Jesy Nelson has tearfully revealed that crippling panic attacks which saw her hospitalised led to her quitting Little Mix.
The 30-year-old singer announced she was leaving the girl group in December last year, as she explained that being a part of the band was taking a severe toll on her mental health.
Now, she’s revealed what led to her making the shock announcement, and said a brutal bout of anxiety and debilitating panic attacks made her realise – as well as her bandmates Perrie Edwards, Jade Thirlwall and Leigh-Anne Pinnock – that she needed to leave the group.
In an interview with The Guardian, Jesy said she “got in a really dark place and ended up back in hospital” when she returned to work in October following the Covid-19 lockdown.
Bandmate Perrie was forced to take over Jesy’s vocals during a performance on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge as she was unable to sing due to a panic attack, leaving Jesy shaken as she was ”having these panic attacks out of nowhere.”
Getty Images for MTV)
The singer said she then “got in such a state” when she was told she would have to be in a bikini for the group’s music video for Sweet Melody in just two weeks’ time, as she had “become a little porky pig and eaten whatever I wanted” during lockdown.
“I went back to work and was really down about myself,” Jesy explained, noting that she ended up wearing a corset while her bandmates wore bikinis in the music video.
But her mental health had taken a huge hit, and she ended up being hospitalised after suffering a huge panic attack while on set, prompting her devastated mother Janis to issue an ultimatum.
“I did the music video and had a panic attack, and it was pretty mental that day. God, I haven’t really spoken about it and I’m getting upset… 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’,” she tearfully recalled.
Jesy also revealed that her worried bandmates Perrie, Leigh-Anne and Jade had spoken to her mother following the incident on the set of the music video, and told her: “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,” she shared.
Jesy said she appreciated the unwavering support of her bandmates during her struggles with her mental health, but sadly, she’s not been in touch with them much since she announced her departure from the group.
“I think we all need time. It’s a big thing that’s happened,” she explained.
Jesy is now gearing up for the release of her debut solo single, rumoured to be called Boyz, and is currently filming the video for the upcoming track.