Chrissy Teigen is back and remorseful: 'I was a troll, full stop. And I am so sorry'

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Chrissy Teigen smiling in a ruffled orange dress
Chrissy Teigen has apologized for her past behavior. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Chrissy Teigen wants you to know she's been suffering in exile.

"I know I’ve been quiet, and lord knows you don’t want to hear about me, but I want you to know I’ve been sitting in a hole of deserved global punishment, the ultimate 'sit here and think about what you’ve done,'" the model and entrepreneur wrote Monday in an essay published on Medium and shared on her social accounts with a simple greeting: "Hi again."

"Not a day, not a single moment has passed where I haven’t felt the crushing weight of regret for the things I’ve said in the past."

That's a big departure from her New Year's resolution, which she declared in December was "not explaining S— to you people."

Teigen's new essay refers to the controversy that erupted a month ago over her years-ago tormenting of Courtney Stodden, now 26, who gained media attention in 2011 for marrying then-50-year-old actor Doug Hutchison (“The Green Mile”) as a 16-year-old.

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“She wouldn’t just publicly tweet about wanting me to take ‘a dirt nap’ but would privately DM me and tell me to kill myself,” said Stodden — who identifies as nonbinary and recently got engaged to entrepreneur Chris Sheng — in a May interview with the Daily Beast. “Things like, ‘I can’t wait for you to die.’”

Teigen tweeted a public apology on May 12, but Stodden said on Instagram that the mother of two never reached out privately to say she was sorry. Nevertheless, Stodden accepted the apology — despite suspecting Teigen was doing it to protect her brand.

Now, Teigen said, there are "more than just a few" people who need to hear her say she's sorry. She wrote that in the beginning she had "so much fun" with social media, making jokes and random observations. Or so she thought.

"In reality, I was insecure, immature and in a world where I thought I needed to impress strangers to be accepted. If there was a pop culture pile-on, I took to Twitter to try to gain attention and show off what I at the time believed was a crude, clever, harmless quip. I thought it made me cool and relatable if I poked fun at celebrities," the cooking guru wrote.

"There is simply no excuse for my past horrible tweets. My targets didn’t deserve them. No one does. Many of them needed empathy, kindness, understanding and support, not my meanness masquerading as a kind of casual, edgy humor," Teigen added. "I was a troll, full stop. And I am so sorry."

Now she seems to realize she was actually lashing out at real people. She said she experiences "sharp, stabbing pains" in her body when she randomly remembers things she's put on social media, a.k.a. her "a—hole past."

Teigen said she should have realized what she was doing when she regularly saw a disconnect with people she met in real life — fans who called her "a bad ass bitch" or said, "You're much nicer in person."

Therapy, therapy and more therapy has made her more empathetic, she wrote, pointing out that she now knows what it's like to be on the receiving end of maximum online vitriol.

"I’m telling you this for context, not seeking or deserving any sympathy," Teigen wrote. "There’s no justification for my behavior. I’m not a victim here. The subjects of your sympathy — and mine — should be those I put down." She said she wasn't asking for forgiveness but rather for "patience and tolerance."

Teigen, who's married to musician John Legend, has been quiet on social media since mid-May and says she is going to take more time to focus on her family and self-care.

"Believe me," she wrote of the backlash, "the irony of this is not lost on me."

Stoddard did not respond immediately Monday to a request for comment.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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