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Linda Evangelista Doesn’t Blame Herself for Plastic Surgery Incident: ‘I Didn’t Do Anything Wrong’

Linda Evangelista No Longer Puts ‘Blame’ on Herself for Plastic Surgery Incident
Linda Evangelista attends the Kering Foundation Second Annual Caring For Women Dinner on September 12, 2023 in New York City. Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Kering

Linda Evangelista is opening up about the cosmetic procedure incident that she said left her “permanently deformed” and “brutally disfigured.”

“How people feel about me still bothers me a little bit, but it used to bother me a lot,” Evangelista, 58, said to The Sunday Times in an interview published on Sunday, November 26. “I know now that I didn’t do anything wrong. For the longest time I thought I did.”

She continued: “I’m not completely rid of it, but I work hard at getting rid of the guilt and the shame. And I’m not letting it ruin my life. I wouldn’t have stayed locked up if I’d known how many people cared.”

The model revealed via Instagram in September 2021 that she underwent the CoolSculpting procedure designed to “decrease” her fat cells. Instead, the cosmetic procedure allegedly “increased” them and left her “permanently deformed” even after two “unsuccessful corrective surgeries.”

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Evangelista, who reached supermodel stardom alongside Cindy Crawford and Christy Turlington, also said on Sunday that she doesn’t look in the mirror.

“My son will say to me sometimes, ‘You might want to know that you have a pimple on your chin.’ And I’m like, ‘What?’ But life is better without mirrors,” she said.

Linda Evangelista No Longer Puts ‘Blame’ on Herself for Plastic Surgery Incident
Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista stand onstage during Vogue World: London at Theatre Royal Drury Lane on September 14, 2023. Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Vogue

Evangelista, who is a two-time breast cancer survivor, noted that her greatest goal is to “stay alive.” (She was diagnosed in both December 2018 and July 2020.)

“When I hear other people’s stories, I think, ‘Oh God, I have no right to complain,’” she said to the outlet.

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Evangelista previously revealed in September 2021 that she developed a rare side effect called Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia (PAH). She noted that she had been left, “as the media has described, ‘unrecognizable.’”

“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,” Evangelista wrote via Instagram at the time. “In the process, I have become a recluse.”

Evangelista sued Zeltiq Aesthetics Inc. for $50 million in damages. The lawsuit was settled in July 2022 for an undisclosed amount.

“I’m pleased to have settled the CoolSculpting case,” she wrote in an Instagram statement following the agreement. “I look forward to the next chapter of my life with friends and family, and am happy to put this matter behind me. I am truly grateful for the support I have received from those who have reached out.”

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