Cheryl Tiegs Pens Apology to Ashley Graham Following "Full-Figured" 'Sports Illustrated' Comments

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"I was not equating beauty to weight or size, but unfortunately that is what the media reported in headlines."

Former Sports Illustrated cover star Cheryl Tiegs has penned a public apology for comments she made about the "Swimsuit Issue's" first plus-size cover model, Ashley Graham.

In an open letter published on The Huffington Post on Friday, Tiegs both clarifies her previous comments and apologizes to the 28-year-old cover star in a "Dear Ashley" post.

"Do you love the fact that we are actually stepping outside our comfort zone of what we know is like the model figure, and we are actually using full-figured women and making that a thing now?" pens Tiegs, referencing the original question that was asked of her by E! News in February. "This was a generic question, and I said that I did not love it," she continued, explaining her reasoning, which had to do with health concerns.

Tiegs believes that "what has ensued is yet another 'manufactured media feud' that is needed to feed websites and empty airtime."

In February, Tiegs sparked controversy while attending Global Green USA's Pre-Oscar party, where she said of Graham, "I don't like that we're talking about full-figured women because it's glamorizing them because your waist should be smaller than 35 [inches]."

"I was not equating beauty to weight or size, but unfortunately that is what the media reported in headlines," explains Tiegs. "I was trying to express my concern over media images and the lack of education in America about healthy choices, thus the reference to the 35-inch waist as a guideline to health," she says, adding that her own waist is 37 inches.

She asks Graham to "please accept my deepest apology if you were offended or in any way think I was referring to you" before concluding the letter with, "I care about health and longevity for everyone."

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