Linda Evangelista has settled her $50million CoolSculpting lawsuit after claiming a rare reaction to a fat-reduction procedure six years ago left her ‘deformed’.
The supermodel, 57, said she is ‘happy’ to put the case behind her and is looking forward to ‘a new chapter’ in her life, thanking her friends and family for their support.
In her suit, the runway icon had sought $50million in damages, alleging that she had been left ‘brutally disfigured’ by Zeltiq Aesthetics Inc’s CoolSculpting procedure, which she claimed ‘did the opposite of what it promised.
The method, also known as body contouring, uses cold temperatures to reduce fat deposits and has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
This week, Linda also returned to modelling with her first job – a Fendi fashion shoot – since she stopped working following the procedure in 2016.
Case: Linda Evangelista (pictured in June) has settled her $50million CoolSculpting lawsuit after claiming a rare reaction to a fat-reduction procedure six years ago left her ‘deformed’
After settling the case, she told her 1.2million Instagram followers in a statement posted on Tuesday: ‘I’m pleased to have settled the CoolSculpting case.
‘I look forward to the next chapter of my life with friends and family, and am happy to put this matter behind me.
‘I am truly grateful for the support I have received from those who have reached out.’
In her suit, Linda had sought $50million in damages, alleging that she had been left ‘brutally disfigured’ by Zeltiq Aesthetics Inc’s CoolSculpting procedure, which she claimed ‘did the opposite of what it promised.
CoolSculpting – the brand name for cryolipolysis, which uses cold temperatures to reduce fat deposits – is also known as body contouring, and has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Statement: The supermodel, 57, said she is ‘happy’ to put the case behind her and is looking forward to ‘a new chapter’ in her life, thanking her friends and family for their support
Back to work: This week, the runway legend also returned to modelling with her first job – a Fendi fashion shoot – since she stopped working following the procedure in 2016
During the procedure, a device that’s set below freezing temperature is applied to fat deposits, which causes cell death in the tissue.
Zeltiq – which is a subsidiary of Allergan – markets and licenses devices used for such procedures.
MailOnline has contacted Allergan for comment.
This week, Linda officially returned to the spotlight after barely being seen since 2016, posing for a brand new Fendi ad while promoting the brand’s upcoming fashion show.
She shared a snap from the stunning campaign to Instagram on Saturday. She wore a gray sweater and three pink caps stacked on her head, as well as a pair of brown sunglasses and gloves.
She carried a few Fendi purses while looking away from the camera in the glamorous shot.
Lawsuit: The supermodel (pictured in 1990 and 1989), 57, said she is ‘happy’ to put the case behind her and is looking forward to ‘a new chapter’ in her life
‘On September 9 2022 @Fendi will host a special fashion show in New York City to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the #FendiBaguette, designed by @silviaventurinifendi, and two years since @mrkimjones joined the Maison as Artistic Director of Couture and Womenswear,’ she captioned the post.
The modeling gig was monumental for the runway star, since it marks her return to the industry after taking a six-year break from modeling.
Throughout the ’90s, Linda was one of the biggest models in the industry, posing for numerous well-known magazines like Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Elle, and Marie Claire, and strutting her stuff in runway shows for big brands including Chanel, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren, and Giorgio Armani, to name a few.
However, she stopped working in 2016, and back in September, Linda revealed in a shocking Instagram post that the reason she had decided to retreat from the public eye was because she had developed a rare reaction to a cosmetic procedure.
At the time, Linda announced that she had filed a lawsuit suing CoolSculpting’s parent company Zeltiq, claiming she was left ‘permanently deformed’ by the procedure.
Procedure: In her suit, Linda (pictured in 2005) had sought $50million in damages, alleging that she had been left ‘brutally disfigured’ by Zeltiq Aesthetics Inc’s CoolSculpting procedure
She said in an Instagram statement at the time: ‘Today I took a big step towards righting a wrong that I have suffered and have kept to myself for over five years.
‘To my followers who have wondered why I have not been working while my peers’ careers have been thriving, the reason is that I was brutally disfigured by Zeltiq’s CoolSculpting procedure which did the opposite of what it promised.
‘It increased, not decreased, my fat cells and left me permanently deformed even after undergoing two painful, unsuccessful, corrective surgeries. I have been left, as the media has described, “unrecognisable”.’
Linda also said she had developed paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH), a ‘very rare but serious side effect’ of the fat-freezing procedure’, according to Healthline.
The rare adverse effect of cryolipolysis has been reported in of 0.0051 per cent of the 1.5million CoolSculpting procedures performed worldwide.
With this condition, the treated area becomes larger, rather than smaller. It can leave a ‘painless, visibly enlarged, firm, well-demarcated mass’ underneath the skin.
Referencing a lawsuit, she continued: ‘I have developed Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia or PAH, a risk of which I was not made aware before I had the procedures.
‘PAH has not only destroyed my livelihood, it has sent me into a cycle of deep depression, profound sadness, and the lowest depths of self-loathing.
‘In the process, I have become a recluse. With this lawsuit, I am moving forward to rid myself of my shame, and going public with my story.
‘I’m so tired of living this way. I would like to walk out my door with my head held high, despite not looking like myself any longer.’
Speaking to People magazine in an interview months later, the former runway star detailed how she thought she was going crazy and ‘stopped eating’ when growths started to appear on her chin, thighs, and bust area – and how she now ‘dreads running into someone she knows’ after spending decades as a catwalk sensation.
However, at the time, she said she was ‘done hiding’, telling the outlet: ‘I can’t live like this anymore, in hiding and shame. I just couldn’t live in this pain any longer. I’m willing to finally speak.’
Fat-reduction: In September, Linda (pictured in 2003) said she had filed a lawsuit suing CoolSculpting’s parent company Zeltiq, claiming she was left ‘permanently deformed’
She detailed how within three months, she noticed bulges forming on her body, with the targeted areas growing rather than shrinking – before hardening and becoming numb as she experienced a rare side effect of the procedure.
She told People that she had filed a lawsuit last September suing CoolSculpting’s parent company, Zeltiq Aesthetics Inc, for $50million in damages, claiming at the time that she has been unable to work since the procedures.
The star alleged that CoolSculpting offered to pay for liposuction for her to correct the damage caused by PAH after her doctor contacted them. However, she said that on the eve of her liposuction, Zeltiq said they would only pay for the procedure if she signed a confidentiality agreement – which she refused.
In June 2016, Linda underwent a full body liposuction procedure, which she claims she paid for. She then underwent liposuction again in July 2017, and it’s unclear who covered the cost.
Linda said she had to wear girdles, a chin strap, and compression garments for eight weeks after the liposuction to prevent the PAH coming back – but said the condition did return after her second liposuction.
The model told the outlet that she can no longer bear to look at herself in the mirror as ‘it doesn’t look like her,’ explaining that her identity as ‘Linda Evangelista, supermodel’ is now ‘gone’ due to the condition.
Low profile: Linda (pictured in June 2015) has hardly been seen since undergoing the procedure and stopped working as a model
She added: ‘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] put my arms flat along my side. I don’t think designers are going to want to dress me with that sticking out of my body.’
A CoolSculpting representative told People at the time: ‘The procedure has been well studied with more than 100 scientific publications and more than 11 million treatments performed worldwide.’
They added that rare side effects such as PAH ‘continue to be well-documented in the CoolSculpting information for patients and health care providers.’
Linda has hardly been seen since undergoing the procedure. In February, she stepped out for the first time without covering her face, while shopping at Manhattan’s trendy Chelsea Market.
She was also seen on a rare outing earlier this month. The Canadian fashionista was spotted keeping it casual as she stepped out in New York City in a pair of sweatpants and an oversized jacket.
WHAT IS PARADOXICAL ADIPOSE HYPERPLASIA (PAH)?
Paradoxical adipose hyperplasia is a rare, previously unreported adverse effect of cryolipolysis.
Cryolipolysis uses cooling to damage and destroy subcutaneous fat cells, without damaging the skin to reduce the amount of fat in the treated area.
This phenomenon of PAH has a reported rate of incidence of 0.0051% of the 1.5 million CoolSculpting procedures performed worldwide. Many physicians see numerous cases in their offices.
PAH causes a gradual enlargement of the treated area. It occurs when the stimulus (the freezing of fat cells) activates a reactionary process in the fatty tissue that thickens and expands the fat cells rather than breaking them down and allowing the body to process and remove them.
PAH is only known to occur following a cryolipolysis, or CoolSculpting body contouring treatment.
PAH typically cannot be confirmed until about 6 months post-procedure, with patients complaining that they are getting bigger in the exact shape of the applicator, as depicted below.
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