Rise and fall of Chrissy Teigen: How a cyberbullying scandal pierced her image, nearly derailed her career

A number of celebrities found themselves in the crosshairs of cancellation in 2021 for things they did or said during the year or in the resurfaced past – including Chrissy Teigen.

This year, the “Cravings” cookbook author saw her image nearly implode after the former swimsuit model was outed for sending abhorrent messages to others on social media. A source, who is familiar with Teigen, acknowledged that it was “not Chrissy’s finest moment.”

Teigen was called out for allegedly cyberbullying fashion designer Michael Costello so badly on social media that he developed suicidal thoughts due to the “unhealed trauma” of dealing with Teigen.

The former “Bring the Funny” show judge was also exposed by television personality Courtney Stodden, 27, for telling the reality star to “Go. To sleep. Forever” in 2011, which Stodden – who identifies using nonbinary pronouns and was just 16 at the time – said they took as a threat to self-harm.

Teigen’s past actions that she’s had to apologize for also include a tweet that mocked Lindsay Lohan and suggested she should physically harm herself out of jealousy. 

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Chrissy Teigen is spotted on Dec. 17, 2021, in Los Angeles, California. This year, the "Cravings" cookbook author saw her image nearly implode after the former swimsuit model was outed for sending abhorrent messages to others on social media.

Chrissy Teigen is spotted on Dec. 17, 2021, in Los Angeles, California. This year, the “Cravings” cookbook author saw her image nearly implode after the former swimsuit model was outed for sending abhorrent messages to others on social media.
(Photo by Bellocqimages/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

“Lindsay adds a few more slits to her wrists when she sees Emma Stone,” Teigen tweeted back in January 2011. 

The ordeal resulted in a great deal of backlash for the once-beloved star, which many consider ironic given her tendency to slam others for problematic behaviors. Farrah Abraham also accused Teigen of bullying her in 2013 after Teigen called the “Teen Mom” star “a whore.”

Due to the viral scandal, Teigen saw some of her relationships with major retail brands come to an end as many have ceased carrying Teigen’s Cravings by Chrissy Teigen cookware line while the mother of two’s cookbooks appear to still be readily available.

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Bloomingdale’s had also reportedly pulled out of a deal it had in place with Teigen.

A rep for Macy’s, which shares a parent company with the aforementioned Bloomingdale’s, told Fox News Digital in May that it was “not actively selling Cravings by Chrissy Teigen on our site.”

It was also reported at the time that Target had dropped Teigen, a rep for the big box store told FOX Business on May 13 that the “mutual decision to no longer carry the cookware line” had been made back in 2020.

Satirical images of Chrissy Teigen are shown in the window of a clothing retailer in Los Angeles, Calif.

Satirical images of Chrissy Teigen are shown in the window of a clothing retailer in Los Angeles, Calif.
(Fox News Digital)

After a hiatus away from social media, Teigen would return to pen a public apology to Stodden.

“Not a lot of people are lucky enough to be held accountable for all their past bulls–t in front of the entire world,” Teigen began in a series of tweets addressing the criticism from Stodden. “I’m mortified and sad at who I used to be. I was an insecure, attention seeking troll. I am ashamed and completely embarrassed at my behavior.”

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“But that is nothing compared to how I made Courtney feel,” she continued. “I have worked so hard to give you guys joy and be beloved and the feeling of letting you down is nearly unbearable, truly. These were not my only mistakes and surely won’t be my last as hard as I try but god I will try!!”

Stodden didn’t buy it, however, and called the apology “a public attempt to save her partnerships with Target and other brands.”

“I accept her apology and forgive her. But the truth remains the same, I have never heard from her or her camp in private,” Stodden captioned an Instagram post of an alleged screenshot showing Stodden was blocked on the app.

Earlier this year, "Project Runway" star Michael Costello detailed alleged bullying he received from Chrissy Teigen since 2014. Teigen denied the allegations.

Earlier this year, “Project Runway” star Michael Costello detailed alleged bullying he received from Chrissy Teigen since 2014. Teigen denied the allegations.

Criticism for Teigen would ramp up in the month following the unearthing of her social media behavior as Costello publicly aired his grievance with Teigen’s alleged cyberbullying and sleight-of-hand tactics to make his career difficult behind the scenes.

Costello revealed the lengths Teigen has allegedly been willing to go to since 2014 in order to kill his career following a social media misunderstanding that seemingly was faked to make Costello appear racist but was later proven to be nothing more than a set of Photoshopped images from a disgruntled employee, according to Costello. 

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He claimed in a statement obtained by Fox News Digital in June that he tried feverishly to reason with Teigen and explain to her that the alleged social media posts were indeed fake but said Teigen had no interest in hearing him out and only pressed to Costello her intention for him to “get what’s coming to you.”

Costello further claimed that Teigen connected with her girlfriend and stylist Monica Rose to “go out of their way to threaten people and brands that if they were in any shape or form associated with me, they would not work with any of them.”

He also posted alleged screenshots of his conversation with Teigen where she allegedly told him, “Racist people like you deserve to suffer and die. You might as well be dead. Your career is over, just watch.” Teigen has refuted Costello’s allegations.

Prior to Costello’s claims, Teigen took to social media on June 14 to share a lengthy post she penned on Medium addressing the “VERY humbling few weeks” and offering her apologies to anyone she may have hurt over the years.

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“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 stated. 

The star then went on to unequivocally denounce her past actions. “I was a troll, full stop. And I am so sorry,” she wrote.

Chrissy Teigen was recently slammed for an "out of reality" post about eyebrow transplants.

Chrissy Teigen was recently slammed for an “out of reality” post about eyebrow transplants.
(Mike Coppola/WireImage)

In July, Teigen opened up about being put in the “cancel club” in the wake of the viral social media scandal and shared a photo on Instagram with a lengthy caption expressing how she’s been feeling to her fans.

“Iiiii don’t really know what to say here…just feels so weird to pretend nothing happened in this online world but feel like utter sh-t in real life,” Teigen wrote at the time. “Going outside sucks and doesn’t feel right, being at home alone with my mind makes my depressed head race. But I do know that however I’m handling this now isn’t the right answer. 

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“I feel lost and need to find my place again,I need to snap out of this, I desperately wanna communicate with you guys instead of pretending everything is okay. I’m not used to any other way!! Cancel club is a fascinating thing and I have learned a whollllle lot. Only a few understand it and it’s impossible to know til you’re in it.”

Teigen seemingly admitted that she did something wrong in her Instagram caption.

“And it’s hard to talk about it in that sense because obviously you sound whiney when you’ve clearly done something wrong,” Teigen added. “It just sucks. There is no winning. But there never is here anyhow. All I know is I love you guys, I miss you guys, and I just needed an honest moment with you because I’m just…tired of being sick with myself all day.”

She ended her post jokingly asking if there was a “cancel club reunion” she could attend.

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In the latter half of 2021, Teigen has managed to skate under the radar with regard to her social media use sans a few “out of touch” actions that fans have disagreed with.  

Last month, the entrepreneur’s “Squid Game” party was met with backlash after social media users said the gesture came off as “tone deaf” given the subject matter of the popular Netflix series.

Chrissy Teigen said she did a ton of soul searching after a year of scandal nearly upended her career.

Chrissy Teigen said she did a ton of soul searching after a year of scandal nearly upended her career.
(Getty Images)

The party was complete with guests dressing up as characters from the deadly show and playing high-stakes children’s games. The event also saw Teigen’s home decorated to resemble set pieces from the show. 

“Where do I even begin!! what an absolutely epic night. my dream came true of watching my friends fight to the death! dunk tank, musical chairs, hide and seek followed by a very riveting final game of pin the tail on the donkey,” the star wrote on Instagram.

Fans weren’t amused.

“im sorry rich people are literally so tone deaf. squid game was literally about people whose lives were so awful because of being poor that they’d rather play a game of literal life or death to escape going back to poverty and chrissy teigen is really reenacting it in her mansion,” one critic wrote on Twitter.

“Yknow what, I’m tired of being self aware and trying to live a judgment free life. I wish to be as ignorant as Chrissy Teigen hosting a Squid Game party with her rich LA friends,” another wrote

“Usually I’m a fan of Chrissy Teigen but there’s something super f—ed up and weird about spending the weekend cosplaying Squid Game with your incredibly rich friends,” a third user added.

Chrissy Teigen's

Chrissy Teigen’s “Squid Game” party was met with backlash after social media users said the gesture came off as “tone deaf’ given the subject matter of the popular Netflix series.
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The same month, Teigen showed off her new eyebrow transformation to much dismay and took to her Instagram Stories to respond to the criticism, using a screenshot of a recent online article to drive her point home.

“WHY are peoples so f—ing riled up over any little thing I do? You’re gonna give yourselves a heart attack,” Teigen wrote alongside a screenshot of the article, which detailed how the cookbook author had hair taken from the back of her scalp and transplanted to her face in order to create a fuller appearance.

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“I never wear makeup if I can avoid it so I was so excited for this eyebrow transplant surgery,” she wrote of the “crazy” results she seemingly was satisfied with before sharing photos.

“A little dark from the pencil but it’s so cool to have eyebrows again,” Teigen wrote while also urging teens to not “pluck [their eyebrows] all off like I did” and tagging her cosmetic surgeons Dr. Jason Diamond and Dr. Jason Champagne in the post.

It didn’t take long before many on Twitter began slamming Teigen’s social post as “rich people problems” as others in the world are in “suffering” and “trying to pay their bills.”

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“The world is going to hell in a hand basket but thank heaven that Chrissy Teigen was able to transplant her eyebrows!” one person tweeted in response. 

Another called her display “shallow,” while another person tweeted that Teigen came off as “clueless.”

These days, Teigen is still in the publishing space. She dropped a new cookbook titled “Cravings: All Together: Recipes to Love” in October. While the book appears readily available on some retailer websites, it is still not offered at Target.

Fox News’ Lauryn Overhultz and Tyler McCarthy contributed to this report.

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