Chrissy Teigen is speaking out after facing accusations of cyberbullying.
In a May interview with the Daily Beast, Courtney Stodden — who became a tabloid staple in 2011 when, at 16, they married 51-year-old actor Doug Hutchison — called out people in the industry, including Teigen, for harassing them on and off social media when they were a teenager. “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. Things like, ‘I can’t wait for you to die,’” Stodden alleged of Teigen. Following Stodden’s claims, resurfaced tweets written by Teigen led her to publicly apologize on Twitter: “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.”
Following her admission, Teigen exited a guest voiceover role in the Netflix comedy Never Have I Ever and has remained silent on social media. Now Teigen is coming forward to share her reflections on what’s taken place over the last “humbling few weeks.”
“I know I’ve been quiet, and lord knows you don’t want to hear about me, but 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”. 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,” she wrote in a Monday blog post shared on Medium.
Of her “awful” tweets resurfacing, Teigen admitted, “As I look at them and understand the hurt they caused, I have to stop and wonder: How could I have done that?”
Already having publicly apologized to Stodden, Teigen assured there are “more than just a few” that she still needs to apologize to. “I’m in the process of privately reaching out to the people I insulted. It’s like my own version of that show My Name Is Earl! I understand that they may not want to speak to me. I don’t think I’d like to speak to me. … But if they do, I am here and I will listen to what they have to say, while apologizing through sobs,” she wrote.
She continued to denounce her actions, writing, “There is simply no excuse for my past horrible tweets. My targets didn’t deserve them. No one does. Many of them needed empathy, kindness, understanding and support, not my meanness masquerading as a kind of casual, edgy humor. I was a troll, full stop. And I am so sorry.”
Teigen also went a “little further” to offer some insight into who she was at the time those tweets were written and emphasized that she is “not seeking or deserving any sympathy.” She explained that when she first began using social media, she had “fun with it” and would normally make jokes and observations, as well as “snark at some celebrities.” But what seemed to be just for laughs, she admitted, was not the case: “In reality, I was insecure, immature and in a world where I thought I needed to impress strangers to be accepted.” She also explained that she used 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 being confronted with her past words, Teigen admits, “I cringe to my core. … “I’ll honestly get sharp, stabbing pains in my body, randomly remembering my asshole past, and I deserve it. Words have consequences and there are real people behind the Twitter handles I went after.”
She proceeded to ponder the reasoning for her actions: “How could I not stop and think of that? Why did I think there was some invisible psycho-celebrity formula that prevents anyone with more followers from experiencing pain? How did I not realize my words were cruel? What gave me the right to say these things?” She also questioned why she couldn’t notice the red flags when people would approach her and say, “You’re so much nicer in person.”
Despite emphasizing that there is “no justification” for her behavior and she is “not a victim,” Teigen noted that she is “no longer the person who wrote those horrible things. … I grew up, got therapy, got married, had kids, got more therapy, experienced loss and pain, got more therapy and experienced more life. AND GOT MORE THERAPY,” she wrote. “Life has made me more empathetic. I’m more understanding of what motivates trolling — the instant gratification that you get from lashing out and clapping back, throwing rocks at someone you think is invincible because they’re famous. Also, I know now how it feels to be on the receiving end of incredible vitriol. Believe me, the irony of this is not lost on me.”
Going forward, Teigen expressed her goal “to be so good that my kids will think this was all a fairy tale. Not the fake good” and contribute more kindness and love to the world.
“I’ve been on a path of self-improvement for the past decade and that path is going to continue,” she promises. “I have so much love to give if you are open and willing to accept it. And if not, that’s okay too. That’s something I work on being more okay with every day. I know I let you down, but I hope I can make you proud.”
She also expressed her hope that everyone going forward can have “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.”