Chrissy Teigen is finally owning up to her troll-ish behavior. That’s her word, not ours: “I was a troll, full stop,” she writes in a lengthy post published on Medium today, reckoning with some truly objectionable tweets that were recently unearthed.
“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.”
As we discussed last month, Teigen has been the focus of cyberbullying allegations since early May, when The Daily Beast published an interview with Courtney Stodden, who spoke candidly about how Teigen’s hateful 2011 tweets affected her. At the time, Stodden—who now goes by they/them pronouns—was the at the center of a media storm after the then 16-year-old married their 51-year-old acting coach. Bizarrely, at the time the media criticized Stodden, poking fun at her appearance rather than calling out the 51-year-old man who married a teenager or Stodden’s mother, who signed off on the union.
“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 revealed to The Daily Beast.
Since then, several retail partners have seemingly walked away from their deals with Teigen, and she recently announced that she would no longer perform a voice-over role in the upcoming second season of Netflix’s Never Have I Ever. On May 12, she issued an apology to Stodden via her preferred medium: Twitter. But the new post attempts to go much deeper, with Teigen asking herself why she thought it was acceptable to post the things she did in the past.
“I wasn’t just attacking some random avatar, but hurting young women — some who were still girls — who had feelings. 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?”
Teigen contrasts the attention-seeking person she was back then, seeking validation on Twitter, with the more mature version of herself she has become after years of life, loss and therapy. “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.”
Though she doesn’t name Stodden specifically, Teigen says she is reaching out to people privately to apologize and give them the opportunity to let her know exactly how her words made them feel.