Not true at all, when you do a standard format on a hard drive, all that does is remove the table of contents. All of the data is still there UNLESS you start writing new data, then you'll start to destroy the original data.
When I do data recovery on a hard drive gone bad (won't mount, etc), first thing I do is format the drive so it will mount. THEN I can run the utilities needed to recover the data.
For Windows the utility is now free (I've used this one a LOT): https://downloads.tomsguide.com/GetDataBack-for-NTFS,0301-33764.html
For Mac, this one is highly rated, I have never used it in my gray Windows world: https://www.cleverfiles.com/mac-formatted-drive-recovery.html