In a cover story interview with Marie Claire Tuesday (Sept. 8), Chrissy Teigen recalled a racist incident from 2010 that she describes as “my first taste of seeing what happens to Black men everyday.”
The cookbook author remembered when she and her husband John Legend were followed and harassed by two “neighborhood-watch-type” white men while driving to find his grandmother’s home in Fredericksburg, Va.
“We were in a nicer neighborhood at night, driving slowly, looking for John’s godmother’s home. These two guys were in a pickup truck slowly tailing us, flashing their lights and trying to speak to us,” Teigen recalled. “When we pulled over, they were like, ‘What are you guys looking for?’ and we gave them the address. They literally said, ‘Get your a–es 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.”
Teigen told Marie Claire‘s Alyse Whitney the story while tearing up, and although she cried for hours when it first happened a decade ago, she understood why Legend didn’t act emotionally.
“It was horrifying and could have gone wrong so quickly. I was sobbing afterward for hours, and I noticed John wasn’t emotional about it,” the 34-year-old star continued. “Seeing that he wasn’t very thrown by it was really upsetting because he obviously had experienced it before.”
She believes anti-Black racism in America stems from President Donald Trump’s own beliefs — “People are very confident in their ways of being open about their racism because they have the backing views of the president,” she said — and her consciousness grows as she learns to nurture her two Black children, with a third on the way (The couple revealed they were expecting again at the end of Legend’s “Wild” music video).
“There are books that I read when I became a mom that would explain to them hard and traumatic situations. But it’s really hard to teach them about their privilege; there are no books for that. But regardless of money or status, they’re always going to have their skin color,” the model said of 4-year-old daughter Luna and two-year-old son Miles. “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. We just try to talk to them like little adults, saying it in words they’ll understand, making it known that it’s very serious, and letting them ask as many questions as they need.”
Aside from teaching her kids about their Blackness and their privilege, Teigen is also gearing up for the presidential election this November.
“I’m going to fight to get this person out of office because I can’t live another four years with this kind of hatred boiling through America,” she declared.