Little Mix Star Jesy Nelson Opens Up On Suicide Attempt After ‘Horrific’ Trolling
The Touch and Wasabi singer won The X Factor alongside bandmates Perrie Edwards, Jade Thrilwall and Leigh-Anne Pinnock in 2011 - but her seemingly picture perfect newfound fame also came with a darker side.
Speaking in new BBC Three documentary, Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out, Jesy revealed that alongside the fandom, she began to experience trolling and hate almost immediately.
Just hours after winning the ITV show, her Facebook inbox was full to the brim with messages, the first of which read: "You are the ugliest thing I've seen in my life, you do not deserve to be in this girl band. You deserve to die."
"It became the worst time of my life," she says in the documentary. "I wasn't just known as one of the singers in Little Mix, I was known as 'the fat, ugly one'."
Tragically, before The X Factor, Jesy hadn't had any body image issues, but as messages like this persisted, she developed an eating disorder and depression - starving herself to the point of dizziness and binge eating and hating herself.
She started skipping events where she might be photographed, and would dread big performances where her weight would be scrutinised.
Speaking to The Guardian, Jesy went on to reveal she also became "obsessed" with reading the criticism, and wouldn't register all the praise she was getting too.
"I had a routine of waking up, going on Twitter, searching for the worst things I could about myself. I'd type in the search bar: 'Jesy fat', or 'Jesy ugly', and see what would come up," she recalls.
"Sometimes I didn't even need to do that, I'd just write 'Jesy' and then I'd see all the horrible things. Everyone told me to ignore it - but it was like an addiction."
Two years after her appearance on the show, in the wake of cruel comments about her returning X Factor 2013 performance, things got so bad that Jesy tried to take her own life.
"I was sat in bed crying, thinking, 'This is never going to go, I'm going to feel sad for the rest of my life, so what is the point in being here?'," she says on the BBC show.
"The only way I can describe the pain is like constantly being heartbroken. I remember going to the kitchen and I just took as many tablets as I could. Then my ex, who was with me at the time, he woke up and was like, 'why are you crying?' I kept saying, 'I just want to die'."
Jesy was taken to hospital, and luckily pulled through without any complications.
While Jesy's is a dark and painful story, the documentary also shows her road to recovery over the last five years, highlighting her happy new relationship with Love Island's Chris Hughes.
My girlfriend is the best motha fucking role model on this planet :heart:- Chris Hughes (@chrishughes_22) September 8, 2019
And there's no doubt Chris is insanely proud of his other half, tweeting: "My girlfriend is the best motha f*cking role model on this planet," as the news of her struggles emerged.
In one scene, Jesy meets body image specialist Liz Ritchie, who helps her look back at old footage from her time on X Factor and analyse the "mask" she was wearing when in the limelight.
She continues to The Guardian: "Don't get me wrong, I still have days when I feel sh*t in myself but instead of beating myself up about it and being miserable, I think: 'OK, I'm going to have my moment of being sad, and I'll be over it.' Before, I didn't let myself be sad."
Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out is on BBC One at 9pm on 12 September, and will be available on BBC iPlayer.
Anyone affected by Jesy's story or struggling in any way should call Samaritans for free on 116 123 - or write down your thoughts in an email to [email protected].
Featured Image Credit: BBC