Linda Evangelista shared that she has been privately battling breast cancer for the past five years. The Nineties supermodel opened up about her experience for the first time during an interview published Tuesday with the Wall Street Journal.

Evangelista said that she was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2018 after it was detected in her annual mammogram. “The margins were not good, and due to other health factors, without hesitation, because I wanted to put everything behind me and not to have to deal with this, I opted for a bilateral mastectomy. Thinking I was good and set for life. Breast cancer was not going to kill me.”

She said that in July last year, a lump on her chest prompted her to see her surgical oncologist, who was “unimpressed.” Despite their reaction, Evangelista underwent an MRI and afterwards the doctor immediately ordered a biopsy. When the results came in, she was told that cancer had been found in her pectoral muscle.

The veteran supermodel ordered her surgeon to “dig a hole” in her chest. “I don’t want it to look pretty,” she recalled saying. “I want you to excavate. … Do you understand me? I’m not dying from this.”

She has since faced radiation and chemo, and has been told by her post–cancer care oncologist that since her cancer has come back, her prognosis is less than ideal. Although she says her future is uncertain, Evangelista said, “I know I have one foot in the grave, but I’m totally in celebration mode.”

When deciding on sharing the news, the Nineties icon said that she’s “not one of those people who has to share everything”.

“I thought to myself, I will share this one day but while I am going through it, absolutely not,” she told WSJ. “I don’t want the Daily Mail waiting outside my door like they do every time something happens. ‘Linda seen for the first time since blah blah blah.’”

Evangelista also addressed her lawsuit with Zeltiq Aesthetics, the company that markets CoolSculpting, alleging the so-called fat-freezing treatment left her “permanently disfigured.” The case was settled in July 2022.

After taking the “magic potion,” she told WSJ that “It just backfired on me.”

When discussing the “death of the supermodel,” a term often used when referring to the elite group of models in the Eighties and Nineties, Evangelista brushed off the predictions.


“In the vicinity of the grunge movement coming in, there was talk about the death of the supermodel — which never happened… I worked during that whole period… with David Sims, Corinne Day, Juergen Teller…,” she said. “So, I never understood the ‘death of.’ It comes up, and I’m like, Oh, my God, it’s 30-some years later… and I’m still here. So, I didn’t die.”