Leona Lewis Defends Chrissy Teigen as She Accuses Michael Costello of Embarrassing Her

After Michael Costello accused Chrissy Teigen of bullying him in 2014, Leona Lewis shared her experience with the fashion designer, in which she claimed he made her feel "deeply hurt."

By Alyssa Morin Jun 16, 2021 4:26 AMTags
Watch: Chrissy Teigen Pens Letter Amid Cyberbullying Scandal: "I Was a Troll"

UPDATE: Michael Costello has returned to his Instagram Story to post a lengthy response to Leona Lewis' accusations about him. 

In the message posted on Tuesday, June 15, the fashion designer wrote that he had sent the singer an Instagram DM earlier in the day to address her message about him allegedly embarrassing her in 2014. 

"Given that you have publicly shared your experience with me on Instagram without coming to me privately first, I have no choice but to respond to you here as I tried reaching out to you privately without much luck," he shared. 

Michael wrote that he was "really surprised to hear about your traumatic experience with me," as he recalled them having a "wonderful time." He claimed he had left dress options for Leona back then, and that she told him she loved them.

He added that after her team reached out to him in May 2021 for a look to wear on American Idol, Leona herself invited him to personally fit her, and that he recalled them having a pleasant conversation. 

"You have never indicated to me how you felt, and you've continuously worn me, tagged me and had your team reach out to me to request more dresses… As recent as last month," the designer continued. "I have lost tons of opportunities, sleepless nights and I'm not in a good mental state of mind. I wish you spoke to me directly instead of Instagram, especially when I am at my most vulnerable moment."

Michael also wrote, "I pray your intentions are pure, and that you're not acting recklessly in an attempt to smear me and all the dresses I created for you to save a friend. If you were in my position, I'm sure you would equally be as shocked."

He concluded the post by letting Leona know he's available for a "heart-to-heart conversation" whenever she's ready.


Leona Lewis is opening up about her experience with Michael Costello.

On Tuesday, June 15, the "Bleeding Love" singer recalled a time when she says the fashion designer "embarrassed" her and made her feel "deeply hurt" when they worked together in 2014. The British star's accusations come just one day after Michael accused Chrissy Teigen of bullying him that same year.

Although Chrissy has publicly apologized for past resurfaced tweets and a separate bullying allegation in a letter published on Monday, June 14, she hasn't commented on Michael's accusations.

Taking to Instagram Stories, Leona discussed her past encounter with the style expert, while also expressing compassion for his mental health struggles after he shared that Chrissy's alleged bullying led him to have suicidal thoughts.

"I usually don't speak on subjects like this. But honestly I feel that I have to say something as I've dealt with years of insecurity from it," Leona began her statement. "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."

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The 36-year-old star explained that she met Michael after being asked to participate in an unspecified charity fashion show. Ahead of the event, she was "assigned" to work with him, sharing, "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."

"When I got to my fitting I 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," Leona claimed. "This came as a total surprise because weeks prior I was told that they would make the dress work for me."

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She alleged that at the next fitting, which was the night before the show, "Michael refused to turn up." As she described, "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."

The "Better in Time" singer said she felt "so embarrassed and deeply hurt."

And because of the sizing issues, she claimed, "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 [sic] of those actions I suffered a lot, both personally and professionally," she said. "The most hurtful thing is that it was to raise money for charity, and this went against everything we were trying to do."


Due to her experience, Leona said that she was "left with deep insecurities" about her appearance.

"I've had to work hard over the years to love my body," she admitted. "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."

The British star acknowledged that Michael has since evolved, especially with his designs being available to "women of all sizes." However, she felt it was important to discuss her experience and shine a light on his perceived hypocrisy.

"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," Leona shared. "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."


Additionally, she came to Chrissy's defense, saying, "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."

The X Factor star concluded, "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."

Following Leona's accusations, Michael took to Instagram Stories with 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 Leona's American Idol finale performance in May.

"I've reached out to you personally," he wrote, alleging, "And I have 7 emails from the last 4 years and these past 9 weeks from your team and stylist still requesting looks."

He continued, "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? You looked so beautiful in it!"

Michael added that he's still a fan of the musician's, sharing, "I still love you @LeonaLewis."

E! News has reached out to the fashion designer's rep for comment and we have yet to receive a response. Furthermore, we've also reached out to Leona's reps for comment.

This story was originally published June 15, 2021 at 3:09 p.m. PST.