her everyday life.
“When I see someone and say: ‘Oh, I haven’t seen you in so long, let’s have dinner together,’ now I really mean it,” the supermodel explained.