Linda Evangelista opened up to fans about a botched surgery that she had a couple years ago. The model took to Instagram to share her story and has since filed a $50 million lawsuit at CoolSculpting and its parent company, Zeltiq, alleging that the procedure left her physically deformed and unable to work.
According to Linda, she underwent a CoolSculpting procedure back in 2015. The procedure was supposed to reduce fat cells. But it actually did the opposite, she claims. She tried fat removal on her thighs, abdomen, back, flanks and chin and after a few months, the model said that she “developed hard, bulging, painful masses under her skin.”
Those bumps are called paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH), and it’s a rare swelling that happens when the fat cells being treated become bigger instead of smaller. Linda claimed that she was never made aware of this potential and dangerous side effect before undergoing CoolSculpting.
In the lawsuit, the model is suing Zeltiq and CoolSculpting for negligence and misleading advertising. Zeltiq allegedly knew about the PAH risk years before and informed investors before telling customers and members of the public. The $50 million that she hopes to get would cover lost income and emotional distress because of the botched cosmetic procedure. Linda says that since 2016 when the procedures were finished she has not worked, lost jobs, and has become a recluse.
“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,” said Linda on her Instagram.
Her lawyers said that Linda is speaking out not only for herself but for anyone else who might have suffered because of Zeltiq and their CoolSculpting procedure.
Court documents show that Zeltiq offered to pay for Linda’s cosmetic liposuction after the PAH was discovered, but on the day of the surgery they said that they would only pay if the model signed a confidentiality agreement. She refused.
The model still went through with two full body liposuction surgeries, but they were unsuccessful and resulted in a long and painful recovery.
Linda Evangelista was one of the top models of the early ’90s, including Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell. Her career started in 1984, and she quickly climbed the ladder and became known as one of the most successful models of her time. Over the course of her modeling career, Linda was on the cover of over 700 magazines and appeared in many runway shows.
Her last job was at the age of 51 when she appeared on the cover of Zoo Magazine for their 50th issue. As Linda described in her Instagram post, she became a recluse after her botched cosmetic procedures and has even developed agoraphobia.
Since her post on Instagram, her fellow models have reached out and expressed their support for her struggles. Cindy Crawford applauded the model’s strength for finally sharing her story while Natalia Vodianova wrote, “My darling, this is such an important conversation and you are the voice for so many unheard. BRAVO.”
Model Naomi Campbell commented on the post and said, “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,” she continued. “Proud of you , and support you every step of the way.”
Zeltiq and CoolSculpting have yet to comment on the lawsuit or Linda Evangelista’s allegations.