Lisa D'Amato of America's Next Top Model Seriously Injures Face in Freak Accident

01/24/2013 at 05:40 PM EST

America's Next Top Model Champ Lisa D'Amato Injures Face
Lisa D'Amato
Mike Coppola/Getty
These are not photos for her model portfolio – or for the feint of heart.

Lisa D'Amato, who won the all-star cycle of America's Next Top Model in 2011, is recovering from a freak accident that broke her nose in several places and lacerated her forehead, lips and chin.

D'Amato, 32, posted graphic pictures on her Facebook and Instagram pages of her cut and swollen face from the accident last week in a Colorado hotel after she wrapped filming of an indie movie called Cowboys and Indians.

Lisa D'Amato of America's Next Top Model Seriously Injures Face in Freak Accident| Health, America's Next Top Model, Real People Stories

Lisa D'Amato after her accident

Courtesy Lisa D'Amato





"We were just kind of monkeying around," she tells PEOPLE, explaining that she was doing a handstand up against a crew member when they suddenly took a nasty tumble.

D'Amato landed on her face, crushing her nose, and then the crew member fell on top of her, causing more scrapes to D'Amato's face.

"It was a totally freak accident," D'Amato says. "It wasn't like we were doing back flips off the balcony."

She was rushed to the emergency room, then sent to another hospital where a plastic surgeon went to work on her nose.

"I didn't have the best nose in the world to begin with. It gave me character," she jokes. "Now I have a nice little nose job. I get a super cute nose."

Throughout the ordeal, she says, she cracked jokes to put other people at ease – "Everyone seemed so sad," she says – but when left quietly alone, "I looked at my hands. They were covered with blood. That's when I thought, 'Oh, my God, what did I do to myself?' Of course, I started crying."

Now recovering, D'Amato says she's about to leave for a belated honeymoon – she and longtime boyfriend Adam Friedman married in September – and will start work on a television pilot.

Lisa D'Amato of America's Next Top Model Seriously Injures Face in Freak Accident| Health, America's Next Top Model, Real People Stories

Lisa D'Amato on Thursday

Courtesy Lisa D'Amato

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