Chrissy Teigen and John Legend never chose baby names before giving birth, the model and entrepreneur wrote in a crude post Wednesday night. This time it had been different. This time they started calling the fetus Jack. And this time they will never have a child to take home from the hospital. Teigen had an abortion.
The model and the entrepreneur’s doctor put her to bed rest earlier this fall, and she was later admitted to the hospital with excessive bleeding. As her post notes, blood transfusions weren’t enough to save Jack. Writing to her late son, Teigen said, “I’m so sorry that the first moments of your life met with so many complications, we couldn̵
Fans and celebrities have responded with empathy and even gratitude, thanking Teigen and Legend for being so open about a grieving process that still carries a lot of stigma. But others have replied … differently.
For some, finding sympathy for a grieving family has evidently proved an impossible task. QAnon believers and “pro-life” figures have mocked and mocked the couple’s grief and, in some cases, used their miscarriage as a way to vilify abortion. The comments themselves are the intellectual equivalent of worms feasting on rancid Trump Steaks, and the vitriol Teigen received perfectly crystallizes the toxic and utterly stupid turn our online speech took.
Scroll past the supportive comments from various fans and supporters on Instagram and you’ll also find rumors like “This is karma for eating babies.” Another: “Revenge of the gods …” Another: “Ritual ritual sacrifice ritual! To get his fans back !!!” Another: “Who took a picture of this? How much attention do you need? Really?”
And then there’s … whatever it is: “Probable karma of all those kids you sacrificed. Moms kids who didn’t have a chance in life. Whose last moments were filled with terror and cries of protection. You know. the truth Collect what you sew, lady. You will answer to god … rest in peace for the lives of those children who have been lost .. your Twitter posts are everywhere on the Internet, the truth is no longer hiding. “
For years now, QAnon supporters have harassed Teigen, claiming that she is in some way related to Jeffrey Epstein; Earlier this year an obviously fake flight log allegedly from Epstein’s private jet, the “Lolita Express,” included his name.
Teigen described the vitriol he received in early September. “I couldn’t leave nice comments on my friends’ pages knowing they would be inundated with pizzagata madness,” he wrote on Instagram. “My fan pages wrote to me, wondering if I still wanted to talk even though the comments would have been very painful.”
Now, Teigen’s miscarriage has united two of the most toxic factions of the online right: QAnon chud and anti-abortion figures who call themselves “pro-life” but apparently see the loss of a family as a rhetorical opportunity.
For example: Imagine reading Teigen’s post and then writing this, as documentarian and Republican candidate for Congress Errol Webber done: “Hoping that Chrissy Tiegan and John Legend will reevaluate their thoughts on abortion after their heartbreaking experience. It is not a cluster of cells. Either he is a child or he is not. ”
The obvious difference is that Teigen and Legend wanted to give birth, keep and raise the child their “cell group” would grow into. It is that person, that son, who are now suffering: a distinction that anyone who does not try insensibly to get political points could easily make.
However, others have come forward with the same point of “help”, such as unsigned linebacker Bryan Kehl and an Instagram commenter who simply wrote, “Think of it as an abortion … you always scream about how much you love abortions.”
In addition to those who see a miscarriage as an opportunity to re-contextualize abortion, at a time when Roe v. Wade she is seriously threatened: others have flocked to criticize her for posting about miscarriage. Some have gone so far as to accuse Teigen of “chasing power”.
Teigen’s celebrity status and one of the most popular influencers in the world makes her the perfect target for online trolls. She is recognized as most stars, but her open personality on social media has granted the public wider access to her than most A-listers. She also likes to make fun of the president.
So far, it appears Teigen has received more support than she has ridiculed. But either way, the negative comments sent to her shouldn’t be ignored. It is unimaginably cowardly to invest so deeply in an unfounded conspiracy theory that laughing at someone’s abortion seems appropriate. It is cowardly to reduce the loss of a family to a political talking point. And it is vile to accuse a woman of “chasing power” and to expect her to cry “in private” simply for talking about her pain.
It could be argued that saying a lot will only, as the old saying goes, “feed the trolls”. But in targeting a grieving couple in this way, they said more about themselves than anyone else ever could anyway.