“I was blindsided, you know, working with a celebrity and not really realizing how it was affecting my other relationships,” Zabel exclusively told Us Weekly on Thursday, September 22. “I was spending so much time … so I think anybody in my situation has had similar experiences.”
The AZ I AM founder previously opened up about an alleged text exchange with Levine, 43, while she was working with him between 2007 and 2010. She claimed in a Tuesday, September 20, Instagram Story that the Maroon 5 frontman once told his friends that she had the “best ass in town and it was cute.”
Zabel also alleged that the “Moves Like Jagger” crooner texted her, saying, “I want to spend the day with you naked.” She noted that his messages ultimately led to a physical confrontation with her then-boyfriend.
The fitness instructor, however, doesn’t blame Levine for her exes’ actions, saying in a separate Instagram post that the rocker “was not responsible for my abusive ex-boyfriend” and Levine’s “texts was not wrong IMO [in my opinion].”
She doubled down on her comments, telling Us on Thursday, “In a way [Adam] did me a favor. I didn’t realize what a sociopathic asshole I was dating.”
While Zabel noted that she was dating someone when she received Levine’s s3xy texts, she said it wasn’t her “position to say” who the musician was linked to at the time. She did, however, tell Us that as “far as [she] knows” he was romancing someone back then.
Zabel is one of five women who have recently come forward with stories of steamy text messages they allegedly received from the California native. Sumner Stroh first raised eyebrows on Monday, September 19, when she claimed in a TikTok video that she had a year-long fling with Levine while he was married to his wife, Behati Prinsloo.
Stroh further alleged that once the “Sugar” crooner found out that the Namibia native, 34, was expecting their third child he asked the influencer if he could name the baby after her. (Prinsloo confirmed earlier this month that she is pregnant. The couple already share two daughters: Dusty Rose, 5, and Gio Grace, 4.)
Zabel, meanwhile, told Us on Thursday that her story is “different” than that of the other women speaking out against Levine. She insisted that she had a “great relationship with Adam” until the alleged messages made her former boyfriend react so negatively.
“I’ve been holding it in for a long time, so for me … I’m in a different phase of life and it’s time to heal,” the wellness expert explained, noting that she was “naïve” and had a “bit of Stockholm syndrome” from the altercation. “And when you’re in that phase and you just want to share the truth and you just don’t care what people think anymore, it’s part of the healing process, that’s all.”
Zabel revealed that she does believe what the other women have said about Levine after receiving her own set of messages in the past. Once she read Stroh’s alleged account, she recalled “finally” being able to “let myself believe the reality of who he is.”
Levine, for his part, has denied ever having an affair with married to Prinsloo, but he did take accountability on Tuesday for texting other ladies while married.
“I used poor judgment in speaking with anyone other than my wife in ANY kind of flirtatious manner. I did not have an affair, nevertheless, I crossed the line during a regrettable period of my life,” the former Voice coach said in a social media statement. “In certain instances, it became inappropriate. I have addressed that and taken proactive steps to remedy this with my family.”
Zabel told Us that she saw what the “Animals” singer wrote and “hopes” that he continues to use his platform for good and releases a second statement. “I think he has an opportunity to be a really big adult and set an example,” she said on Thursday.
Personally, Zabel confessed that she does “regret” posting her story but only because she had “no idea” that it would blow up. “It’s been really overwhelming and upsetting,” she explained, noting that not everyone has been receptive of her alleged account of what transpired.
When all is said and done, the yogi said she wishes Prinsloo “the best” amid all the drama and is happy that she may have helped someone else face their demons.
“The most important thing is just to let people know that it’s OK to share their story,” Zabel added. “I hope everybody can come onto the brighter side of this.”
With reporting by Diana Cooper