Little Mix and Jesy Nelson were once inseparable before Jesy left the band and a Blackfishing dispute ensued
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Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jesy Nelson were all teenagers when they were pushed together on The X Factor, which they later won as Little Mix.
For nearly a decade, the quartet seemed unbreakable, supporting each other through heartbreak and hard times and encasing each other in a protective cocoon.
When Jesy called it quits in December 2020, fans had no reason to believe a beef was brewing.
In fact, Jesy – who turns 31 today – had nothing but great things to say about her bandmates, explaining that she left because of the “fee” for her mental health.
“I find the constant pressure of being in a girl group and living up to expectations really hard,” she told fans.
Ken McKay/Talkback Thames/REX/Shutterstock)
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“There comes a time in life when we need to reinvest in taking care of ourselves instead of focusing on making other people happy, and I think now is the time to start that process.”
However, it was later claimed that Perrie, Jade and Leigh-Anne were unaware of her departure and only found out through their lawyers.
“Jesy left the band without telling the girls or management,” a source said Email online back then.
“The people around her have supported and protected her for ten years and are devastated by it all.”
The shocked stars are said to have quickly cobbled together a statement declaring their love for Jesy, but the damage was done, according to the report.
And when Jesy released the video for her solo debut Boyz, all hell broke loose when Leigh-Anne emerged to accuse her ex-bandmate of black-fishing with influencer NoHun in leaked messages.
Jesy retaliated by addressing the allegations in a live stream with staffer Nicki Minaj, who brutally branded Leigh-Anne a “jealous clown”.
Then came Little Mix’s October 2021 single, Cut You Off, which was widely rumored to be about Jesy.
At one point, Jade sings, “I don’t think the grass is really greener out there? Are you happy now?
“I know you think you’re all that, it’ll be so cute when you crawl back, but it’s too late now.”
The girls declined to comment on the inspiration for the song, but admitted the writing was “like therapy.”
Jade said: “Cut You Off was written a few months ago. It was actually like a therapy session writing Cut You Off.”
While Perrie added, “You let it all out, it’s a safe space.”
That same month, Jesy confirmed their friendship no longer existed and admitted they had cut off contact. However, she appeared to be holding up an olive branch, suggesting the tear might not have been permanent.
“We don’t talk anymore. It’s sad but honestly there’s no bad blood on my part and I still love them to pieces and sincerely wish them the best,” she said on The Graham Norton Show.
“I loved my time with them and we have the most incredible memories together.
“But it’s just one of those things that takes time, so who knows.
“For me they are still the baddest girl band in the world.”
Jesy went on to apologize for any crime caused in the Blackfishing row, telling the Guardian: “I love black culture. I love black music. That is everything I know; that’s what i grew up with. I am a white British woman; I never said I wasn’t.”
But the girls had their own side of the story to add, claiming that when she was still in the band they warned Jesy about blackfishing – a term used to describe a white person who purports to have black roots to have.
“Capitalizing on aspects of blackness without having to endure the day-to-day realities of the black experience is problematic and damaging to people of color,” Jade told the Independent.
“We think it’s absolutely not okay to use harmful stereotypes. There is so much to say on this subject that it is difficult to sum it up in one quote.”
Jade insisted they wanted to move on and said they didn’t want to “linger”, but added that the group had previously approached Jesy in a “very friendly, very educational way” to warn her about blackfish.
It’s a sad end to a once-enduring friendship that saw milestones celebrated as a foursome. Perrie and Leigh-Anne are now mums and Little Mix played their last gig as a band before going on hiatus in May.
The trio couldn’t hold back their tears as they said goodbye to the crowd at London’s O2.
“We laughed together, cried together,” Jade sobbed.
“We’ve gotten each other through some of the darkest times of our lives and created some of the most amazing memories, and we love each other so much.”
A tearful Perrie added: “I have to hold myself back because that’s going to be a really ugly scream!
“The love we have for each other is ridiculous.
“I want to take this moment to say to Jade and Leigh-Anne I love you guys so much – and I can’t thank you enough for the last 10 years of my life.”
No mention was made of Jesy, who was on her way back to London from Los Angeles, where she had been working on her debut album for two months.
She, too, was in tears — but for a different reason — and posted an emotional picture of her and a crying friend with the caption, “We laughed, we cried, we did it all baby girl.”
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https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/jesy-nelson-little-mix-now-27187100 Jesy Nelson and Little Mix now - olive branches, tears and arguments that started the war