Jesy Nelson says she left Little Mix after she was hospitalised following crippling panic attacks

JESY NELSON has told how she left Little Mix after she had to be hospitalised following crippling panic attacks that left her in “a dark place”.

The pop beauty — who took an overdose in 2013 after relentless abuse from trolls — hit a new low last October after feeling pressured to lose weight for the group’s Sweet Melody video.

And her pain was so acute that Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall intervened, telling her mum she should walk away.

In an emotional interview, Jesy said: “In lockdown I’d just become a little porky pig and eaten whatever I wanted, and then they’d sprung on us two weeks prior: ‘Oh, you’ve got a music video.’ I got in a panic because I’d put on weight.

“They [the stylists] were like: ‘You’ve got to wear a bikini!’

“I got in such a state about having to lose weight in two weeks and wear a bikini. I went back to work and was really down about myself.”

On the brink

She continued: “I did the music video and had a panic attack, and it was pretty mental that day.

“After the video I just got back in a really dark place and ended up back in hospital. That was when my mum said: ‘No more.’ I had already decided.

“Then the girls spoke to Mum and said: ‘We think Jesy should come out of this now. She has to look after herself.’

“I know there are people who think I’ve let the other girls down, and that I’m so selfish, but I do think there comes a time in life when you do have to be selfish and look after yourself, and it was really affecting me mentally.”

Jesy — who is now on the brink of releasing her first solo single — is adamant that her bandmates were supportive of her throughout her struggle.

But she revealed the same cannot be said of members of the chart-topping group’s management team who she believes were glad to see the back of her.

She said: “Certain people on my team didn’t care. I’m not talking about the girls. There were people on my team who knew how I was feeling and didn’t give a s**t.

“They just weren’t bothered. There was an energy when I walked into a room. I felt there were certain people on my team who just didn’t want me to be there.”

Asked if her unhappiness made it hard for the other girls over the years, she replied: “Of course. We’ve all had our own problems.

“But it’s never nice to be around someone who’s down and doesn’t want to be there. As much as I needed to come out of it for myself, I didn’t want to keep putting three other people through that as well.”

After winning The X Factor in 2011, Little Mix went on to become the ITV show’s biggest success story after One Direction.

Triple Brit Award winners, they have had five No1s in the UK and 30 Top 40 singles, and they are the only girl group to spend 100 weeks in the UK Top 10.

But for Jesy, the highs have come with crushing lows. And in an astonishing revelation, she says that her happiest times with the group date back to before they had any fame at all. She said: “[It was] when we first got put together, before all the TV stuff. We were all living at Perrie’s mum’s pub in Essex and, I think for all of us, it was the most magical time.

“It was so new and we didn’t know what was going to happen. We’d just dream about what we thought it was going to be like. We’d all go to Camden and buy matching outfits.

“There was no bad. It was all good. [But] don’t get me wrong. I still wouldn’t change my journey — it’s made me who I am today.”

Explaining, she continued: “I would be very shocked to hear of any band where everyone felt equal. I don’t think that’s possible, because you’re always going to get compared.

“There’s always going to be one person that people think is weaker. It [the social media abuse] was never about my singing or my dancing. It was always about how I looked.”

Speaking in an interview with The Guardian, Jesy told how her struggle with trolling reached a head in 2013, when she was “consumed” by online cruelty and stuck in a vicious cycle of extreme dieting.

And after Little Mix returned to The X Factor for a guest appearance in November that year, the wave of comments that followed left her so desperate she took an overdose.

She remembered: “It’s like a drug. I was reading it [the online abuse] every day.

“The minute I got up it was the first thing I did. I’d type in ‘Jesy Nelson’ and then ‘Jesy Nelson fat’ or ‘Jesy Nelson ugly’, and read what everyone said about me.

“I felt everybody hated me. 

Guns blazing

“I didn’t know what I was doing wrong, and it consumed me.”

She said: “[After The X Factor appearance] I thought, what is the f***ing point? I’m starving myself. I’ve drunk Diet Coke for a week and I’m still getting called fat.

“I went into a really dark place and did what I did.”

Thankfully, Jesy is in a much more positive place now. After splitting from actor ex Sean Sagar earlier this year, she says she is single and isn’t looking for a relationship.

For now, Jesy is focusing on herself. 

Her debut single will be released in the autumn by Polydor Records.

And said: “I feel you only get one shot to make your impact as a solo artist, so I’m going all guns blazing.”


VERNON KAY has landed a role hosting This Morning, we can reveal.

The TV star will present the ITV show for three days from Tuesday August 31 alongside returning guest host Rochelle Humes. 

Vernon said: “To be asked to guest host on a show I’ve watched since its inception is a huge tick for me.” 

Former Saturdays star Rochelle will also host the show on Monday August 30 and Friday September 3 alongside Alison Hammond. 

And Rochelle said: “I’m so looking forward to welcoming Vernon Kay into the This Morning family!”

Sources told how Vernon’s gig is part of a drive to try out new talent on the sofa, while regular hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield are on holiday for the summer.

It comes as This Morning has this year seen its highest share of viewers for 14 years. So no pressure there, Vernon and Rochelle. 

GC tiger

GEMMA COLLINS’ rekindled romance with her ex-fiancé Rami Hawash is going brilliantly and she wants everyone to know it.

The reality TV diva wore the loudest outfit she owned, puckered up for a public smooch AND even donned a diamond ring on her engagement finger.

Sadly, wedding bells won’t be ringing in her native Essex just yet, as her rep insisted it was just an old ring, but we hope Rami pops the question soon. A GC wedding is a showbiz event we’d like to see . . . 


PETER ANDRE’s greatest claim to fame – in our book anyway – remains his 1996 hit Mysterious Girl.

And now we hear his son JUNIOR is taking a leaf out of his book by signing a record deal with label Columbia. 

Sources told us: “Junior is very talented and the team at Columbia have been very impressed. They can’t wait to start working with him and the feeling is mutual.” 

 Laura sees red again

LAURA WHITMORE was dealt another, er, blow this week when a journalist described her baby as “well-behaved” in the opening of a gushing article.

Apparently this is unacceptable because “all babies are well-behaved”.

The TV host quickly highlighted the issue by posting it on social media, with errors circled. So we wonder what her response will be to a recent interview with Sheerluxe. 

In it she said: “Like all new mums, I’m doing a million things at once. Sometimes I’m surprised at how much I’m capable of and that I’m even still functioning!”

I hope there is no triggering language in it or hyper-sensitive Laura’s red pen will be out again.


MARIAH CAREY this week launched a new liquer called Black Irish, revealing the name is a nod to her Irish roots on her mother’s side.

But what the US diva failed to mention was that a brand already exists with exactly the same name. 

Black Irish stout is produced by the Darker Still Spirits Company in Dublin.

Mariah’s spokeswoman says she owns the US rights to the name. And a source claimed Darker Still spirits were “in the process” of having their rights revoked.

Until then the pop beauty may face a headache when it comes to buyers of her booze in Britain and Ireland.

But that didn’t seem to be bothering Mariah as she posed on a very un-Irish Caribbean beach in a ballgown to promote her new brand.

Nikita puts looks first

THE cast was announced this week for the upcoming E4 series of Married At First Sight UK, which kicks off later this month.

And one early favourite of ours is Geordie Nikita Jasmine, who clearly has no interest in paying lip-service to the whole “I’m attracted to his personality” game. 

Quizzed on her ideal man, the model said in a pre-show interview: “It has to be sexual attraction first. People who say personality matters are lying. 

“At the end of the day, you don’t sleep with personality . . . I’m very strict on appearance.”

She added: “Of course, I want someone who is caring and affectionate . . . And banter, they’ve got to be funny. If they are not funny then I’m not interested.”

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