Linda Evangelista Reveals How Her Botched Fat-Freezing Procedure Changed Relationship With Son

The supermodel said she tried to keep the side effects -- including being 'brutally disfigured' -- from her 15-year-old son because she didn't want to be a 'burden.'

Reading Time: 2 minute
Linda Evangelista
View gallery
Image Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

After revealing a botched fat-freezing procedure left her “brutally disfigured” and a recluse, Linda Evangelista opened up about how the incident affected the relationship with her 15-year-old son Augie. “[Augie] used to say, ‘Mommy, do you remember when you used to be fun?’ ” Linda explained to People. “‘Remember when you used to laugh all the time? How come you don’t laugh anymore?’ I hate what this has done to my relationship with him.”

Linda Evangelista
Linda Evangelista and her son Augie attend Disney event in 2012. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock)

Linda, 56, said the side effects of the failed CoolSculpting sessions — which increased her fat cells instead of decreasing them — were kept a secret from her son at first because she didn’t want him to worry about his mother. “I should not be a burden to my child,” she explained. “He shouldn’t have to be supporting me. That’s not his job.”

The iconic cover girl also spoke on how she had always taught Augie — whom she shares with billionaire François-Henri Pinault — that physical appearances have nothing to do with what is true beauty, even though she doesn’t take heed of the lesson herself. “It is very important for me to raise him knowing that he is beautiful and knowing that everyone is beautiful,” Linda expressed. “It’s so messed up that I truly believe that except it doesn’t pertain to me.”

According to Linda, after trying CoolSculpting at a dermatologist’s office between August 2015 and Feb. 2016, she was left “permanently deformed.” She explained that she was diagnosed with Pardoxical adipose hyperplasa (PAH) in June 2016, which causes fat bulges throughout her body. “He told me that no amount of dieting and no amount of exercise was ever going to fix it,” Linda recalled her doctor’s words to People.

After undergoing full-body liposuction in June 2016 and July 2017, Linda said she was still suffering from PAH. “It wasn’t even a little bit better,” she said. “The bulges are protrusions and they’re hard. If I walk without a girdle in a dress, I will have chafing to the point of almost bleeding.” Linda then filed a lawsuit against CoolSculpting and its parent company Seltiq Aesthetics Inc. for $50 million in damages in 2021, claiming she has been unable to work as a model since the botched procedure.