Supermodel Linda Evangelista claims that she was “deformed” after undergoing a cosmetic procedure more than five years ago.
Evangelista was best known for her modeling work in the 1990s, being the face of multiple fashion campaigns, walking catwalks and co-starring alongside fellow models like Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell in George Michael’s “Freedom! ‘90” music video.
However, she has not been in the public eye for quite some time, and on Wednesday the 56-year-old star took to Instagram to explain why.
“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 explained.
The procedure she’s describing is often called CoolSculpting and has become somewhat routine at medical spas in recent years after receiving U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval in 2010. Also known as body contouring, the non-surgical procedure is meant to take fat deposits and freeze them, thus reducing them within the body, according to Healthline.
However, Evangelista claims that she suffered a known, but rare, side effect that results in increased fat cells in the area where the procedure took place.
“It increased, not decreased, my fat cells and left me permanently deformed even after undergoing two painful, unsuccessful, corrective surgeries. I have been left, as the media has described, ‘unrecognizable.’”
She went on to explain that the procedure resulted in the development of paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH). Healthline notes that no one yet knows why this happens, but that it is typically more common in men than women. It is reportedly found in less than 1% of total CoolSculpting cases.
The side effect is not life-threatening, but the model notes that it has been a burden on her career.
“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,” Evangelista wrote.
She concludes by making mention of a lawsuit but did not offer any more details as to who was at the center of it.
Representatives for the model did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for further comment.
“I am moving forward to rid myself of my shame, and going public with my story,” she concluded. “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.”