One of the stars of UK pop band Little Mix has announced she is leaving the band after nine years due to mental health issues.
Jesy Nelson took to Instagram to confirm the news, explaining she is taking an extended break due to the "constant pressure" of fame.
"The truth is, recently being in the band has really taken a toll on my mental health. I find the constant pressure of being in a girl group and living up to expectations very hard," she wrote.
"I need to spend some time with the people I love, doing things that make me happy."
"I'm ready to embark on a new chapter in my life – I'm not sure what it's going to look like right now, but I hope you'll still be there to support me."
Her bandmates Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards, and Jade Thirlwall responded to the statement on Twitter, saying they understood and supported her choice.
"After an amazing 9 years together Jesy has made the decision to leave Little Mix. This is an incredibly sad time for all of us but we are fully supportive of Jesy," they wrote.
"We love her very much and agree that it is so important that she does what is right for her mental health and wellbeing. We are still very much enjoying our Little Mix journey and the 3 of us are not ready for it to be over.
"We know that Jesy leaving the group is going to be really upsetting news for our fans. We love you guys so much and are so grateful for your loyalty and continued support of all of us.
In November, a Little Mix rep confirmed that Nelson was taking "extended time off" for "private medical reasons".
They said at the time: "Jesy is having extended time off from Little Mix for private medical reasons."
"We will not be issuing any further comment currently and ask media to please respect her privacy at this time."
It came two weeks after she missed the grand finale of the band's TV talent show The Search, as well as their high-profile stint hosting the MTV EMAs.
Nelson has been open about her mental health battle over the years, sharing the impact years of online trolling had in her BBC documentary Odd One Out.
In the film, which won a National Television Award, Nelson spoke candidly about her struggle in Little Mix, revealing how she would starve herself for days during the deepest times in her depression due to constant trolling about her weight and looks.
WHERE TO GET HELP:
If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call 111.
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