Leona Lewis is speaking out about her experience with Michael Costello.
The ‘Bleeding Love’ singer, 36, opened up in her Instagram Story one day after the fashion designer’s allegations that Chrissy Teigen bullied him and tried to blacklist him from the fashion community.
Lewis discussed her past encounter with Costello, recalling a time where he was supposed to dress her to walk in a charity fashion show. When she arrived for the fitting, he allegedly refused to alter the dress to fit her.
The night before the fashion show in 2014, he allegedly “abandoned his commitments” to dress her and she had to sit in the audience during the event while all the other stars walked the runway.
“I usually don’t speak on subjects like this,” she wrote. “But honestly I feel that I have to say something as I’ve dealt with years of insecurity from it. I don’t condone any kind of bully behavior and I’m sorry for what Michael Costello went through. I wanted to share my experience in 2014.
“I was asked to take part in a fashion show to raise money for charity. Michael Costello was assigned as my designer. As an excited young woman, I flew all the way to New York and was so honored to work with him because I adored his dresses.”
Lewis said when she got to the fitting, she was made to feel “very awkward and uncomfortable” as the dress was a “sample size and he/his team clearly did not want to alter it to fit me”.
“This came as a total surprise because weeks prior I was told that they would make the dress work for me,” she continued. “At the next fitting, the night before the show, with no explanation at all, Michael refused to turn up. He no longer wanted to dress me and he abandoned his commitments to me and the show which made me well aware that I wasn’t the body type required.
“I was so embarrassed and deeply hurt. Because I didn’t look like a model size, I was not permitted to walk in his dress. I had to sit in the audience and was asked by press why I didn’t walk in the show.
“I remember having to come up with excuses as I was so humiliated by it all. I feel like I was made to look as though I pulled out and was being difficult and as an affect of those actions I suffered a lot, both personally and professionally. The most hurtful thing is that it was to raise money for charity, and this went against everything we were trying to do.
“I was left with deep insecurities after this and I’ve had to work hard over the years to love my body. I’m so proud of how curves are celebrated today but back then it was a different story and there was hardly any representation for women who were not a standard small size. I know that his designs are catered to women of all sizes now, and I’m glad he saw the light over the years.
Lewis used the alleged experience to note that people make mistakes and linked it to Teigen’s recent apology for cyberbullying people in the past.
“We all make mistakes, I know I have, but at this time I feel that when people apologize (Chrissy) and show sincere remorse and rehabilitation for their actions, we should embrace them and not try and kick them when they’re down,” she said.
Lewis went on to show compassion for Costello’s mental health struggles after he shared that Teigen’s alleged bullying led him to have suicidal thoughts.
“I’m not discounting Michael’s experience as that is an awful thing to go through and I wish him so much love and healing,” she said. “I’m sure this will come as a shock as I never told him how this made me feel. But the pot calling the kettle black in this situation doesn’t sit right with me. Bullying comes in many different forms. We need love, we need accountability, we need forgiveness, none of us are perfect.
“We are trying our best and learning. I’m sorry for anyone who has gone through any kind of bullying, I’m also sorry if I’ve ever hurt anyone without knowing it as I’m sure was the case with Michael.”
Costello has since responded to the British singer’s allegations, sharing unverified screenshots of the singer wearing his designs, as well as a screenshot of an alleged email exchange between her stylist and Michael, in which the stylist requested a piece for Lewis.
“I’ve reached out to you personally,” he wrote. “And I have 7 emails from the last 4 years and these past 9 weeks from your team and stylist still requesting looks.”
“If I made you feel bad in 2014 but you still wore my dresses and request them…can we try and figure out what got lost in translation with the dress you wore?” he added in another Story. “You looked so beautiful in it!”
Costello spoke out about Teigen’s alleged bullying in a note posted to his Instagram on June 15. The LA-based designer, who got his start on Project Runway in 2010, said he was sharing his story in an attempt to move past the encounter that has haunted him for the last seven years.
“I didn’t want to do this but I can not be happy until I speak my mind,” he began in the lengthy post. “I need to heal and in order for me to do that I must reveal what I have been going through. I wanted to kill myself and I still am traumatized, depressed and have thoughts of suicide.”
“So many nights I stayed awake, wanting to kill myself,” he continued. “I didn’t see the point of living. There was no way I can ever escape from being the target of the powerful elites in Hollywood, who actually do have powers to close doors with a single text. Not only was I the target of cyber defamation, I was also getting blocklisted in real life.”
Costello’s accusation comes hours after Teigen wrote an open letter on Medium, where she apologised for her nasty Twitter behaviour from more than a decade ago. Notably, the 35-year-old had targeted young stars such as model Courtney Stodden, actress Lindsay Lohan and reality TV star Farrah Abraham.
“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 wrote. “As you know, a bunch of my old awful (awful, awful) tweets resurfaced. I’m truly ashamed of them. As I look at them and understand the hurt they caused, I have to stop and wonder: How could I have done that?”
“I’ve apologised publicly to one person, but there are others — and more than just a few — who I need to say I’m sorry to. I’m in the process of privately reaching out to the people I insulted … 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 humour. I was a troll, full stop. And I am so sorry.”
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