Former supermodel Linda Evangelista says she is "permanently disfigured" after a botched cosmetic procedure.

For that reason, she has not appeared in the spotlight for five years, the 56-year-old Canadian writes on Instagram on Thursday.

The ex-model writes that she was brutally maimed by a company that was supposed to use a CoolSculpting technique, but did the opposite of what was promised.

During a CoolSculpting treatment, fat cells are frozen, after which they should decrease.

"My fat cells increased instead of decreasing and I am now permanently disfigured, even after two painful surgeries to repair the damage. I am, as the media wrote, unrecognizable," said Evangelista.

The former model says the treatment has developed "paradoxical fat hyperplasia," or PAH, a rare but known risk of this surgery.

She claims she was not aware of this before starting the treatment.

“PAH has not only destroyed my livelihood, it has also plunged me into deep depression, deep sadness and the lowest depths of self-loathing,” she writes.

"Meanwhile, I have become a hermit."

Evangelista says she is taking legal action against the company.

Especially because she likes to leave the house "with her head held high", "despite the fact that I don't look like myself anymore".

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