Supermodel Cindy Crawford has for the first time broken her silence after seven months on her unretouched photo controversy. The 49-year-old Omega brand ambassador addressed the issue for the first time, while speaking to Elle Canada for its September issue.

“I felt really manipulated and conflicted, so I kept my mouth shut,” she said, adding that the viral photograph put her in a tough spot. She could not come out against it because of the positives that it had generated, People reported.

“I’m rejecting all these people who felt good about it, but I also didn’t embrace it because it wasn’t real – and even if it were real, I wouldn’t have wanted it out there,” she said.

Crawford went on to describe the incident as “social bullying” and revealed her children’s reactions to the situation.

The supermodel received a lot of praise online, with her fans calling her “inspirational” and “beautiful,” and thanked her for “keeping it real”.

She had done a photo shoot with Marie Claire U.S. edition. The photograph has not been retouched exposing all her flaws that come with age, The Independent reported.

The photograph doing the rounds in February showed Crawford in black lingerie and a fur collared robe. Though it was reported that it was a photo shoot for an upcoming edition of Marie Claire, but the magazine had not confirmed that the photograph was a leaked one from a Dec. 2013 cover-shoot that was done for Marie Claire’s Mexico and Latin America issues.

Meanwhile, the magazine also wrote that it did not matter from where the photograph came. It was “enlightenment” as they knew Crawford was beautiful, but seeing her unretouched image it made them love her more.

The mother of two spoke at length to the magazine saying that ageing is all about being comfortable in one’s own skin. She said that self-confidence made a woman attractive. Crawford said that she tries to be a good role model for her daughter by accepting herself and lead by example.