Linda Evangelista Goes Public With 'Deformed' Body

She shares photos of herself after experiencing rare side effect of CoolScupting procedure
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2022 10:55 AM CST
Updated Feb 20, 2022 12:30 PM CST

Supermodel Linda Evangelista has kept her face—and body—from the world these last five years after what she says was a nonsurgical fat reduction procedure that had terrible consequences. In an exclusive interview with People, the 56-year-old is telling her story and sharing photos of the aftermath of the CoolSculpting procedure that she says left her "permanently deformed." She tells the magazine she underwent seven CoolSculpting sessions to deal with "stubborn fat areas" at age 50, ending in February 2016. Within three months, she says the areas she'd targeted—her chin, thighs, and bra area—were starting to bulge and harden. She says she essentially stopped eating in a bid to reverse the growth, then went to a doctor that June.

Evangelista says she was diagnosed with paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH)—a rare side effect that happens less than 1% of the time to CoolSculpting patients and causes the fatty tissue that had been frozen to thicken and expand—and told that "no amount of dieting, and no amount of exercise was ever going to fix it." She says two liposuction surgeries haven't prevented the PAH from coming back. Evangelista maintains she wasn't informed about the risk prior to having the procedure; CoolSculpting denies that. She has sued CoolSculpting's parent company for $50 million in damages. Some standout quotes from the interview:

  • "I loved being up on the catwalk. Now I dread running into someone I know."
  • "It's not like weight gain. It's like adding bulges to your body. ... They are protrusions. And they're hard. And if I walk without a girdle in a dress, I will have chafing ... to the point of almost bleeding. Because it's not like soft fat rubbing, it's like hard fat rubbing."
  • "I can't stand, my posture has changed, because I cannot put my arms flat along my side. ... Do you see the angle of my arms? I can't put them next to my body because this bulge is making them veer off at an angle. ... I don't think ... Versace will want to dress me with that sticking out of my body."
  • "I don't look in the mirror. It doesn't look like me."
Read the full article and see the photos here. (You can also listen to Evangelista's interview via the People Every Day podcast.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.