Erin Heatherton
Model Erin Heatherton (R) presents a creation during the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in New York, November 13, 2013. Reuters/Lucas Jackson

In the cutthroat world of Victoria’s Secret, there was a wounded angel. It was Leonardo DiCaprio’s ex-girlfriend and former Victoria’s Secret model Erin Heatherton. Recently, the former model opened up about how she was pressured into losing weight that caused her to battle depression. According to her, she did everything possible to maintain a perfect figure. However, nothing was enough for her to walk the prestigious annual runway shows.

“I got to a point where one night I got home from a workout and I remember staring at my food and thinking maybe I should just not eat,” Heatherton told Motto.

She walked in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show from 2008 to 2013 and after that, it was too much for her to handle. During her last two Victoria’s Secret shows, the model was asked to shed more kilos and that kind of irked her off.

“My last two Victoria's Secret shows, I was told I had to lose weight. I look back like, ‘Really?’ I was really depressed because I was working so hard and I felt like my body was resisting me,” Heatherton added.

The 27-year-old model has severed all ties with the prestigious brand since September 2014, after she attended the launch of “Angels,” a photography book featuring portraits of Victoria's Secrets “Angel” models, writes The Sydney Morning Herald.

Heatherton may be called the “empowered by failure” girl after she posted a photo of herself on Instagram, three weeks back, wearing a shirt with the slogan.

Heatherton has since gone through a lot of wondering and self-questioning as to what lies next for her. She took time out simply to listen to her own body.

“I realised I couldn’t go out into the world — parading my body and myself in front of all these women who look up to me — and tell them that this is easy and simple and everyone can do this,” she said.

Her Instagram post was kind of “breaking free” from “hiding behind a fabricated version of” herself. She believes that by sacrificing her pride (in a sense), she would be able to help a lot of women who are raring to make a mark in the industry.

“I’m willing to sacrifice my pride, in a sense, and my privacy because I know that if I don’t speak about it, I could be withholding information that would really help women. It hurts too much to keep it in, and that’s why I’m not keeping it in now,” Heatherton said.