Jesy Nelson says Sweet Melody video was 'breaking point' for Little Mix exit

"I had a panic attack on set," says star.


Words: Jamie Tabberer; pictures: Cosmopolitan UK/Matthew Eades

Jesy Nelson has opened up about leaving Little Mix, saying the 'Sweet Melody' music video was the "breaking point" for her decision.

The star, who left the band in December 2020, discussed the video shoot in a new interview with Cosmopolitan UK - her first as a solo star.

Speaking to the magazine, Jesy - who, in 2020 documentary Odd One Out, opened up about her mental health battles and suicide attempt - said of her dark times in the band: "I can't believe how miserable I was."

"I can't believe how miserable I was"

Recalling the 'Sweet Melody' shoot, Jesy explained it was: “The breaking point. We’d been in lockdown, and it was the first time I could have a break and be at home around people that I love. It was the happiest I’d ever felt and I didn’t realise that until I went back to work. I immediately became a different person. 

“I had anxiety. Whenever we have a music video I put an enormous amount of pressure on myself to try and lose weight. I have a fear of looking back on the camera. If I don’t like what I see, I find it so hard to be in front of the camera and feel amazing and perform. 

“I’d been in lockdown, and I’d put on a bit of weight but I didn’t care. And they said, ‘you’ve got a music video in a couple of weeks’ and I just panicked. I went on this extreme diet, with bloody shakes, and tried to eat as little as possible. 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. 

“There’s a scene in 'Sweet Melody' I’m not in because that’s when I had a panic attack and broke down. I was like, ‘I just want to go home.’

“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. 

“For so long I worried about other people and letting people down. The only person I should have been trying to make happy was myself and I wasn’t doing that. I needed to do it for my mental health because I know I would have ended up back where I was five years ago, and that’s scary…” 

Jesy shot to fame on X Factor 2011 with bandmates Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall, with the band scoring hits including 'Black Magic' and 'Shout Out To My Ex.'

Perrie, Leigh-Anne and Jade recently released their first single as a trio (albeit featuring a guest verse from Saweetie): Confetti.

Read the full interview in the June issue of Cosmopolitan – on sale 6 May 2021.

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