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Erin Heatherton said she used diet pills that were like “bathwater meth” while she was a Victoria’s Secret Angel, according to People.
Heatherton, 32, will appear in an upcoming episode of the “Fallen Angel” podcast, a documentary-style series about Victoria’s Secret produced by C13Originals and Campside Media.
Heatherton walked the Victoria’s Secret runway from 2008 to 2013, and she was an Angel for her last three years with the company.
In the episode, Heatherton, who has previously said she was told to lose weight for the 2012 and 2013 Victoria’s Secret fashion shows, revealed to hosts Justine Harman and Vanessa Grigoriadis that she resorted to using diet pills to try to maintain a thin figure, according to People.
Heatherton declined to comment when contacted by Insider for this story.
“There was this certain point where everything that I was doing just didn’t yield the same results,” she said on the podcast, per People, adding that her body changed around the time she turned 25 years old. “I was just a little bit bigger.”
According to People, Heatherton decided to consult a nutritionist, who “started me on this diet pill called phentermine, which my therapist later called ‘bathwater meth,'” as she said on the podcast, according to People. Phentermine is an appetite-suppressant.
Heatherton also said she started taking injections of human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone that is naturally produced during pregnancy, at the nutritionist’s recommendation, as People reported.
“I was just like, ‘Let me Lance Armstrong this because I’m renovating my condo. I can’t lose my job right now,'” she said on the podcast, according to People.
“I look back at it as like emotional cutting because I was so against everything that I was doing, but I was just reluctantly doing it almost to feel the pain or feel how wrong it was,” Heatherton went on to say.
Heatherton also reportedly said she didn’t feel any emotional support from Victoria’s Secret during her struggles.
“I don’t have any faith that these people really cared about me,” she said, as People reported. “It’s just about business.” Heatherton added that she is “not mad” at the company anymore and no longer has “ties” to it.
According to People, she also told the “Fallen Angel” hosts that she has “really practiced” to be in a better place mentally, and she wants to spread that message to others who might be struggling with eating disorders.
“I share my story again because I don’t want anyone to have an eating disorder or hate their bodies,” she said. “I know what that feels like.”
A post shared by Erin Heatherton (@erinheathertonlegit)
“When you have an eating disorder, you lose your freedom. When you are confined to this shape, it consumes your life,” Heatherton said on the podcast, as People reported.
Victoria’s Secret is in the midst of a massive rebranding campaign after years of criticism.
It ended its Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 2019, and in 2021, the company replaced its Angels with seven ambassadors. The brand also recently announced that it intends to bring back its fashion show in the future sans Angels.
Former Victoria’s Secret model Bridget Malcolm called the company’s changes “performative allyship” in July 2021.
“There is a new leadership team at Victoria’s Secret who is fully committed to the continued transformation of the brand with a focus on creating an inclusive environment for our associates, customers, and partners to celebrate, uplift, and champion all women,” representatives for Victoria’s Secret said in a statement to Insider.
You can listen to Heatherton on “Fallen Angel” on November 3.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call NEDA’s Helpline (1-800-931-2237) on weekdays for support, resources, and information about treatment options. In crisis situations, NEDA offers 24/7 support — just text “NEDA” to 741-741.