The Chrissy Teigen–Courtney Stodden Bullying Controversy, Explained

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The fallout from the Chrissy Teigen–Courtney Stodden bullying controversy continues. From the original accusations to Teigen’s reported decision to step down from a television role, here’s everything you need to know.

Chrissy Teigen left Twitter over online “negativity.”

On March 24, the model and cookbook author told followers that she was disabling her Twitter account as she could no longer “block out the negativity.”

“Hey. For over 10 years, you guys have been my world. I honestly owe so much to this world we have created here. I truly consider so many of you my actual friends,” Teigen began her Twitter thread that day. “But it’s time for me to say goodbye. This no longer serves me as positively as it serves me negatively, and I think that’s the right time to call something.”

You can find most of the full thread here, as Teigen has since returned to the platform.

Courtney Stodden accused Chrissy Teigen of bullying.

Teigen’s announcement was almost immediately criticized by Courtney Stodden, who claimed Teigen had been bullying them on Twitter for years. TMZ shared screenshots of the alleged tweets, which range from statements like “I hate you” to “go. to sleep. forever.”

Back in 2011, Courtney Stodden first made headlines when they married acting coach Doug Hutchison when he was 51 years old and Stodden was just 16. This caused a firestorm in the press, which Stodden claimed, in a recent profile with the Daily Beast, brought on a tornado of harassment and bullying by the media and celebrities. 

“She wouldn’t just publicly tweet about wanting me to take ‘a dirt nap’ but would privately DM me and tell me to kill myself,” Stodden claimed in May 2021, a few years after divorcing Hutchison in 2018. “Things like, ‘I can’t wait for you to die.’”

Chrissy Teigen apologized for her past behavior.

“Not a lot of people are lucky enough to be held accountable for all their past bullshit in front of the entire world. I’m mortified and sad at who I used to be. I was an insecure, attention seeking troll,” she wrote in another lengthy Twitter thread on May 12. “I am ashamed and completely embarrassed at my behavior but that is nothing compared to how I made Courtney feel. 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!!” 

Teigen continued, “I have tried to connect with Courtney privately but since I publicly fueled all this, I want to also publicly apologize. I’m so sorry, Courtney. I hope you can heal now knowing how deeply sorry I am. And I am so sorry I let you guys down. I will forever work on being better than I was 10 years ago, 1 year ago, 6 months ago.”

Stodden accepted the apology but denied that Teigen reached out. 

“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 wrote on Instagram on May 12. “In fact, she blocked me on Twitter. All of me wants to believe this is a sincere apology, but it feels like a public attempt to save her partnerships with Target and other brands who are realizing her ‘wokeness’ is a broken record.”

Teigen reportedly stepped down from her role in Never Have I Ever season 2.

According to a report from Variety on June 4, Teigen has stepped down from a previously planned voiceover role in a season 2 episode of the Mindy Kaling–helmed Netflix comedy Never Have I Ever.  

Teigen spoke out again in a new blog post. 

On June 14, the model posted a lengthy post on Medium. In this additional apology, Teigen described her past self as a “troll,” but says she’s “no longer the person who wrote those horrible things.”

“In reality, I was insecure, immature and in a world where I thought I needed to impress strangers to be accepted. If there was a pop culture pile-on, I took to Twitter to try to gain attention and show off what I at the time believed was a crude, clever, harmless quip. I thought it made me cool and relatable if I poked fun at celebrities,” she wrote. “Now, confronted with some of the things that I said, I cringe to my core. I’ll honestly get sharp, stabbing pains in my body, randomly remembering my asshole past, and I deserve it.”

Later in the post, she discussed her goal to instill “kindness” in her children with singer John Legend. “John tells me almost every day how much our daughter Luna reminds him of me. Every day, I try to make sure she’s all the best parts of me, all the things I aspire to be all the time, but fail at sometimes. And we preach kindness to her and Miles every chance we get,” she continued. 

“Will they eventually realize there is some hypocrisy there? I certainly do. But I hope they recognize my evolution. My goal is to be so good that my kids will think this was all a fairy tale. Not the fake good. The good that has the best intentions, the good who wakes up wanting to make her friends, family, her team and fans as happy as possible. The good who will still fuck up in front of the world but rarely, and never not growing only more good from it.”

You can read the full post here

Other alleged victims of her bullying have issued their own responses. 

Farrah Abraham, former star of Teen Mom and adult film actor, wrote her own Medium post on Tuesday, June 15, responding to Teigen’s essay. (You can read it in full here.) In the lengthy post, she reiterates much of what Teigen said through the lens of her own experience; Teigen used Twitter to “fit in,” look cool, and gain fame, and if that meant taking shots at Abraham, that was what she did. Abraham accuses Teigen of high school-level immaturity and notes, “Many owe me apologies like Chrissy Teigen types, I hope the world will catch up one day.”

“Chrissy’s prey of vulnerable young famous women who are true survivors and warrior women today have shared if they had or not heard an apology about her actions from long ago whenever she realized it was wrong then or now,” she writes, before noting that she has not gotten an apology directly from Teigen, and believes that not only she but also others deserve one, including her daughter, who suffered because of Teigen’s words.

Abraham also calls out TV producers, online platforms, and talk shows for perpetuating negative stereotypes about and mocking of women.

Seemingly also in response to Teigen’s Medium essay, fashion designer Michael Costello, a Project Runway alum, posted an Instagram, explaining (his side, at least) how a misunderstanding with Teigen led to missed career opportunities and eventually drove him to thoughts of suicide. 

Per Costello, an angry former employee created a fake post to make it look as though Costello had used a racial slur online (this was in the midst of Costello’s being accused of stealing a Black designer’s work, a controversy that is explained in this Twitter thread, though we can’t verify its authenticity), which led to Teigen calling him out as a racist. According to his post, when he tried to explain his side of the story, she said, “Racists like you deserve to suffer and die.”

In the post, Costello wrote that he is sharing this story not to bring further damage to Teigen’s reputation or to extract an apology, but to free himself of the detrimental mental health burden of carrying this secret.

John Legend defended Teigen after Costello’s post came under suspicion.

On June 17, a report by Business Insider shed doubt on Costello’s Instagram post, which has since been deleted. After a rep for Teigen told Insider that the post was faked, reporter Kat Tenbarge pointed out some inconsistencies. For one, Insider reported that Costello claimed the screengrabs were taken in 2014, but the blue and purple ombre text design wasn’t featured on the app before 2020. Also, if the photo had been taken in 2020, Teigen would have a verified checkmark by her name. You can read the full report, here

A day later, John Legend spoke out about Costello’s claims. “Chrissy Apologized for her public tweets, but after her apology, Mr. Costello fabricated a DM exchange between them,” he wrote. “This exchange was made up, completely fake, never happened. Receipts below.”

“Honestly I don’t know why anyone would fake DMs to insert themselves in this narrative, but that’s what happened,” he continued. “I encourage everyone who breathlessly spread this lie to keep that same energy when they correct the record.”

Costello posted a Twitter response to Legend a few hours later, in which he praises Legend before stating that Teigen “has hurt good people and done a lot of shady things offline to ruin other people’s careers.”

“Don’t talk to me about my wife as if I haven’t lived with her, married her and raised kids with her,” Legend responded in a series of tweets. “I know who she is and y’all didn’t even do a good job of mimicking her voice in those fake ass DMs. By the way, when are you going to admit they were fake?”

Chrissy Teigen released her own statement. 

“No idea what the fuck Michael Costello is doing,” she tweeted alongside a lengthy statement you can read in full, below. “He just released a statement where he didn’t at ALL acknowledge how fake the dm’s were, & now claims to have emails that don’t exist. So while he conjures those up (hopefully with someone more talented in fakes this time, here.”

Teigen stepped down from Safely, her brand with Kris Jenner.

Teigen has stepped down from the home cleaning line she recently launched with Kris Jenner in March 2021. “Chrissy will be stepping away from Safely to take much needed time to focus on herself and be with her family,” Safely posted to its Instagram Stories on June 18, per People. “We fully support her decision and are so thankful for her contributions. The brand will continue to move forward and focus on our important mission of bringing high-quality, hard-working cleaning products to all American households.”

This post will be updated as more information becomes available.

Originally Appeared on Glamour