Former supermodel Linda Evangelista made a rare public appearance on Wednesday (June 29). In photos you can see here, Linda, 57, went makeup-free while running errands in New York City. For the summer day, Linda had her hair pulled back in a bun and wore a pair of transparent, wide-rimmed glasses. The fashion icon opted for an oversized denim jacket, a pair of black sweatpants, and some chic Birkenstock sandals. She looked deep in thought while waiting for her Uber. Later in the day, she switched into a long, flowing dress while holding a bouquet of flowers while making her way into a building.
This June outing comes nearly a year after she revealed that she’d been absent from the spotlight due to an alleged botched surgery. 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,” she wrote in a September 2021 Instagram post. [It] 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 described, ‘unrecognizable.’”
Linda said she had developed Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia or PAH, “a risk of which I was not made aware before I had the procedures,” she added. PAH causes fat bulges to form and harden throughout her body, and there was no amount of dieting or exercise that could fix it. Even liposuction couldn’t reverse it. “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.”
Linda said she was suing Zeltiq for $50 million in damages, alleging that she hasn’t been able to work since undergoing seven sessions of CoolSculpting in a dermatologist’s office from August 2015 to February 2016. “I loved being up on the catwalk. Now I dread running into someone I know,” she told PEOPLE in February 2022. “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.”
She also said that PAH affected her connection with her 15-year-old son Augie. [Augie] used to say, ‘Mommy, do you remember when you used to be fun?’” said Linda. “‘Remember when you used to laugh all the time? How come you don’t laugh anymore?’ I hate what this has done to my relationship with him.”
A rep for CoolSculpting told PEOPLE that side effects, including PAH, are “well-documented in the CoolSculpting information for patients and health care providers.”