Jesy Nelson opened up about her battle with cyberbullying and mental health struggles. In her new BBC Three documentary, Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out, the singer detailed her rise to fame, along with her downward spiral that came after she and the girl band Little Mix won The X Factor in 2011.
In an explosive interview with The Guardian, Jesy, 28, recalled how the day they won the British reality show was “the worst day” of her life. Before the finale aired, she was shocked to find negative comments on a YouTube video of the band.
“I was very naive,” she told The Guardian. “I thought it would be people giving their opinion on our performance. But nearly every comment was about the way I looked: ‘She’s a fat ugly rat’; ‘How has she got in this girl group?’; ‘How is the fat one in this?’”
Jesy obsessively read the comments section and looked for negative things said about her. She explained that seeking out the negative commentary became “like an addiction." “I was sat in bed crying, thinking, ‘This is never going to go, I’m going to feel sad for the rest of my life, so what is the point in being here?’” she revealed to the BBC.
The stress from cyberbullying subsequently led to Jesy developing an eating disorder. She claimed she would starve herself, then binge-eat, and hate herself in a vicious cycle.
She continued, “The only way I can describe the pain is like constantly being heartbroken. I remember going to the kitchen and I just took as many tablets as I could,” the singer recalled of the night she attempted suicide. “Then my ex, who was with me at the time, he woke up and was like, ‘Why are you crying?’ I kept saying, ‘I just want to die.’”
The BBC reported that Jesy was taken to the hospital, and left without any complications from her attempted overdose.
Now, the X Factor winner wants to help others struggling with anxiety and depression overcome their issues by sharing her story. “There must be so many women and girls that feel not good in themselves and are struggling with mental illness, and I thought if I’ve overcome it, I want people to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.
Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out is slated to premiere on September 12 on BBC.