John Legend tweeted on Friday that direct messages between fashion designer and former Project Runway contestant Michael Costello and Chrissy Teigen, in which she allegedly bullied him, are illegitimate.
“Chrissy apologized for her public tweets, but after her apology, Mr Costello fabricated a DM exchange between them,” wrote Legend, to his 13.9M followers on Twitter. “This exchange was made up, completely fake, never happened.” He included a link to a Business Insider story, in which a member of Teigen’s team confirmed the direct messages on Instagram — which were posted by Costello on June 14 but have now been deleted — were fabricated.
Teigen has been the subject of controversy since Courtney Stodden called out the model and author for harassing them on social media when they were a teenager. Teigen publicly apologized on Twitter on May 12, writing that she was “mortified and sad” at who she used to be. “I was an insecure, attention seeking troll,” she added.
In a blog post published to Medium on Monday, Teigen referenced the “awful” tweets and acknowledged that there is “simply no excuse” for them. She reflected on the situation, adding that “not a single moment has passed where I haven’t felt the crushing weight of regret for things I’ve said in the past.”
Costello surfaced the alleged messages with Teigen soon after the blog post. In a statement attached to the DM screenshots he posted, he claimed that Teigen accused him of being a racist following a Photoshopped comment that he says was proven false by Instagram and later removed from the service, and that she and her stylist Monica Rose attempted to blacklist him from the fashion industry. “For the past 7 years, I’ve lived with a deep, unhealed trauma,” wrote Costello.
The direct messages reportedly did not include the verification check mark next to Teigen’s name, which was introduced to the platform in 2014, when this interaction is said to have taken place. The messages also included a video chat icon, though this feature did not arrive on the platform until 2018.
On Friday afternoon, Costello tweeted a lengthy message aimed at Legend and clarifying his feelings toward Teigen, who he says has “hurt good people” and damaged the careers of others.
“Thought about whether I should write this or not, but I have to,” wrote the designer. “If someone were to say anything about my family, I would defend them to the max. I understand where you are coming from @JohnLegend. I respect and love your music. I even have four of your songs on my playlist, not that you care. But, your wife has hurt good people and done a lot of shady things offline to ruin other people’s careers. You may not know that, but she does.”
Legend has yet to respond to the tweet.
Later on Friday, Teigen’s official Instagram account posted a lengthy statement on behalf of the model, noting that she is “completely surprised and disappointed” by Costello’s claims, “which includes fictional ‘screenshots’ from 2014 of supposed private messages that Teigen did not send.” The statement acknowledged that Teigen did post a comment on Costello’s Instagram when he was publicly accused of making a racist remark, but deleted the comment after Costello denied the remark and claimed it was based on a photoshopped comment.
“Chrissy has never conspired with anyone to harm his career,” the statement continued, adding that the stylist whom Costello referenced did not become a part of Teigen’s team until 2018. In a caption beside the statement, Teigen wrote that she has “no idea” what Costello is doing and begged for people to learn the truth.
“Michael, you are now causing actual pain to people who are trying to better themselves,” wrote Teigen. “Enough. Or this WILL go further. Not here, but an actual court of law.”