Little Mix's Jesy Nelson Will Take 'Extended Time Off' from Group For 'Private Medical Reasons'

Tomás Mier
·3 min read

Jesy Nelson will be away from Little Mix for some time, PEOPLE can confirm.

A rep for the U.K. girl group — comprising Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards and Jade Thirlwall — shared on Tuesday that the singer will be taking "extended time off" from the group for "private medical reasons."

"We will not be issuing any further comment currently and ask media to please respect her privacy at this time," said the original statement.

The revelation comes less than two weeks after Nelson, 29, missed out on presenting the MTV Europe Music Awards, which Little Mix hosted earlier this month. (Pinnock, Edwards and Thirlwall also performed "Sweet Melody" as a trio.)

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"Tonight was the best 🔥. Thank you for letting us host @mtvema, we had a BLAST!! We missed you Jesy 💜," the group wrote on Instagram.

Nelson also missed out on the group's Little Mix: The Search competition show finale, where the "Shout Out to My Ex" group performed "Secret Love Song." A spokesperson at the time told outlets that she was feeling unwell.

The group has not publicly addressed Nelson's absence. Nelson, who is typically active on Instagram, hasn't posted since Halloween.

The fourpiece recently announced a tour backing their Confetti album, which released at the end of last month, for next year.

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Mixers, as the group's fans are dubbed, shared words of support for Nelson.

"We will miss her so much but it’s important that she takes off all the time that she needs. Her health comes first always," wrote one fan.

"We get it, and she should take all the time she needs. Her health & well being will ALWAYS be #1. Mixers will be on standby for when she's ready to return & until then we are sending Jesy all the positive vibes and love in the world," another added.

"hope she is well, resting and taking care, the priority is her being well, mentally and healthy. May she and the girls take care of themselves during this period, so that when they are together again, they will be stronger than ever. all the love and positive energy to Jesy," wrote a third fan.

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Last year, Nelson opened up in a BBC Three documentary titled Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out addressing her issues with body image, eating disorders and the prevalence of online bullying. To The Guardian, she also opened up about depression and an attempted overdose after the group won The X Factor in 2011.

“There must be so many women and girls that feel not good in themselves and are struggling with mental illness, and I thought if I’ve overcome it, I want people to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” she said on the U.K.’s Lorraine last year. “For me, at that point, I really honestly felt like there wasn’t and if you’d have told me four years ago that I’d be sat here talking about it feeling stronger than ever I would never have believed you.”

“Now I’m like, happy. I know it sounds bad but I honestly didn’t know what it felt like to be happy,” she added then. “Don’t get me wrong I still get quite horrible comments but I just … mentally I know how I feel about myself and that’s the biggest thing that I have overcome — that feeling in myself and feeling happy but that’s all because I got help and I spoke about it.”

If you or someone you know need mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.