Supermodel Linda Evangelista has claimed she has been left “permanently deformed” after undergoing a cosmetic procedure.
The catwalk star, who was one of the most famous models of the 1990s, claims she has developed paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH), adding this has “destroyed my livelihood” and sent her into “a cycle of deep depression”, which has led to her becoming a recluse.
PAH can be described as an uncommon and undesirable side effect of CoolSculpting, cryolipolysis or other fatty tissue shrinkage.
Taking to Instagram Evangelista, 56, wrote: “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 the CoolSculpting procedure which 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 has described, ‘unrecognisable.'”
She claimed that she wasn’t made aware of the risks before the procedure.
The star said: “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.”
CoolSculpting is the brand name for cryolipolysis, a popular fat freezing procedure, which cools the fat to a freezing temperature so frozen, dead fat cells can be excreted out of the body through the liver.
The CoolSculpting website says it is used for “treatment of visible fat bulges in the submental (under the chin) and submandibular (under the jawline) areas, thigh, abdomen, and flank, along with bra fat, back fat, underneath the buttocks (also known as banana roll), and upper arm”.
The website also warns that “rare side effects may also occur”, and it “may cause a visible enlargement in the treated area, which may develop 2 to 5 months after treatment and requires surgical intervention for correction”.
Evangelista also indicated she was taking legal action, adding: “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’d like to be able to leave my house with my head up, even though I don’t look like me anymore.
Evangelista was a frequent fixture on the catwalks and covers of magazines during her heyday. She also appeared in numerous advertisements campaigns.
She also appeared alongside Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Christy Turlington in the famous music video for George Michael’s Freedom! 90