November 18, 2008
The transgender contestant will receive sex reassignment surgery courtesy of her mentor Tyra Banks. The former supermodel announces her gift to King on "The Tyra Banks" show Tuesday, Nov. 18.
On the episode, Banks introduces King, 22, to Dr. Marci Bowers, a gender reassignment surgeon, who will be paying for the costly surgery. 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.
"This is not happening!" says King in disbelief on Banks' talk show. "I feel like I really was born in the wrong body, and it's just the one thing that makes me feel uncomfortable."
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.
The "Top Model" finale airs Wednesday, Nov. 19.