In 2018, the New Republic deputy editor Katie McDonough wrote a piece for Jezebel that I spiritually consult to this day. (Full disclosure: I was a Jezebel contributor at the time.)
“Why tweet when you can text?” she asked, and … well, that’s basically it. Sometimes, you can just text the thing you want to tweet.
I gather that celebrities have never considered this idea – at least, not if the latest developments in the never-ending Chrissy Teigen bullying news cycle are anything to go by.
To quickly recap: in early May, the Daily Beast published an interview with Courtney Stodden, a model and longtime 2010s tabloid mainstay who accused Teigen of bullying them online. The alleged harassment ranged from public tweets telling Stodden to take “a dirt nap” to direct messages telling them “I can’t wait for you to die”.
In response, people dug up old tweets of Teigen’s – including a since-deleted post from 2011 joking “Lindsay [Lohan] adds a few more slits to her wrists when she sees Emma Stone,” about the actor’s history of self-harm, and another which has previously been aired in public, in which she ridiculed Oscar-nominated actor Quvenzhané Wallis, who was only nine years old at the time, for being “cocky” and unlikable. Then came a full-scale reckoning with Teigen’s public image as the relatable, approachable celebrity next door.
“There is simply no excuse for my past horrible tweets,” Teigen wrote in a lengthy apology that she posted to Medium on Monday. “My targets didn’t deserve them. No one does.”
Hindsight is 20/20 and all that, butposting all this through her super-public Twitter account, which currently has more than 13 million followers, was probably a bad idea
The same could be said about what transpired after she published that Medium post.
Within hours of Teigen posting her apology on Monday, Michael Costello, a fashion designer and Project Runway contestant, made an Instagram post accusing Teigen of bullying and professionally blacklisting him, per BuzzFeed. According to Costello, Teigen saw a “Photoshopped comment” in his name made by “a former disgruntled employee” in which he appears to have typed out an anti-Black slur. “Racist people like you deserve to suffer and die,” she allegedly texted him as he argued that the comment was fake. “You might as well be dead. Your career is over, just watch.” He claims the alleged exchange in 2014 left him “traumatized and depressed” with suicidal thoughts that continue to this day.
Then out of left field came Leona Lewis, who in some Instagram Story posts on Tuesday accused Costello of being a hypocrite and a bully himself, according to People, accusing the designer of treating her so carelessly and inconsiderately at a 2014 fitting that she developed bodily insecurities she still grapples with.
Costello has responded with his own Instagram stories, and I just … what is even going on here? What does this have to do with Chrissy Teigen? I don’t want to diminish or invalidate anyone’s feelings , but I can think of a pretty old-fashioned way they might want to hash this one out: both Lewis and Costello say they still love each other. If that’s really true, maybe pause the next callout post and instead, just try texting?
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