Leigh-Anne Pinnock says Little Mix needed therapy after Jesy Nelson’s departure

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By Andre Rhoden-Paul
BBC News

The remaining members of Little Mix had to go into therapy after Jesy Nelson’s exit, Leigh-Anne Pinnock has revealed in her memoir.

In an excerpt published in the Sun, the singer described her former bandmate’s departure as “traumatic”.

“The whole thing was abrupt and sad and then it was messy,” she wrote in new book Believe.

Jesy left the three-time Brit Award winning group in 2020 saying band life was taking a toll on her mental health.

Opening up about the period, Leigh-Anne said: “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.”

She said she turned to therapy after Jesy’s departure, as well as bandmates Perrie Edwards and Jade Thirlwell, adding “we have moved forwards into something even brighter and stronger”.

Jade previously spoke about having therapy after the “really tough” period.

The shock departure of Jesy, who earned five UK number one singles with the band since their creation on The X Factor in 2011, made headlines in December 2020.

Announcing her exit on Instagram, she said she had “the most incredible time” but it was now time to “embark on a new chapter”. At the time remaining band members wished her well in a statement.

But as Jesy released her first solo single the following year, tensions publicly rose with claims of Instagram accounts being unfollowed and Leigh-Anne allegedly criticising Jesy over “blackfishing” sparking an intervention by rapper Nicki Minaj.

Addressing getting caught in a “horrific online row”, Leigh-Anne described it as one of the most difficult moments in her career.

“In the moment it felt truly awful. As much as I tried to avoid Instagram and Twitter I kept seeing the comments and the debates that were taking place on every platform,” she added in the memoir being released on Thursday.

Little Mix continued as a trio, before announcing in 2021 a hiatus after their Confetti Tour. Leigh-Anne has since embarked on a solo career.

Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards and Jade Thirlwell were formed on the X Factor in 2011

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