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Former Little Mix singer Jesy Nelson has opened up about her relationship with her three former bandmates.
After taking a hiatus from the group towards the end of last year for undisclosed health reasons, Jesy eventually made the decision to quit Little Mix in December 2020.
She wrote on Instagram at the time: “The truth is recently being in the band has really taken a toll on my mental health. I find the constant pressure of being in a girl group and living up to expectations very hard.
“There comes a time in life when we need to reinvest in taking care of ourselves rather than focussing on making other people happy, and I feel like now is the time to begin that process.”
Jesy is now gearing up for the release of her debut solo single, and has given a new interview to The Guardian in which she opens up about a variety of personal issues.
This includes her relationship with her former bandmates, amid tabloid rumours suggesting things have turn frosty between the four singers in recent months.
However, she’s insisted she still loves Perrie Edwards, Jade Thirlwall and Leigh-Anne Pinnock although they haven’t been in contact as much since Jesy’s departure.
Asked about whether she thinks Little Mix will continue much longer as a three-piece, she told the news outlet: “I reckon they’ll look after their babies, go off and do their own things for a while, then make a comeback together.
“I think they’re just as sick as a three. They’re still doing it for girl power. I still love them to pieces. They were like my sisters.”
When quizzed about whether they were still in touch, she responded: “No, not as much. Not now. I think we all need time. It’s a big thing that’s happened.”
Explaining what led to her departure from the band, Jesy once again referenced feelings of anxiety she experienced on the set of the group’s Sweet Melody music video.
The Guardian’s piece said that she told them through tears: “I did the music video and had a panic attack, and it was pretty mental that day… After the video I just got back in a really dark place and ended up back in hospital. That was when my mum said, ‘No more’.
“I had already decided. Then the girls spoke to [my mum] and said, ’We think Jesy should come out of this now. She has to look after herself’.”
Agreeing her exit was “their decision as much as hers”, Jesy added: “I know there are people who think I’ve let the other girls down, and that I’m so selfish, but I do think there comes a time in life when you do have to be selfish and look after yourself, and it was really affecting me mentally.”
Jesy is now gearing up for the release of her first solo single, which is thought to feature Nicki Minaj, with whom Little Mix previously collaborated on the track Woman Like Me.
Last week, Jesy said of her solo venture: “This is the music I’ve always wanted to make. I don’t think that anyone is gonna expect this. This is the new chapter for me.”
Meanwhile, Little Mix are set to release their first greatest hits collection in November, which will include five new tracks, alongside four of their five chart-topping singles.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.