Inside Chrissy Teigen And John Legend's Scary Experience With Racism

From the outside looking in, entertainer extraordinaire Chrissy Teigen appears to be the queen of the internet, enjoying a lavish lifestyle with her Grammy-winning husband, John Legend. But there's more to her story than just her hilarious hot takes and self-deprecating charm.

Teigen has also talked candidly about the ups and downs of parenting, and she's spoken openly about her mental health struggles, striving to reduce the stigma associated with postpartum depression, anxiety disorder, and other challenges. In May 2020, the Twitter and Instagram sensation even took a social media break in response to the sheer volume of negativity she was experiencing online. However, Teigen has struggled to cope with hatred in other settings as well. 

In September 2020, she recalled a scary experience that revealed the harrowing reality of racism in America. Here's what you need to know.

Chrissy Teigen talks about the struggle between using her voice and stepping away from social media

Chrissy Teigen brought up the subject of racism in a Marie Claire interview published in September 2020. In the article, the cookware entrepreneur discussed her break from social media — a decision she struggled with. "It does feel very selfish and weird to say that my mental health is important when there are people being murdered by police and murdered in their own homes," Teigen said. "Who gives a f**k about someone making fun of me when people's livelihoods are being threatened just for telling their stories? I have Black children, so is it really the right time to not want to step on anyone's toes?"

Teigen said she needs to teach her children about their privilege and about their racial identity. She relies on their father, John Legend, to help inform those complex conversations. "When it comes to them being treated differently because of the color of their skin, I'm going to look to John for a lot of help with that because while they are Asian and white too, their skin color is Black," she said.

To drive home her point, Teigen revealed a moment from she and Legend experienced that opened her eyes to systemic racism.

Chrissy Teigen said John Legend endured a 'horrifying' experience

In 2010, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend endured a scary experience that changed the way she viewed racism in America. She relayed the incident to Marie Claire in 2020.

The couple was reportedly driving in Fredericksburg, Va., when two white men of the "neighbourhood-watch-type" started following them. The idea behind neighborhood watches is that residents work with police to reduce crime, but according to Seattle Magazine, these initiatives can fuel racial profiling. Teigen and Legend's experience may prove that point. 

"We were in a nicer neighborhood at night, driving slowly, looking for John's godmother's home," she told Marie Claire. "These two guys were in a pickup truck slowly tailing us, flashing their lights and trying to speak to us. When we pulled over, they were like, 'What are you guys looking for?' and we gave them the address." She'll never forget what happened next. "They literally said, 'Get your asses out of here!' and proceeded to follow us all the way into her driveway. They got out of the car and stared at us as we knocked on the door and went inside. It was a terrible, scary experience."

"It was horrifying and could have gone wrong so quickly," she said. Reflecting on it after the fact was disturbing on multiple levels. "I was sobbing afterward for hours, and I noticed John wasn't emotional about it. Seeing that he wasn't very thrown by it was really upsetting because he obviously had experienced it before."