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Pussycat Dolls star Ashley Roberts has spoken out about the physical toll being part of the chart-topping girl group took on her.
During an appearance on the podcast Private Parts, Ashley revealed that she was rushed to hospital at the height of the band’s fame, with doctors fearing she was suffering from a brain aneurysm.
“The thing was, being in a girl band, we made people a lot of money so the schedule was outrageous,” she explained.
“I’m not going to lie, by the end I was breaking down. I was in the hospital. They thought I was having a brain aneurysm.”
Ashley continued: “I think it was just from going, going, going and my body was just shutting down really.
“I remember being in the hospital, I was actually here in London, and I was like, ‘I’ve got to go to Germany, I’ve got to get on a plane now’. I was like, ‘I’ve got a show to do’.
“As I was walking to get the MRI because they thought I was having a brain aneurysm, my knee locked up and I got this viral arthritis so I couldn’t bend my knee. The doctor was like, ‘I think you need to just rest’. It’s wild.”
Despite the challenges of being part of the Pussycat Dolls, Ashley has also spoken about the emotional impact of the band’s split.
“We were on the road for eight years pretty much solid, and then spat out the other end,” she added. “And I was like, ‘Who am I without this identity in the group?’.”
After originally starting out as a successful burlesque troupe, the Pussycat Dolls launched their music career in 2004, with their breakthrough hit Don’t Cha being released a year later.
In the years that followed, the band scored hits with Stickwitu, Buttons, When I Grow Up and Jai Ho!.
In 2019, the band announced a comeback, including the release of new single React, which they debuted during a provocative medley performance in the X Factor Celebrity final, sparking a flood of Ofcom complaints in the process.
The band had been due to perform an arena tour in 2020, though this was postponed indefinitely due to the pandemic, and later cancelled completely amid rumours of reports of a legal dispute between lead singer Nicole Scherzinger and PCD founder Robin Antin.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.