Brenda Edwards has opened up on how she battled to make ends meets while raising her children, with money troubles leaving her with no electricity at one point.
The mother-of-two discussed her experiences of struggling financially while on Loose Women on Wednesday as the panellists spoke on footballer Marcus Rashford's campaign to end child food poverty.
"I did hide everything financial from not just my kids but my family in general, I didn't want them to know that I was struggling," she explained.
"It was very hard because I was a single mum with two kids and I wanted to work, it was important to me, but I found I was working to live. I was paid £500 a month, £350 of that is going on a child minder and so you've got £150 for food and school clothes for your utilities, for rent.
"There was a time I just ran out of money, I had no money left. I had an electricity meter and it goes into emergency credit. I didn't have any money, the kids won't remember because they were babies, and I was just sitting there crying in the dark because I had no money."
Edwards, who came fourth on The X Factor in 2005, said that while she wanted to work to put into society she felt she didn't have the "help and support back" when raising her children.
She received support from Rashford on Twitter as he remarked: "Well done Brenda, there is so much power in sharing your story. Your children should be very proud of you x."
Wednesday saw the Manchester United player announce he would be bringing food brands together to help tackle child food poverty.
It comes as the 22-year-old - who used a food voucher scheme as a child - campaigned to extend free schools meals for children this summer and successfully pressed the government into a U-turn on the issue.
Edwards is mother to daughter Tanisha and son Jamal. Jamal, 30, is a successful entrepreneur as the founder of music platform SB.TV, which has helped to launch the career of many artists, including global star Ed Sheeran.
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He was subsequently awarded an MBE in 2014 for his work in music and SB.TV.