Leigh-Anne Pinnock says Little Mix needed therapy after Jesy Nelson’s “traumatic” departure
Pinnock made the revelation in her new memoir Believe, an excerpt of which was published in the Sun. The book was released this week (October 26).
Nelson left the group, who have sold 75 million records worldwide and have received over 15 billion streams, as well as three Brit Awards, in 2020, saying that band life was taking a toll on her mental health.
According to Pinnock, the departure was “traumatic” for the whole of the band. “The whole thing was abrupt and sad and then it was messy,” she wrote.
“We were a family, the four of us were like sisters, and we had been that way since we were teenagers, so it’s not an over-exaggeration to say that losing a member was a traumatic experience.
“When you have felt so much love and support with another person over such a long time and then that suddenly disappears you never fully get to understand why it hurts.”
Nelson has previously discussed how badly her mental health was impacted by her celebrity profile while in the group. She once explained how one tweet from Katy Hopkins about her weight affected her so badly it led her to attempt suicide. Hopkins posted the tweet when Little Mix returned to The X Factor for a guest performance in 2013.
“I thought, what is the fucking point? I’m literally starving myself. I’ve drunk Diet Coke for a week and I’m still getting called fat. I went into a really dark place and did what I did.”
Last week, Pinnock also disclosed how the racism she has faced in her career in the public eye has affected her confidence. “I always used to say, ‘Should I feel like this, having accomplished my dream?’,” she said. “Why do I feel like I might as well not be here sometimes? Why does it feel like I’m not being noticed? Why do I feel invisible? Why am I not appreciated like the others? It just didn’t feel right.”
“I internalised that I was the problem and it made me lose my confidence.”
In June this year, Pinnock released her debut solo single ‘Don’t Say Love’ under the name Leigh-Anne, a garage and house-inspired track produced by Jon Bellion and Pete Nappi.
She also recently hinted that her debut solo album might be out as early as next year. “[It’s] coming together quicker than I think anyone thought, which is good. I reckon next year for sure. Because I want to tour like I want to perform, I belong on stage.”