Supermodel Linda Evangelista is opening up about the reason that she's stepped away from the camera, sharing in an Instagram post that she's been left "permanently deformed" as a result of a CoolSculpting procedure.
The 56-year-old, who has worked alongside the likes of Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell, took to her social media to share the news. Within a lengthy statement, she explained her decision to speak out about her absence, employing the hashtags #TheTruth and #MyStory.
"Today I took a big step towards righting a wrong that I have suffered and have kept to myself for over five years. 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," she wrote.
CoolSculpting is an FDA-cleared treatment that eliminates "stubborn fat" by using freezing temperatures to break down fat cells. According to the CoolSculpting website, the non invasive procedure can eliminate 20-25 percent of treated fat cells for good. Evangelista claimed that it increased her fat cells instead.
"Even after undergoing two painful, unsuccessful, corrective surgeries," she continued, "I have been left, as the media has described, 'unrecognizable.'"
The model went on to explain that she hadn't been made aware of certain risks of the procedure, including Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia (PAH), which she said she has developed. "PAH has not only destroyed my livelihood, it has sent me into a cycle of deep depression, profound sadness, and the lowest depths of self-loathing. In the process I have become a recluse.
Allergan Aesthetics, the company behind CoolSculpting technologies, didn't immediately respond to Yahoo Life's request for comment. Evangelista, however, announced that she has filed a lawsuit.
"I am moving forward to rid myself of my shame, and going public with my story," she wrote. "I'm so tired of living this way. I would like to walk out my door with my head held high, despite not looking like myself any longer."