John Legend says the screenshots shared by fashion designer Michael Costello of alleged bullying messages sent to Costello by Chrissy Teigen in 2014 are false.
The singer said on Friday that Costello fabricated the screenshots of a direct message exchange with Legend’s wife in a long Instagram post that Costello shared on Monday in which he said Teigen’s bullying resulted in a continuous trauma.
Costello wrote that he was “depressed and having suicidal thoughts” seven years after interactions with Teigen online. His remark came after Teigen posted a lengthy apology on Medium for his past tweets.
The caption referred to an Insider story on Friday that reported discrepancies in the images of the screenshots that could indicate they were faked. TODAY has not verified the direct message exchanges between Costello and Teigen.
“Chrissy apologized for her public tweets, but after her apologies Mr. Costello fabricated a DM exchange between them,” Legend tweeted on Friday. “This exchange was invented, completely false, never took place. “
A missing blue check mark, different background colors, and the presence of a video chat icon could all indicate the screenshots were fabricated, according to Insider.
TODAY has contacted Costello for comment, but has not received a response. In a statement to E! News released Friday afternoon, the Costello rep denied the allegations, stating: “The fact that Chrissy Teigen’s team is desperate to prove that the DMs are bogus and tries to discredit Michael Costello, victim of trauma and bullying by Chrissy Teigen both online and offline, confirms that she remains the same bully, despite her public apology. “
Teigen, 35, also responded to Costello’s claims on Friday afternoon in a statement shared on Instagram and Twitter. “Chrissy is completely surprised and disappointed with the recent Michael Costello attack, which includes fictitious 2014 ‘screenshots’ of purported private messages Chrissy did not send,” part of her statement read.
Costello, 38, said on Instagram that Teigen and stylist Monica Rose threatened not to work with people or brands who worked with Costello, which hurt his career. TODAY contacted a spokesperson for Rose who said she had no comment.
Costello’s Instagram page went private on Friday, taking his post with screenshots of the alleged exchange with Teigen in public view.
He wrote that his initial interaction with Teigen stemmed from what he said was a photoshopped comment floating online alleging he used a racial slur. He said the image was fake and ultimately deleted by Instagram.
TODAY has confirmed that Instagram did not have a fact-checking policy in 2014 that would have resulted in the alleged image being removed. This policy started in 2019.
In the screenshots Costello shared on Instagram, a response tagged as from Teigen refuses to call Costello, saying “No! I have nothing to tell you. You will get what awaits you. “
A screenshot of an alleged subsequent response from Teigen reads, “Racists like you deserve to suffer and die. You might as well be dead. Your career is over, just watch. “
Legend says that everything in the screenshots is made up.
“Honestly, I don’t know why anyone would pretend to fit into this narrative, but that’s what happened,” he said. tweeted. “I encourage anyone who is spreading this breathless lie to keep the same energy when correcting the record. “
Teigen commented on the allegations the screenshots were fake on Friday, adding purported screenshots of his own which apparently show private messages Costello has sent him over the years.
“Michael, you are now causing real pain to people who are trying to improve themselves,” she wrote on Instagram. ” Enough. Or it will go further. Not here, but a real court. And every penny we make will go to an anti-bullying charity focused on turning this shit show into a positive. I wish you peace and healing. I have some places I frequented if you want the connections. ”
Earlier this week, Teigen apologized for her past behavior online in her Medium article. “I was a troll, period,” she wrote. “And I’m so sorry. “
She also wrote in her post that she would be retiring from social media to spend time with her family. “We’re all more than our worst times,” she wrote. “I won’t ask for your forgiveness, only your patience and tolerance. I ask you to allow me, as I promise to allow you, to recognize the mistakes of the past and to have the opportunity to seek improvement and change. “