Jesy Nelson says shooting last music video was Little Mix "breaking point"
"I went on this extreme diet, with bloody shakes, and tried to eat as little as possible."
Jesy Nelson has said she decided to leave Little Mix while shooting the music video for 'Sweet Melody.'
In her first interview since quitting the band, the star has said that she realised how "miserable" she was in the group when the UK's first lockdown started to ease and she was scheduled to return to work.
"I had anxiety," she told Cosmo. "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. I looked at the other three and they were having the time of their life."
Jesy, who has since returned to the studio, recounted a scene in the music video that she doesn't appear in because she was having a panic attack.
"I was like, ‘I just want to go home.’ I was sobbing in the dressing room," she said. "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. I went through a really dark time after the music video. My mum said, ‘this has got to stop now. I have seen you suffer too much. This has been ten years of your life.’"
Jesy added that since returning to music, she has received some criticism from "a few people who don’t understand why I left Little Mix."
"A lot of people said, ‘I thought you came out of the band to focus on your mental health?’" she said. "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."