How girl band fame took a toll on these celebs' mental health – from Frankie's secret breakdown to Geri's bulimia battle
LITTLE MIX became a trio yesterday when Jesy Nelson announced that she would be leaving the band after nine years.
The 29-year-old hit-maker revealed the news with a “heavy heart” on Instagram, revealing that being in the “band has really taken a toll on my mental health.”
And it seems that Jesy isn’t the only one to suffer at the hands of girl band fame, with plenty of other stars opening up about their own mental health battles.
From Frankie Bridge's secret breakdown to Geri Halliwell’s eating disorder, we reveal how stardom took its toll.
Part of the original girlband, Geri Horner (née Halliwell) was handed fame on a platter when Spice Girls was former back in 1994.
But behind the on-stage smile, Geri was battling a secret eating disorder that plagued her for years.
In an interview with You magazine, she said: “Throughout my 20s, I had bulimia. Even when I’d recovered from it, I had a distant relationship with food.”
Her obsession with weight and dieting came about during her time with the Spice Girls and at her skinniest she weighed around seven and a half stone.
But Geri is now a healthy size 8 and focuses on maintaining a good balance.
She previously said: “I very rarely weigh myself, I try not to go down that road of excessiveness, and I see exercise now as more of an escape, a relaxation.”
But Geri wasn’t the only Spice Girl to fall victim to an eating disorder, with Mel C also speaking up about her own battles.
The 46-year-old said she thought she had to be "perfect" in order to be a pop star, which led to her struggling with her mental health.
She told The Telegraph: "I thought I had to be a certain way to be deserving of everything that was happening to me… to be a popstar I had to be perfect, and that was my way of trying to achieve perfection.
"I'd never starved myself, but I wasn't eating properly and I was exercising obsessively and all of my time with the Spice Girls I think I was probably living on adrenaline.
"God only knows how I got through it and I think my body just got to the point where it was like – enough."
Cheryl’s stint in Girls Aloud made her a household name, but the anxiety that came with fameleft her “dying inside.”
During an interview with Radio 1 last year, she explained: “I would walk out to a wall of paparazzi and put on a smile but inside I was dying.”
She later revealed that she had learned to be kinder to herself.
“At one stage in my life, if I spoke to another human being the way I spoke to myself, it would be terrible” she said.
“But I’ve stopped all that. I don’t do any of it anymore. I would definitely go back to therapy if I felt I needed to. I just don’t beat myself up anymore.”
The Saturdays star has previously told of her "guilt" over having depression at the height of her fame – revealing her bandmates struggled to "understand" what she was going through.
Speaking out, Frankie explained she always struggled with her mental health, but it was when she was still miserable despite finding success as an artist that made her realise something was seriously wrong.
The mum-of-two said of her fame: "It was what I had always wanted and I think that's what made it worse.
"I felt so guilty that I still didn't feel happy in a situation where I knew I should be, and I think that's what turned the whole thing on its head because I thought something's not right here. I kept everything such a secret, and once I'd been to hospital I didn't feel it was a lie anymore.”
In her memoir Open: Why Asking For Help Can Save Your Life, Frankie revealed that she suffered a secret breakdown in a psychiatric hospital.
Frankie was admitted to Nightingale Hospital in London, where "doctors put me on new medication — venlafaxine, clonazepam and diphenhydramine sleeping tablets in such high doses my first few days in hospital are a blur".
She is now an advocate for mental health and encourages others to speak out about their own mental health.
The former Atomic Kitten has spokenly candidly about her battles with drugs, revealing that she became an addict at just 14 years old after her alcoholic mum gave her drugs – telling her they were “sherbet dip”.
She previously told The Sun that for years she used cocaine as a crutch to help her with mental health issues and personal problems, but that it only made things ten times worse.
“I call it devils dandruff because it's toxic, it’s manipulating, it gives a false sense of security, it’s not really there for you, it's ruining you," she said.
"It's an escapism. Taking coke is better than facing the scariest thing going on in your life. You’re constantly chasing that buzz and you don't want the come down. The downers are awful."
Kerry continued to take cocaine during her days in Atomic Kitten – using it to help with a fame she says was overwhelming.
“When I was in Atomic Kitten we all got offered drugs all of the time,” she said. “When you’re new in the circle, you think ‘oh well I want to be like those other celebs who are getting off their head’.”
Kerry has now been clean of the drug for 11 years, and now speaks out against drug addiction.
In other celebrity news, we took a look back at the band Steps stars’ highs and lows – from romping backstage at TOTP to out-of-control boozing and marriage woes.
And Heidi Klum left her kids cringing with her near-naked pics – but she’s not the only mum to flash the flesh online.
Plus Molly-Mae Hague has spent $8k REVERSING cosmetic procedures to look more ‘natural’ – as she has fillers dissolved.
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