Model Chrissy Teigen apologises for online bullying: 'I was a troll, full stop. And I am so sorry'

TV personality Courtney Stodden came forward with accusations of bullying in May

CANNES, FRANCE - JUNE 18: Chrissy Teigen goes behind the Tweets at #TwitterBeach at Cannes Lions on June 18, 2019 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Xavi Torrent/Getty Images for Twitter)
Powered by automated translation

Chrissy Teigen has returned to social media after a month-long break following accusations of online bullying. She returned with a lengthy apology, posted to her Twitter and Instagram accounts.

In the 1,100-plus-word statement, the model, who is married to All of Me singer John Legend, described having "a very humbling few weeks", saying: "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."

In May, US TV personality Courtney Stodden, 26, accused Teigen of online bullying dating back to 2011.

Speaking to The Daily Beast, Stodden, who identifies as non-binary, said: "[Chrissy] wouldn't just publicly tweet about wanting me to take 'a dirt nap' but would privately DM me and tell me to kill myself. Things like, 'I can't wait for you to die' … There were a lot of celebrities acting like playground bullies. Some of the worst treatment I got was from women, and we're not going to get anywhere if we keep holding each other back."

There is simply no excuse for my past horrible tweets. My targets didn't deserve them. No one does

Stodden, then aged 16, made headlines in 2011 when they married actor Doug Hutchison, who was 51 at the time. Stodden has since said they were “groomed” by Hutchison.

In May, Teigen apologised on Twitter, but Stodden said she did not reach out directly, only publicly, suggesting the model had apologised to try and save her reputation.

In Teigen's latest apology, which she posted on writers' platform Medium, she wrote: "There is simply no excuse for my past horrible tweets. My targets didn't deserve them. No one does.

“Many of them needed empathy, kindness, understanding and support, not my meanness masquerading as a kind of casual, edgy humour.”

She said: "I was a troll, full stop. And I am so sorry."

Teigen attempts to explain her behaviour. “I was insecure, immature and in a world where I thought I needed to impress strangers to be accepted. If there was a pop culture pile-on, I took to Twitter to try to gain attention and show off what I, at the time, believed was a crude, clever, harmless quip. I thought it made me cool and relatable if I poked fun at celebrities.”

More allegations of bullying levelled at Chrissy Teigen 

In her apology, the model implies there are more people she has “insulted” online. “I’ve apologised 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.”

In the hours since Teigen posted her apology, designer Michael Costello has come forward with allegations that she also bullied him online, leaving him with “thoughts of suicide”.

Costello posted a statement on his Instagram saying he would "not be happy until I speak my mind", writing that he "wanted to kill myself" and is still "traumatised, depressed and have thoughts of suicide" after Teigen allegedly accused him of being a racist in 2014. He says that the model “formed her own opinion” of him “based on a Photoshopped comment floating around the internet”, which he says had since “proven to be false”.

Teigen has yet to respond to Costello’s allegations.

Teigen, mother of Luna, 5, and Miles, 2, has 13.5 million Twitter followers and 35 million on Instagram.

Since May, a number of brands have distanced themselves from the model. Department store Macy's removed her cookware line from its website and Target dropped her products, claiming it was a "mutual decision" made in December. Page Six reported that Bloomingdale's backed out of a new contract with the model amid the allegations.