Linda Evangelista says she has been “brutally disfigured” as a result of rare side effects from a cosmetic procedure she underwent five years ago. The former supermodel, 56, explained why she had been absent from the spotlight in a September 22 Instagram post, citing the botched surgery for her “reclusive” behavior. The Canada native claimed she had undergone a CoolSculpting procedure to “decrease” her fat cells, however it actually “increased” her fat cells, and left her with a rare side effect.
“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,” she wrote in a statement on Instagram, adding, “[It] did the opposite of what it promised. 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 described, ‘unrecognizable.'”
She went on to tell fans she was seeking legal action as she wasn’t properly warned about the procedure’s side effects. “I have developed Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia or PAH, a risk of which I was not made aware before I had the procedures. 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.”
“With this lawsuit, I am moving forward to rid myself of my shame, and going public with my story. I’m so tired of living this way. I would like to walk out my door with my held held high, despite not looking like myself any longer.” Paradoxical adipose hyperplasia is a side effect of cryolipolysis, which has been reported in about 0.0051% of the 1.5 million CoolSculpting procedures performed worldwide. During a cryolipolysis procedure, also known as body or cool sculpting, a device is set to below freezing temperatures and is applied to areas of fat, which causes cell death.