Lisa D’Amato has some intense questions for Tyra Banks, and the former America’s Next Top Model winner doesn’t seem to be holding back from being one of the TV host’s harshest critics. In fact, the cycle 17 top model is calling out Banks for allegedly profiting off of the “childhood traumas” of the show’s contestants, including her own.
If you don’t remember, D’Amato was in two seasons of ANTM. In Season 5, the contestant finished in sixth place. In Season 17, an “all-stars” cycle where D’Amato was brought back to compete for the title, she ended up going all the way to the finale and won. In a recent video posted to her Instagram account, D’Amato recalled the E! True Hollywood Story episode she did a few years back where she was brutally honest about her time on ANTM and warned other women about participating in the show. As she explained in the video, she chose to expose the truth behind the modeling competition even though she was under the threat of being sued.
“I went on there and I talked about production,” she said about her contribution to the E! Hollywood exposé. Explaining further, she said it was a “breach of contract” that could have cost her 5 million dollars, but that she did it “because I felt like it was my duty to warn other girls that were going to audition for America’s Next Top Model to know that what you guys do and the way that you guys would poke me and use my childhood trauma against me, day in and day out. It was just so f*cked up, and it broke my heart.”
“Like, how could you do that?” the model asked as her voice broke and she held back tears.
As she mentioned “childhood trauma,” the words “Sexual abuse, Physical abuse, and Mental abuse” appeared at the bottom of her screen, adding more context for viewers about the ordeal she experienced in her youth.
“To me, the odds were worth it if I still got sued,” she said. Speaking to Banks directly D’Amato added, “I don’t know how you sleep at night.”
“You Tyra, you knew very well the horrible trauma that my mom inflicted on me,” she added. “You also talk so much about how you wouldn’t be where you are without your mother and how powerful she is. So knowing that, you still did that to me and continued to do it to other girls, even after I spoke publicly about it. How do you sleep at night knowing you are torturing and poking at people’s, girls’ childhood traumas, for your own profit?”
D’Amato isn’t the first former ANTM model to come out against Banks and her CW hit show. In addition to receiving backlash from past contestants, social media users have also criticized the iconic model again and again for the part she played in the chaos that ensued during the show’s many challenges, and the harsh feedback directed towards some of the contestants. With more and more people coming out about how toxic the show’s environment was, it seems like no one who was on ANTM has been able to leave it in their past.