Former Little Mix star Jesy Nelson has spoken about the toll that being in the girl band took on her, saying she was “constantly being trolled”.
The 31-year-old singer was part of the successful group alongside Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards, but left in 2020 after nine years.
She said in an Instagram post at the time that she was “ready to embark on a new chapter” in her life, and that being in the band had affected her mental health.
In a new interview, Nelson said she has not spoken to her former bandmates since she left, but added: “I honestly wish them the best on their solo journeys now…”
“For me, my mental health issues were an ongoing thing while I was in Little Mix. I was struggling with my body issues, I was constantly being trolled and I really, really struggled.
“I was in it for nearly 10 years. I think I was never prepared for what was to come. I didn’t have social media or any of that. I was just a barmaid working in Dagenham.”
Little Mix were formed in the eighth series of The X Factor in 2011 and were the first group to win the competition.
In December 2021, the three remaining band members announced they would be going on hiatus following the completion of their 2022 Confetti Tour, in order to “recharge and work on some other projects”.
Nelson told the paper: “I will say this always, your mental health is the most important thing. You only live once so sometimes you have to stop and look after yourself.
“I needed support and help to overcome that, and there wasn’t the time while I was in the band. I don’t have regrets because I had to do what was right for me and I will always cherish the memories I had in Little Mix.
“So, no, we haven’t talked since then. Never say never, but I honestly wish them the best on their solo journeys now, which is so exciting. That is what is so exciting about all of us.
“We are all musically different. We will all go in our own lane. I’m rooting for all of them. I honestly do wish them all the success as they are all crazy talented.”
Nelson has previously spoken openly about her battle with anxiety and revealed in a 2019 BBC documentary called Odd One Out that abuse on social media became so bad that she attempted to take her own life.
The programme won her the award for best factual entertainment at the 2020 National Television Awards.
Nelson released her debut solo single Boyz featuring US rapper Nicki Minaj in October 2021.
More recently she released Bad Thing, on April 14.
Its video depicts scenes from an abusive relationship and was inspired by Nelson’s work with the charity Women’s Aid.
“It was so important for me to raise awareness about this because I don’t think it’s spoken about enough, and the amount of messages I’ve had since the video launched just shows how horribly common this issue is,” she said.