Chrissy Teigen and John Legend Claim Direct Messages Posted by Michael Costello Are ‘Completely Fake’

·4-min read

Amid Chrissy Teigen’s apology and exit from Netflix’s “Never Have I Ever” and her Safely brand due to resurfaced tweets, she and husband John Legend have taken to Twitter, claiming that a publicized direct message exchange between Teigen and fashion designer Michael Costello is “completely fake.”

On June 14, fashion designer and “Project Runway” alum Costello posted screenshots of an alleged conversation between Teigen and himself from 2014, in which Teigen accused him of being a racist due to a “photoshopped comment.”

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In the now-deleted screenshots, Teigen is shown as writing to Costello, “Racist people like you deserve to suffer and die. You might as well be dead. Your career is over, just watch.”

However, a report from Insider points out that these DMs may not have been real. For one, there is no verified checkmark next to Teigen’s name. Instagram introduced verification in 2014, and Teigen was verified in early 2015, meaning these screenshots were purportedly taken in 2014.

But the blue and purple message design was not implemented until 2020, and the video chat icon at the top of the screen was not introduced until June 2018, according to the report, which a representative for Teigen corroborated. A representative for Costello did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment.

On Friday, Teigen released a statement on Twitter, writing, “No idea what the fuck Michael Costello is doing. He just released a statement where he didn’t at ALL acknowledge how fake the DMs were, & now claims to have emails that don’t exist.”

“Chrissy is completely surprised and disappointed by Michael Costello’s recent attack, which includes fictional ‘screenshots’ from 2014 of supposed private messages that Chrissy did not send,” the statement reads. “In October 2014, she did post a comment on Mr. Costello’s Instagram when he was publicly accused of making a racist remark. After he denied the accusation, and claimed it was based on a photoshopped comment, Chrissy deleted the comment, as was reported at the time.”

The statement went on to say that Teigen believed her relationship with Costello was “cordial,” referencing several online interactions they had over the years.

“Chrissy has acknowledged her past behavior and the pain she has caused, but she will not stand for anyone spreading false accusations to further demean her name and reputation,” the statement continues. “Chrissy will continue to do the work she needs to do to be the best person she can be. She hopes Michael Costello can do the same.”

Legend also took to Twitter to defend Teigen, writing, “Chrissy apologized for her public tweets, but after her apology, Mr. Costello fabricated a DM exchange between them. This exchange was made up, completely fake, never happened.”

Legend continued, “I encourage everyone who breathlessly spread this lie to keep that same energy when they correct the record.”

On Friday, it was announced that Teigen would be “stepping away” from Safely, the cleaning brand she developed with Kris Jenner. An Instagram story posted to the brand’s account reads: “Chrissy will be stepping away from Safely to take much needed time to focus on herself and be with her family. We fully support her decision and are thankful for her contributions. The brand will continue to move forward and focus on our important mission of bringing high quality, hard-working cleaning products to all American households.”

Earlier this week, Teigen penned a lengthy apology regarding previous tweets targeted at model and reality TV personality Courtney Stodden.

“Not a day, not a single moment has passed where I haven’t felt the crushing weight of regret for the things I’ve said in the past,” she wrote in a Medium post on Monday. “As you know, a bunch of my old awful (awful, awful) tweets resurfaced. I’m truly ashamed of them. As I look at them and understand the hurt they caused, I have to stop and wonder: How could I have done that?”

The post continues, “I’ve apologized publicly to one person, but there are others — and more than just a few — who I need to say I’m sorry to. I’m in the process of privately reaching out to the people I insulted.”

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