Leona Lewis Accuses Designer Michael Costello Of ‘Embarrassing’ Her At Fashion Show
In the story, Costello wrote that he had sent Lewis a direct message via Instagram to address her accusations about him 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,” Costello said.
Costello said that he was “really surprised to hear about your traumatic experience with me,” given that he remembered having a “wonderful time” with her. Costello also said he gave the singer several dress options and that she reacted positively to all of them.
He said that after Lewis’ team contacted him on May 2021 to help her with her appearance on American Idol, Lewis personally invited him to fit her.
“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 said. “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.”
“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,” he continued. “If you were in my position I’m sure you would equally be as shocked.”
He ended the post by telling Leona he’s available for a “heart-to-heart conversation” when she is ready.
On June 15, Lewis claimed Costello once “embarrassed” her and made her feel “deeply hurt when they worked together in 2014. Her accusations came one day after Costello accused Chrissy Teigen of bullying him in 2014.
Teigen has publicly apologized for resurfaced tweets and a separate bullying allegation in an Instagram post she shared on June 14.
Lewis shared her experience with Costello through an Instagram story. She expressed her compassion for struggles after he said that Teigen’s bullying made him feel suicidal.
“I usually don’t speak on subjects like this. But honestly I feel that I have to something as I’ve dealt with years of insecurities from it,” Lewis said. “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.”
Lewis said she met Costello after being asked to participate in a charity fashion event. Before the fashion show, she was “assigned” to work with him and said, “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,” she continued. “This came as a total surprise because weeks prior I was told that they would make the dress work for me.”
She said that at the following fitting, the night before the event, “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,” she said. “I was not permitted to walk in his dress. I had to sit in the audience and was asked by [the] 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.”
The singer felt hurt because the event was supposed to be for a good cause.
“I feel like I was made to look as though I pulled out and was being difficult and as an [effect] 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.”
Lewis said that after this experience, she was “left with deep insecurities” about herself.
“I’ve had to work hard over the years to love my body,” she wrote. “I’m 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.”
Lewis said that Michael’s designs have evolved because he now makes clothes available “to women of all sizes.” However, she claimed that her experience had to be discussed because he was being hypocritical.
“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 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 fit right with me. Bullying comes in many forms. We need love, we need accountability, we need forgiveness, none of us are perfect.”