Tyra Banks is giving one of her former contestants on “America’s Next Top Model” a gift that keeps on giving.
Isis King, the CW show’s first transgendered contestant, will have her long-desired sex reassignment surgery paid for by Banks, who announced the gift during King’s appearance on “The Tyra Banks Show” this week.
“This is not happening!” King said in disbelief. “I feel like I really was born in the wrong body, and it’s just the one thing that makes me feel uncomfortable.”
Although King had been taking hormone replacement therapy — as seen on an episode of “Top Model” — she couldn’t afford the full surgery, which runs from $20,000-$35,000. On the episode, Banks introduces King, 22, to Dr. Marci Bowers, a gender reassignment surgeon who will be performing the procedure.
King was born Darrell Walls and was living in a homeless shelter when Banks discovered her and featured her in a photo shoot for the 10th cycle of “Top Model.” King returned as a full-fledged contestant this season, but was eliminated because she couldn’t convey emotion through her eyes and was uncomfortable in a swimsuit.