America's Next Top Model contestants detail horrific experiences

America’s Next Top Model contestants claim show put girls’ ‘lives on the line for the sake of ratings’ as they detail ‘traumatizing’ experiences on Tyra Banks-led series, from panic attacks to agonizing runway injuries

  • Created by Tyra Banks, America’s Next Top Model aired from May 2003 to April 2018 and was one of the biggest reality shows of all time
  • However, now, numerous contestants, former producers, and old crew members have spoken out about the bad experiences that they allegedly had on the series 
  • Models who competed on the series told Business Insider about the terrible antics that allegedly went on behind-the-scenes of The CW’s most popular show
  • Some claimed that they were left ‘traumatized,’ while others said they suffered from ‘panic attacks’ and weren’t offered medical treatment
  • One former contestants even claimed that the models feared for their lives sometimes, while another said she suffered injuries during the taping
  • Others claimed they were purposely forced to talk about their past traumas, had their fears used against them, and were put in dangerous situations to get views
  • Previously, All Stars contestant Angelea Preston filed a lawsuit against the series in 2014 after she was striped of her title due to her past work as an escort 
  • She later sued the show for breach of contract, claiming producers already knew about her sex work, and said she was starved and deprived of water for hours
  • A group of former America’s Next Top Model contestants have claimed that the show put their ‘lives on the line for the sake of ratings,’ while detailing the horrific experiences they allegedly faced on the modeling competition series – accusing host Tyra Banks of not ‘giving a f**k’ about their wellbeing.

    America’s Next Top Model – which aired from May 2003 to April 2018 – saw a group of young, aspiring models compete in various contests, and participate in various runway shows and photoshoots, in an attempt to be crowned the competition winner and earn a modeling contract.

    Created by former supermodel Tyra, who also served as an executive producer, it was one of the biggest reality shows of all time – becoming the highest-rated show on the CW from 2007 to 2010.

    However, over the years, numerous contestants have spoken out about the bad experiences that they say they had on the series – which was developed by Ken Mok and Kenya Barris. 

    America's Next Top Model contestants have claimed that the show put their 'lives on the line for the sake of ratings' during an explosive new Insider interview

    America’s Next Top Model contestants have claimed that the show put their ‘lives on the line for the sake of ratings’ during an explosive new Insider interview

    They detailed the horrific experiences they allegedly faced on the modeling competition series - claiming that host Tyra Banks 'didn't give a f**k' about them

    They detailed the horrific experiences they allegedly faced on the modeling competition series – claiming that host Tyra Banks ‘didn’t give a f**k’ about them

    Created by Tyra, who also served as an executive producer, it became the highest-rated show on the CW from 2007 to 2010. Contestants on season four of the series are pictured

    Created by Tyra, who also served as an executive producer, it became the highest-rated show on the CW from 2007 to 2010. Contestants on season four of the series are pictured

    Most famously, Angelea Preston filed a lawsuit against the series in 2014, after she was striped of her title.

    She won the 2011 All Stars season and was due to sign a $100,000 contract with Covergirl cosmetics, however, after another unnamed contestant reported to Tyra that she had previously worked as an escort, they took back her win. 

    Runner-up Lisa D’Amato was then crowned the winner of the season instead, leading to Angelea suing the show for breach of contract.

    Angelea Preston (pictured) filed a lawsuit against the series in 2014. She won the All Stars season in 2011, however, producers took back her win after the learned she had previously worked as an escort

    Angelea Preston (pictured) filed a lawsuit against the series in 2014. She won the All Stars season in 2011, however, producers took back her win after the learned she had previously worked as an escort

    She later told DailyMail.com exclusively that she and other contestants were starved and deprived of water for hours while filming.

    Now, many more former contestants from the series have detailed the terrible antics that allegedly went on behind-the-scenes of The CW’s most popular show, with some models claiming that they were left ‘traumatized.’

    Others said that they suffered from ‘panic attacks’ on set and weren’t offered medical treatment, while some even claimed that they feared for their lives on more than one occasion. 

    In total, 30 former crew members and contestants were interviewed by Business Insider for an explosive new article – with some sharing their identities and others requesting to keep their names private due to fears of ‘professional retribution,’ the outlet reported.

    Some of the women alleged that they were purposely forced to talk about their past traumas, had their fears used against them, and were put in dangerous situations to get more views.

    Eugena Washington, who competed in season seven of America’s Next Top Model, was horrified when she fell off the runway in front of millions of viewers during one particular challenge. 

    Runner-up Lisa D'Amato (pictured with Angelea on the show) was then crowned the winner of the season instead, leading to Angelea suing the show for breach of contract

    Runner-up Lisa D’Amato (pictured with Angelea on the show) was then crowned the winner of the season instead, leading to Angelea suing the show for breach of contract

    She later claimed she and other contestants were starved and deprived of water for hours while filming. Allison Harvard (left), Lisa (center) and Angelea (right) are pictured in the show

    She later claimed she and other contestants were starved and deprived of water for hours while filming. Allison Harvard (left), Lisa (center) and Angelea (right) are pictured in the show

    Now, many more former contestants from the series have detailed the terrible antics that allegedly went on behind-the-scenes of The CW's most popular show

    Now, many more former contestants from the series have detailed the terrible antics that allegedly went on behind-the-scenes of The CW’s most popular show

    The women had to strut their stuff on a narrow wooden runway which seesawed into a pool.

    And to make matters worse, producers had instructed divers to swim down and loosen the bolts connecting the planks in an attempt to make it more wobbly, according to one producer who worked on the episode in 2006. 

    The unnamed producer told Insider that they wanted ‘the most drama’ possible. 

    ‘We were all nervous, because we didn’t know what the f**k was going on,’ Eugena recalled. ‘It was dangerous.’

    ‘I just kept thinking, this isn’t just for show,’ another season seven contestant, AJ Stewart, added. ‘Someone could get hurt. Someone could break an ankle.’

    On top of the thin and un-sturdy runway, Eugena was also forced to wear six-inch heels, which made it feel like an ‘impossible task.’ 

    On her way back up the runway, she fell – cracking her knee along the way and leaving her clutching onto the catwalk to avoid falling into the water – a moment which has still left her scarred.

    ‘I felt like my life was being put on the line for ratings,’ she told Insider.

    Two unnamed models claimed that they were questioned about personal matters from their past on-camera to provoke an emotional response. 

    Others recalled having panic attacks on set and receiving injuries – with the outlet pointing out that all of the models had to sign a contract saying that ANTM wasn’t responsible for any injuries sustained on the show.

    Season seven's Eugena Washington (pictured in the show) fell off the runway, after producers allegedly had bolts loosened on the catwalk to get 'the most drama' possible

    Season seven’s Eugena Washington (pictured in the show) fell off the runway, after producers allegedly had bolts loosened on the catwalk to get ‘the most drama’ possible

    Eugena (pictured falling on the show) cracked her knee during the incident. She told Insider that it 'felt like her life was being put on the line for ratings'

    Eugena (pictured falling on the show) cracked her knee during the incident. She told Insider that it 'felt like her life was being put on the line for ratings'

    Eugena (pictured falling on the show) cracked her knee during the incident. She told Insider that it ‘felt like her life was being put on the line for ratings’

    A former employee of the show said he had come to believe that it put contestants in a ‘harmful environment for the sake of TV.’ 

    ‘You’re not looking at lifting women up,’ he said. ‘You’re not looking at giving them a real opportunity. 

    ‘You’re looking at trying to pit them against each other in a barrel full of crabs that are all trying to claw their way out.’ 

    Two unnamed models claimed that they were questioned about personal matters from their past on-camera to provoke an emotional response. Tyra is pictured for the show in 2004

    Two unnamed models claimed that they were questioned about personal matters from their past on-camera to provoke an emotional response. Tyra is pictured for the show in 2004

    During season 16, the women were tasked with crossing a 12-inch runway over water, while walking in inflatable human-sized hamster wheels.

    And Hannah Kat Jones told the outlet that when no one fell into the water the first time they did it, the constants had to do it again until someone did. 

    Andrew Patterson, who oversaw all creative across photoshoots for seasons 15 to 20 of ANTM, claimed that producers often wanted to include an ‘element of fear’ in their photoshoots.

    He said that if a contestant revealed that there was something in particular that they were scared of – like a type of animal or bug – producers would then purposely seek those things out and force them to have to work with them. 

    Aminat Ayinde, a season 12 contestant who came in second place, recalled facing ‘psychological warfare’ during her time on the show. 

    Each season, the girls underwent makeovers, also known as ‘Ty-overs,’ which were thoughtfully designed by Tyra herself. 

    During Aminat’s makeover, the salon wanted to use relaxers to make her naturally-wavy hair straighter, despite her telling them that she was allergic to the product.

    During season 16, the women had to walk in inflatable human-sized hamster wheels

    And a model claimed that when no one fell the first time, they had to do it again until someone did

    During season 16, the women had to walk in inflatable human-sized hamster wheels. And a model claimed that when no one fell the first time, they had to do it again until someone did

    Aminat Ayinde, a season 12 contestant who came in second place (pictured in the show), recalled facing 'psychological warfare' during her time in the competition

    Aminat Ayinde, a season 12 contestant who came in second place (pictured in the show), recalled facing ‘psychological warfare’ during her time in the competition

    During Aminat's makeover, the salon used relaxers despite her telling them that she was allergic to the product - which she claimed left her with a two-inch bald spot. She is pictured before (left) and after (right) her makeover

    During Aminat’s makeover, the salon used relaxers despite her telling them that she was allergic to the product – which she claimed left her with a two-inch bald spot. She is pictured before (left) and after (right) her makeover

    ‘This is what Tyra wants – this is how we have to do it,’ Aminat recalled the salon worker telling her. She added: ‘This is when I understood: Tyra doesn’t give a f**k.’

    Eventually, after she was eliminated, she removed her extensions and claimed she found a two-inch bald spot on her hair, which she said took three years to grow back.

    'The whole thing really left the most disgusting taste in my mouth,' Aminat (pictured during her audition) said, adding that she 'lost all respect' for Tyra in the process

    ‘The whole thing really left the most disgusting taste in my mouth,’ Aminat (pictured during her audition) said, adding that she ‘lost all respect’ for Tyra in the process

    ‘The whole thing really left the most disgusting taste in my mouth,’ Aminat said, adding that she ‘lost all respect’ for Tyra in the process.

    During the audition process, Insider reported that the women underwent a series of ‘personality tests and psych evaluations,’ and were questioned about their ‘histories of drug use, mental illness, and abuse.’

    According to an anonymous producer who worked on seasons six and seven of the show, after picking the contestants – which were ultimately decided on by Tyra and her team of producers – a team of story producers began ‘assigning each contestant with a “brand” for the season, like the party girl, the ugly duckling, or the Ivy Leaguer.’

    ‘As producers edited 200 hours of raw footage into 45-minute episodes, they earmarked any clip that fit the various contestants’ narratives,’ Insider reported.

    Season four contestant Lluvy Gomez reiterated this point, pointing out that she and fellow model Brittany Brower both got drunk at a restaurant during one night of filming.

    However, because Brittany was branded as the party girl, the episode showed her dancing on the table and mooning people passing by – while Lluvy, on the other hand, who was depicted as the ‘reformed gang member,’ was told to throw up away from the cameras.

    A former employee of the show said the show put contestants in a 'harmful environment for the sake of TV.' Tyra is pictured directing a photoshoot during season three in 2004

    A former employee of the show said the show put contestants in a 'harmful environment for the sake of TV.' Tyra is pictured directing a photoshoot during season three in 2004

    A former employee of the show said the show put contestants in a ‘harmful environment for the sake of TV.’ Tyra is pictured directing a photoshoot during season three in 2004

    Andrew Patterson (pictured), who oversaw creative across photoshoots for seasons 15 to 20 of ANTM, claimed producers often wanted to include an 'element of fear' in their photoshoots

    Andrew Patterson (pictured), who oversaw creative across photoshoots for seasons 15 to 20 of ANTM, claimed producers often wanted to include an ‘element of fear’ in their photoshoots

    He said if a contestant was scared of something, producers would purposely force them to have to work with those things. A contestant is pictured with modeling with a tarantula in 2018

    He said if a contestant was scared of something, producers would purposely force them to have to work with those things. A contestant is pictured with modeling with a tarantula in 2018

    ‘You can basically manipulate the audience into thinking anything,’ an employee, who worked on the show for five seasons, said.

    During the three-month filming period, Insider reported that producers ‘controlled every aspect of contestants’ lives.’

    They didn’t have access to internet or cellphones, and had no contact with the outside world except during rare, screened phone calls with approved family members.

    At one point during season nine, the girls were left fearing for their lives after they heard explosions outside their window in their Los Angeles-based home and thought they were under attack.

    It turns out, it was actually the Fourth of July and the sound was coming from fireworks, but they had no way of knowing what day of the month it was, model Sarah Hartshorne told the outlet. 

    Cameras were pretty much on them at all times, and if there was ever a time that they stopped rolling, the women were reportedly told they weren’t allowed to talk to one another, sometimes sitting in silence – also know as ‘on ice’ – for hours on end.

    The only time they were allowed to have privacy was when they were using the bathroom or sleeping. 

    However, during season seven, the bathroom doors were allegedly removed from their home until the women convinced producers to add a curtain for privacy halfway through the season.

    When it came to eating, Lisa – who won the all-stars season in 2011 but said she lost 15 pounds along the way – claimed that many of the girls often avoided eating over fears of gaining weight.  

    During the audition process, the women underwent a series of 'personality tests and psych evaluations,' and were questioned about their 'histories of drug use, mental illness, and abuse'

    During the audition process, the women underwent a series of ‘personality tests and psych evaluations,’ and were questioned about their ‘histories of drug use, mental illness, and abuse’

    Season four contestant Lluvy Gomez (pictured) bashed the show for branding its contestants and editing the footage to depict that brand

    Season four contestant Lluvy Gomez (pictured) bashed the show for branding its contestants and editing the footage to depict that brand

    Lluvy claimed they focused on Brittany Brower's (pictured) drinking despite both of then getting drunk during one episode, since producers wanted Brittany to seem like a party girl

    Lluvy claimed they focused on Brittany Brower’s (pictured) drinking despite both of then getting drunk during one episode, since producers wanted Brittany to seem like a party girl

    During the three-month filming period, Insider reported that producers 'controlled every aspect of contestants' lives.'  Some contestants of the All Stars season are pictured

    During the three-month filming period, Insider reported that producers ‘controlled every aspect of contestants’ lives.’  Some contestants of the All Stars season are pictured

    Other contestants told Insider that they were given $38 a day for groceries, but that they often decided not to spend the money on food and keep it instead, since it was sometimes the only pay that the would receive for their time on the show. 

    The models said they usually filmed for 20 hours in a row, with season three contestant Ann Markley claiming that one judging session lasted until 3 A.M.

    That night, the women only slept for two hours before filming resumed again at 5 A.M. 

    After a long day of working, the women usually had to give confessional interviews during their ‘most vulnerable and weak state,’ one season 16 contestant, who remained anonymous, said.

    And if they weren’t being emotional enough, producers allegedly brought up things they knew would make the women upset to add to the drama.

    According to Lisa, one producer forced her to talk about her past problems with her mom, which was difficult for her. 

    ‘The interviewer brought that up – “Is this the way you felt when your mom would tell you to kill yourself? Is that why this is affecting you so badly?”‘ she recalled. ‘They don’t stop. It just keeps going and going.’

    Lluvy recalled a similar experience after she was eliminated – during which a producer allegedly asked her if her late dad would have been disappointed in her.

    ‘So, the one thing he wanted for you, you’re not achieving,’ she recalled him saying, which caused her to break down in tears.  

    All Star winner Lisa said the show plagued her mental health, leaving her traumatized and suffering from regular panic attacks

    All Star winner Lisa said the show plagued her mental health, leaving her traumatized and suffering from regular panic attacks

    It was also reported that women fainting or becoming lightheaded was a normal occurrence. Season four contestant Rebecca Epley is pictured fainting during the show

    It was also reported that women fainting or becoming lightheaded was a normal occurrence. Season four contestant Rebecca Epley is pictured fainting during the show

    The models said they usually filmed for 20 hours in a row and got hardly any sleep. Rebecca is pictured fainting during the show

    The models said they usually filmed for 20 hours in a row and got hardly any sleep. Rebecca is pictured fainting during the show

    It was also reported that women fainting or becoming lightheaded was a normal occurrence during the judging panels. 

    While the show launched major careers for some contestants, it ruined others’ self-esteem, Insider reported. 

    Lisa said the show plagued her mental health, leaving her traumatized and suffering from regular panic attacks.

    Another contestant, named ShaRaun Brown, said she developed depression after participating in season 11.

    Season seven winner CariDee English entered rehab for addiction years after winning the show, and at the time, she detailed some of the problems she faced in a blog post.

    ‘I love love what I have made for myself since my win, but mentally, it’s horrific,’ she wrote. ‘And any girl who has been on ANTM can back me up.’ 

    Season 18’s Alisha White declined to comment, writing in an email to Insider that an ‘article alone wouldn’t be enough to really sum up the experience, suffering, and confusion I and my family have had to deal with over the past 10 years. The damage has been done already.’

    Eugena told Insider that she couldn’t look at pictures of herself for years after her time in the show, due to a plunge in her confidence and self-worth.

    The girls were once left fearing for their lives after they heard explosions outside their window and thought they were under attack, Sarah Hartshorne (pictured) said

    The girls were once left fearing for their lives after they heard explosions outside their window and thought they were under attack, Sarah Hartshorne (pictured) said

    ‘The show left a trail of very hurt young girls who really had to overcome a lot of self-esteem and self-worth issues,’ she said.

    According to Sarah, it was actually the Fourth of July and the sound was coming from fireworks, but they had no way of knowing what day of the month it was

    According to Sarah, it was actually the Fourth of July and the sound was coming from fireworks, but they had no way of knowing what day of the month it was

    ‘Talking to a lot of contestants, it took us years to recover the things that we lost on that show.’ 

    Tyra – who owned a 25 per cent stake in the show – was reportedly very involved in almost every aspect of it.

    But despite her being passionate about the modeling competition, contestants claimed she was often cold to them when cameras stopped rolling, with Lluvy joking that she and fellow contestants wondered if Tyra was a ‘robot.’

    Fashion PR maven Kelly Cutrone, who joined the show as a judge in season 18, defended Tyra to Insider, explaining that her other endeavors kept her busy. 

    ‘What is she going to do? Go sit down there and eat marshmallows with the contestants to hear about how their uncle is an alcoholic?’ she asked.

    She added that the models knew what they were getting into, telling the outlet: ‘You take a risk when you put yourself on television.’ 

    When it came to eliminations, Insider reported that the models who were picked to be kicked off each week were based on their photos at first.

    However, Kelly told them that as time went by, producers began to have more and more input on who made it and who didn’t – rather than just basing it on their modeling abilities.

    ‘What the judges think is not the only thing that goes into who stays and who goes,’ she explained.

    ‘If you have a great model who is super beautiful, who has nothing interesting going on, she is probably not going to make it the whole way. Why? Because it’s a TV show.’

    Season one contestant Ebony Haith said she was unhappy after the stylist on the show was unable to cut the non-white women's hair during makeovers

    Season one contestant Ebony Haith said she was unhappy after the stylist on the show was unable to cut the non-white women’s hair during makeovers

    Unsure how to handle her hair, Ebony was left shaving it off with her own razor - which she bought at a CVS

    Unsure how to handle her hair, Ebony was left shaving it off with her own razor – which she bought at a CVS 

    Despite Tyra having a hand in almost every aspect of the modeling competition, contestants claimed she was often cold to them when cameras stopped rollin

    Despite Tyra having a hand in almost every aspect of the modeling competition, contestants claimed she was often cold to them when cameras stopped rollin

    And a season five crew member alleged that the show helped certain models who were favored by giving them a better photo selection, more time with the photographer, and extra guidance.

    Insider reported that Tyra was determined for the show to address real-life issues like sexuality, race, and gender identity, however, at least five different black contestants later said that they felt like they were criticized by the show’s staff due to their skin color.

    Season one contestant Ebony Haith said she was unhappy after the stylist on the show was unable to cut the non-white women’s hair during makeovers, so a black stylist had to be brought in instead. 

    Unsure how to handle her hair, Ebony was left shaving it off with her own razor – which she bought at a CVS.

    She was eventually eliminated for having ‘rough’ skin during one of her photoshoots, which left her ‘floored.’

    She added: ‘I think at that moment, I felt like there was no compassion towards the plight of all of us, all the things we’ve been through.’  

    Kelly Cutrone, who joined the show as a judge in season 18, defended Tyra, asking, 'What is she going to do? Go sit down there and eat marshmallows with the contestants?'

    Kelly Cutrone, who joined the show as a judge in season 18, defended Tyra, asking, ‘What is she going to do? Go sit down there and eat marshmallows with the contestants?’

    During a season four photoshoot, the contestants had to embody different ethnicities using makeup and clothing – including East Indian, African American, and Eskimo.

    ‘Me and a few girls were like, I don’t feel comfortable doing it,’ Lluvy – who is Latina – recalled. ‘I was like, “This is not OK. This is straight-up blackface.”‘

    She added that the models knew what they were getting into, telling the outlet: 'You take a risk when you put yourself on television'

    She added that the models knew what they were getting into, telling the outlet: ‘You take a risk when you put yourself on television’

    She explained that she and the other models then voted on whether or not they’d bring their concerns up to producers, but decided not to in the end because the others said, ‘It’s Tyra’s idea, and Tyra is Black, so it’s fine.’

    Yaya DaCosta, who competed in season three, later wrote on social media in a now-deleted post that it ‘took a lot of work to heal’ after her time in the show.

    She was eliminated in the end after judges said she tried too hard to ‘prove her Africanness.’ 

    Danielle Evans was pressured by Tyra during her time in the show to close the gap in her tooth.

    In 2020, after a clip of the interaction resurfaced and went viral online, Danielle addressed it in an Instagram video.

    ‘To all the young queens affected by Tyra’s words, it doesn’t matter if you have a gap, stacked teeth, straight teeth,’ she said.

    ‘It doesn’t matter if you’re Black, brown, white, indifferent, other. You are so loved, so adored, and you are beautiful.’

    One producer, who worked on the show for six seasons, told the outlet that team members rarely challenged Tyra’s ideas, even if they felt they were offensive. 

    And race wasn’t the only thing that the show reportedly made contestants feel bad about.

    Danielle Evans was pressured by Tyra during her time in the show to close the gap in her tooth

    Danielle Evans was pressured by Tyra during her time in the show to close the gap in her tooth

    Danielle Evans was pressured by Tyra during her time in the show to close the gap in her tooth

    In 2020, after a clip of the interaction resurfaced and went viral online, Danielle addressed it in an Instagram video, saying, 'It doesn't matter if you have a gap, stacked teeth, or straight teeth'

    In 2020, after a clip of the interaction resurfaced and went viral online, Danielle addressed it in an Instagram video, saying, ‘It doesn’t matter if you have a gap, stacked teeth, or straight teeth’

    Plus-size model Whitney Cunningham Walker, who competed in season eight, recalled struggling to fit into clothes during one Good Will challenge.

    However, she added that she was proud to contribute to the conversation about the lack of plus-size clothing in the industry.

    Season 20 contestant Cory Wade was the show’s first openly gay male contestant, and he recalled often being criticized by judges for being too feminine.

    But he is nothing but grateful for his experience on the show now, adding, ‘I’m OK! Like, haven’t you ever gone through anything that is a little bit extreme or intense or challenging? It’s just like that. The difference is it’s for the world to see.’

    In 2008, the show saw its first-ever transgender contestant in Isis King, who came in 10th. After her season aired, the show won a GLAAD award.

    However, an anonymous producer told Insider that Isis faced a few ‘pretty inappropriate and disrespectful’ moments behind the scenes. 

    In a 2020 Instagram Live, the model previously claimed that producers forced her to inject herself with hormones on-camera, despite her telling them previously that she was uncomfortable doing it on screen.

    In 2014, Angelea sued the show, claiming that she had been unfairly stripped of her title. She wanted $4 million, but in 2018, she dropped her lawsuit. 

    ‘After shooting was wrapped, our production team learned information from Angelea that disqualifies her from the competition,’ judge Nigel Barker said during the finale. 

    Season 20 contestant Cory Wade (pictured on the show) was the show's first openly gay male contestant, and he recalled often being criticized by judges for being too feminine

    Season 20 contestant Cory Wade (pictured on the show) was the show’s first openly gay male contestant, and he recalled often being criticized by judges for being too feminine

    Plus-size model Whitney Cunningham Walker (pictured on the show), who competed in season eight, recalled struggling to fit into clothes during one Good Will challenge

    Plus-size model Whitney Cunningham Walker (pictured on the show), who competed in season eight, recalled struggling to fit into clothes during one Good Will challenge

    However, in a recent interview with Bustle, Angelea claimed that the show’s producers were fully aware of her sex work when they invited her to compete in the season, then pretended to be shocked by it after filming wrapped. 

    However, Whitney (pictured for the show) added that she was proud to contribute to the conversation about the lack of plus-size clothing in the industry

    However, Whitney (pictured for the show) added that she was proud to contribute to the conversation about the lack of plus-size clothing in the industry

    ‘It was already traumatic going through the sex-work stuff, and now to add insult to injury, they were punishing me for the rest of my life,’ she said.

    ‘I was gutted. Back then you didn’t talk about [sex work] because it was shameful, and I felt ashamed. And [Top Model] made me feel even more ashamed than I already was.’

    In her suit, she also alleged that she was paid less than minimum wage, was denied breaks, and was often left starving and dehydrated.

    She also claimed that she once experienced a panic attack while filming, but was denied medical care for 10 minutes ‘to make for better television.’ 

    In May 2020, Tyra took to Twitter to address some backlash that the show was facing after it was added to the streaming site Netflix.

    ‘Been seeing the posts about the insensitivity of some past ANTM moments and I agree with you. Looking back, those were some really off choices,’ she wrote on Twitter at the time.

    ‘Appreciate your honest feedback and am sending so much love and virtual hugs.’ 

    At the time, she also defended the series while speaking to Tamron Hall.

    Angelea alleged in her suit that she was paid less than minimum wage, was denied breaks, and was often left starving and dehydrated. She is pictured for the show

     Angelea alleged in her suit that she was paid less than minimum wage, was denied breaks, and was often left starving and dehydrated. She is pictured for the show

    In May 2020, Tyra took to Twitter to address some backlash that the show was facing. 'I agree with you,' she wrote. 'Looking back, those were some really off choices'

    In May 2020, Tyra took to Twitter to address some backlash that the show was facing. ‘I agree with you,’ she wrote. ‘Looking back, those were some really off choices’

    ‘We were still operating in a world – I was still a model at the time, not a retired model yet, and still operating in this world that had so many rules,’ Tyra explained.

    ‘It was this awful push and pull that we all had. I was trying to push boundaries but was also torn to try to make sure that these girls could work, so it was a balance.

    ‘It was like, “Oh, break beauty barriers,” but yeah, I can break them all I want on the show, but they’ll graduate from the show, and they won’t work.’ 

    Tyra declined Insider’s request for comment, and the CW and VH1 didn’t respond to its requests for comment.

    Tyra recently deleted her Twitter account, although, it’s unclear if the decision to take her social media down had anything to do with the accusations.