Fans of the U.K. pop quartet Little Mix were saddened and concerned to hear the Dec. 14 news that member Jesy Nelson was officially quitting the group after announcing an indefinite leave of absence in November. While Mixers are sympathetic to her situation and sending her love and support on social media, many are wondering why Jesy Nelson quit Little Mix.
Nelson first announced an indefinite leave of absence from the group on Nov. 18, but, at the time, there was no indication she would be quitting for good. The news broke via Little Mix's publicist on Twitter, who told fans, "Jesy is having extended time off from Little Mix for private medical reasons." The group did not provide any further clarification at the time, but Mixers sent their support in droves regardless.
Now, it's clear to fans that the leave of absence was a precursor to something unfortunately much more permanent. Mixers have followed the superstar quartet for the past nine years now, ever since the group's formation on The X Factor in 2011. Nelson acknowledged this long-term support and love from Mixers in a statement posted to Instagram announcing her departure. She also revealed her decision to leave came down to one thing: her mental health.
"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," Nelson wrote in her post. She has opened up in the past about her struggle with cyberbullying as a result of being at the forefront of one of the U.K.'s most prolific girl groups in history. A documentary, Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out, aired on BBC Three in September 2019, chronicling her journey in the band and the toll worldwide attention took on her mental health over the years.
The remaining members of Little Mix, Perrie Edwards, Jade Thirlwall, and Leigh-Anne Pinnock, also made an official statement in response to Nelson's departure on Twitter that assured fans of their continued support of their former bandmate. They also clarified that the group would continue on as a trio and they're excited to see Mixers on tour sometime soon.
"This is an incredibly sad time for all of us but we are fully supportive of Jesy," Little Mix began a Dec. 14 thread acknowledging the news of Nelson's departure. "We love her very much and agree that it is so important that she does what is right for her mental health and well-being."