She says she's done hiding after being "brutally disfigured."
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Linda Evangelista
Credit: Astrid Stawiarz / Stringer

Last fall, Linda Evangelista revealed that she had been "brutally disfigured" after she underwent CoolSculpting. She had been in hiding for five years, she explained, after her "fat-freezing" procedure in 2015 and 2016 had a rare side effect. She's suing Zeltiq Aesthetics Inc. for $50 million, claiming that she's been unable to work since the procedure, which hardened and expanded areas around her bra line, jawline, and thighs instead of shrinking them.

"I loved being up on the catwalk. Now I dread running into someone I know," she told People. "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."

When her doctor diagnosed her with Paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH), she said she was heartbroken and confused, "I was like, 'What the hell is that?' And he told me no amount of dieting, and no amount of exercise was ever going to fix it."

"I tried to fix it myself, thinking I was doing something wrong," she added. "I got to where I wasn't eating at all. I thought I was losing my mind."

People adds that PAH affects less than 1% of CoolSculpting patients. After she was diagnosed with PAH, Evangelista went on to have two full-body liposuction procedures, though they didn't help. Now, she says she cannot lay her arms flat against her body and that her posture has changed due to the hard deposits of fat, which she showed in photos published by People.

"It wasn't even a little bit better," she says. "The bulges are protrusions. And they're hard. 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."

Because the litigation is ongoing, Zeltiq hasn't issued any comments on Evangelista's claims, but the supermodel says that she's still struggling to come to terms with her body.

"I don't look in the mirror," she adds. "It doesn't look like me."