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Former Aussie magazine editor Justine Cullen recalls ‘unpleasant’ experience working with Glee star Lea Michele

A prominent Aussie magazine editor has shared her “unpleasant” experience working behind the scenes with Glee star Lea Michele.

Former Elle and Shop Till You Drop editor Justine Cullen has claimed in her new memoir, Semi-Gloss: Magazines, Motherhood and Misadventures in Having It All, that Michele once “kicked a shoe” at a colleague during a photo shoot. 

In her memoir, Cullen said working with high-profile international celebrities was always a breeze as they were “unfailingly professional”, but it was stars she called the “next tier down” who were surprisingly difficult.

Justine Cullen, Glee star, Lea Michele
Justine Cullen called out Glee star Lea Michele for her alleged ‘unpleasant’ behaviour on a photo shoot. (Getty)

“It’s the next tier down who always surprise you, like Lea Michele from Glee, who — in just one of many on-set ‘moments’ — kicked a shoe at my fashion director and made her cry. She was … unpleasant,” Cullen claimed.

The comment is another blow for Michele, who last year was accused of bullying and racism on the set of Glee by former co-stars. The program was meant to be a show that celebrated diversity and inclusion, but behind the scenes it was apparently a different story. 

Justine Cullen, Elle Style Awards 2014, October 24, 2014 in Sydney, Australia
Justine Cullen has been the editor of Elle and Shop Till You Drop magazines. (WireImage)

When Michele threw her support behind the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of Minnesota man George Floyd, Glee co-star Samantha Marie Ware called her out for racist “microaggressions” on Twitter

“LMAO Remember when you made my first television gig a living hell?!?! Cause I’ll never forget. I believe you told everyone that if you had the opportunity you would ‘s– in my wig!’ amongst other traumatic microaggressions that made me question a career in Hollywood,” Ware tweeted in all caps.

READ MORE: Glee stars Lea Michele and Samantha Marie Ware feud timeline

Justine Cullen, Bella Hadid
Justine Cullen has worked with the likes of Bella Hadid, Chrissy Teigen and Isla Fisher. (Instagram)

Michele apologised for her behaviour but the damage was done. Other Glee co-stars such as Heather Morris, Dabier Snell and extra Chase Edmondson came forward with their own unpleasant experiences with Michele, and the actress subsequently lost some sponsorship deals.

Lea Michele, Samantha Marie Ware
Lea Michele was accused of racist and bullying behaviour by Glee co-star Samantha Ware. (Getty)

“I apologise for my behaviour and for any pain which I have caused,” she posted in a lengthy statement on Instagram. “Whether it was my privileged position and perspective that caused me to be perceived as insensitive or inappropriate at times or whether it was just my immaturity and me just being unnecessarily difficult, I apologise for my behaviour and for any pain which I have caused.

“We all can grow and change and I have definitely used these past several months to reflect my own shortcomings.”

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