Little Mix star Jesy Nelson opens up about suicide attempt and bandmate jealousy

Katie Archer
Contributor

Little Mix star Jesy Nelson has revealed that she tried to kill herself because she was brought to such a low point by online trolls.

Nelson, 28, gave her first ever interview about the heartbreaking ordeal, saying her life was saved when her then boyfriend found her in bed after having taken an overdose of pills and called an ambulance.

She said: “I just remember thinking, ‘I just need this to go away, I’m going to end this’.

“I remember going to the kitchen and just took as many tablets as I could. Then I laid in bed for ages and kept thinking, ‘Let it happen. Hurry up’.”

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Nelson’s suicide attempt was in November 2013, when Little Mix were becoming huge stars, but she has never spoken about it until filming a documentary for BBC One which will air this week.

Read more: Jesy Nelson ‘was obsessed with reading negative comments online’

In the programme Odd One Out, due to air on Thursday at 9pm on BBC One, she said: “I just remember thinking this is never going to go.

“I’m going to constantly wake up and feel sad for the rest of my life. So what is the point in being here? I physically couldn’t tolerate the pain any more.”

Nelson also spoke to Emily Atack in an interview recorded for today’s Lorraine show, where she admitted to feeling jealous of her bandmates and frantically messaging fans to get them to untag her new boyfriend Chris Hughes from old photos of her.

She said: “With the girls, I’d look at them when they were getting their make-up done and think, ‘I just want to know what it feels like to be you’, I just wanted to know what it felt like to be happy.”

(L-R) Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson and Jade Thirlwall of Little Mix pose during a photo shoot in Sydney, New South Wales. (Photo by Justin Lloyd / Newspix / Getty Images)

Talking about the beginning of her current relationship with former Love Islander Hughes, she added: “When I first got with Chris, he’d get tagged in old pictures of me and I’d message the fans and be like ‘please can you take them down’, because I honestly hated that version of me so much because of the way I was made to feel.

Read more: Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall says anorexia nearly killed her

“But that version of me put me where I am today.”

Nelson said that she felt things changed when she and her bandmates won The X Factor in 2011 and her confidence took a huge knock when she was targeted online with abuse about her weight and appearance.

In the documentary, she recalled: “We were all told we had to have social media and it completely changed my life.

“The whole world had an opinion on me and they weren’t good ones. From the minute those comments started it became one of the worst times of my life.

“I wasn’t known as one of the singers from Little Mix. I was always known as the fat, ugly one. It literally consumed every part of me.”

Read more: Little Mix complain ‘you can’t unfamous yourself’

Talking to Atack, she said: “I got rid of Twitter, I will never have it again because for me, that’s what made me feel really bad.”

She said that she had kept quiet about her torment until recently to try to stop the trolling resurfacing: “I didn’t want to be known as the fat, ugly one from Little Mix when I’m 45.

(L-R) Perrie Edwards, Leigh Anne Pinnock, Jesy Nelson and Jade Thirlwall of Little Mix perform at the Radio 1 Big Weekend at Stewart Park on May 26, 2019 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by Jo Hale/Redferns)

“If I keep talking about this, how is this ever going to go away and how am I ever going to feel happy again?”

But now, Nelson says she has regained her old confidence and decided to speak out to try to help others going through the same bullying.

She told Atack: “I still get horrible comments, but I know how I feel about myself, and that’s the biggest thing that I’ve overcome.

“If you’d have told me four years ago I’d be sat here now talking about it, feeling stronger than ever, I’d have never believed you.

“Now I feel happy. I honestly didn’t know what it felt like to be happy.”

Odd One Out will air on Thursday at 9pm on BBC One.

For confidential emotional support at times of distress, contact The Samaritans at any time by calling 116 123 or emailing jo@samaritans.org.