Jesy Nelson realised she needed to leave Little Mix when she had a “panic attack” on the set of a music video.
The 29-year-old singer revealed in December she was stepping away from the girl group to focus on her own mental health, and has now revealed her decision was influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic as things became difficult for her mentally when the group reunited after lockdown to film the music video for their 2020 single, ‘Sweet Melody’.
She said: "On the day of the ‘Sweet Melody’ video I had a panic attack on set because I didn’t look how I wanted to look and I found it so hard to just be happy and enjoy myself. I was sobbing in the dressing room. Someone really close to me said, ‘This has got to stop. You can’t keep doing this to yourself. You’re going to end up where you were before.’
“For me, that was the pinnacle point. I was like, ‘I need to start taking care of myself now because this isn’t healthy.’ It wasn’t nice for the other three to be around someone who didn’t want to be there. So I took a break."
Jesy also spoke about her decision to sign a solo record deal just months after leaving Little Mix, as she insisted she never said she would be standing down from the public eye forever or giving up her love of performing.
She added: "I feel like there’s been a few people who don’t understand why I left Little Mix but am now in the studio making music. A lot of people said, ‘I thought you came out of the band to focus on your mental health?’
“I never said when I put out my statement, that I was coming out of the band to never be in the public eye, perform again or do music. I said I was coming out of the band because I genuinely couldn’t deal with the pressure of being in a girl band.
“For people to think that I would just stop working completely is crazy because me working on my mental health is going to the studio, and creating music that I love. That’s what clears my head and makes me happy. It's good for my mental health.”
And the beauty is determined to keep doing what makes her “happy” regardless of what other people think.
She told Cosmopolitan magazine: "I need to do things that make me happy now and people might think that’s selfish but sometimes in life you have to put yourself first, you have to love yourself, you’ve got to do what makes you happy.”
The June issue of Cosmopolitan is on sale from May 6, and Jesy's full interview can be found at http://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/JesyNelson
This article originally ran on celebretainment.com.