Try as she might, Chrissy Teigen is having a hard time shedding her reputation as a Mean Girl. The once widely-adored model, TV host, and cookbook author fell from grace in March when she was outed for bullying tabloid fixture Courtney Stodden. Since then, the dominoes continue to fall. Teigen has lost multiple endorsements and a TV gig; she’s also getting a taste of her own medicine from angry critics on social media.
Is it too late for damage control? Get a timeline of Teigen’s controversies, and find out how she’s trying to salvage her name.
Courtney Stodden Spoke Out Against Chrissy Teigen’s Online Bullying In May
Things started going south for Teigen in May when the Daily Beast caught up with former teen model, musician, and TV personality Courtney Stodden.
In 2011, Stodden—then just 16—married their manager, 51-year-old Doug Hutchison. The couple’s age difference made for a tabloid field day, and Stodden capitalized on their fleeting fame by participating in various reality shows (VH1’s Couples Therapy, Celebrity Big Brother). But their claim to fame wasn’t anything to be proud of: Stodden was generally villainized, slut-shamed, and portrayed as the brainless bimbo on Hutchison’s arm.
Stodden divorced their husband in 2020 and now identifies as nonbinary. Now in a new chapter of their life, they revealed just how painful it was to endure cyberbullying during the height of their marriage. Celebrity voices in the fray made matters worse.
It was a shock to learn that bubbly Chrissy Teigen was one of the worst offenders.
“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 said. “Things like, ‘I can’t wait for you to die.” … People came out of the woodwork to beat up on a kid because she was in a situation that she shouldn’t have been in. There were a lot of celebrities acting like playground bullies.”
TMZ posted horrific screen grabs of tweets from Teigen to Stodden to confirm their claims.
“What drug makes you do that with your mouth?” Teigen wrote in 2012. “Asking for a friend who really wants to know how to look like an idiot. Thanks.”
Another random message simple read, “I hate you.”
Why would a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model with a promising career invest her time in picking on a teenager? And was this really the same Teigen who took a break from social media in March because “It’s hard to just exist as a woman on the internet“?
Teigen Publicly Apologized, But Not Privately To Stodden
Teigen waited two days to respond to Stodden’s claims. On May 12, she posted a four-part tweet taking responsibility for her past behavior.
“Not a lot of people are lucky enough to be held accountable for all their past bulls–t in front of the entire world,” wrote Teigen. “I’m mortified and sad at who I used to be. I was an insecure, attention seeking troll.” She continued:
“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!!
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.”
There was only one problem with the apology. Stodden was blocked from Teigen’s Twitter account and claims they never heard from her. They even posted receipts, showing a screengrab that they were blocked.
Nevertheless, Stodden took the high road (albeit with a dose of skepticism). They wrote that they forgave Teigen, but questioned her motives of expressing regret in public.
Teigen Lost A Ton Of Brand Deals Because Of The Controversy
Teigen had actually built her brand on being an edgy and unapologetic Tweeter. In 2013, when GQ asked if she had any regrets, she replied, “All the time! But not really a regret that I thought it, just that I said it.”
Four years later, she told Harper’s Bazaar that she was often advised to tone down her tweets.
“But I’m just stubborn and never listened, and I’m happy I didn’t because now they look at you for the way you are, and I love being an open book,” she said. “I feel like everyone knows what they’re getting now and it’s a very comfortable place to be in life.”
However, Teigen’s approach doesn’t work in today’s climate. Or maybe it’s just that telling teenagers to kill themselves doesn’t work in any day and age. According to Page Six, Teigen took a hit to her bank account in the weeks after the Stodden story was published. Her cookware line was pulled off the shelves at Macy’s and is also no longer available on Target’s website. A deal with Bloomingdale’s was also scrapped.
More recently, a spokesperson for the Netflix series Never Have I Ever announced that Teigen would no longer appear in a guest voice role as originally planned.
It sounds like Teigen is pretty much canceled, but she’s not going down without a fight.
Chrissy Teigen Publicly Apologized A Second Time
On June 14, Teigen resurfaced after weeks of silence to post another apology—this time via Medium.
“I want you to know I’ve been sitting in a hole of deserved global punishment, the ultimate ‘sit here and think about what you’ve done'” she wrote. “Not a day, not a single moment has passed where I haven’t felt the crushing weight of regret for the things I’ve said in the past.”
Teigen proceeded to provide a long reflection on her personal growth. She confessed she was “a troll, full stop” but also minimized her behavior as simply “poking fun at celebrities.” Teigen promised readers that therapy and time has made her a more empathetic person.
She ended things by writing, “I won’t ask for your forgiveness, only your patience and tolerance. I ask that you allow me, as I promise to allow you, to own past mistakes and be given the opportunity to seek self improvement and change.”
Courtney Stodden Isn’t The Only Victim Of Teigen’s Bullying
Stodden has yet to reply to Teigen’s second public statement. But it’s worth noting that they’re not the only tabloid target from the 2010s who was bullied by the supermodel.
In 2011, Teigen tweeted a jab at Lindsay Lohan and referenced her history of self-harm. “Lindsay adds a few more slits to her wrists when she sees Emma Stone,” she wrote.
Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham was also a target of Teigen’s cruelty. In 2013, she was the subject of a tweet that read, “Farrah Abraham now thinks she is pregnant from her sex tape. In other news you’re a whore and everyone hates you whoops not other news sorry.”
Teigen even went for a 9-year-old. During the 2013 Oscars, she made a snide remark about child actor and nominee Quvenzhané Wallis.
“Is it okay to call a small child cocky?” she tweeted. “I am forced to like Quvenzhané Wallis because she’s a child right? Okay fine.”
Time will tell if Teigen can bounce back from this troublesome history, but things don’t look promising. This may be a case of a star whose career lived by and died by Twitter.