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Ulrika Jonsson says she feels 'connected' to Jesy Nelson

‘I was humbled by your decision to leave the group’: Ulrika Jonsson says she feels ‘connected’ to Jesy Nelson due to their mental health battles as she pens open letter to the singer

Ulrika Jonsson has told how she feels ‘connected’ to Little Mix singer Jesy Nelson in an emotional open letter after she left the girlband.

The TV personality, 53, admitted she couldn’t have endured the criticism Jesy, 29, has faced and felt ‘humbled’ by her decision to quit the band in order to focus on bettering her mental health.

Ulrika referenced her own mental health battle and said she ‘doesn’t think she’d be here’ if social media was present at the start of her career like it was for Jesy, in a letter she penned for the Sun.

Strong: Ulrika Jonsson has told how she feels ‘connected’ to Little Mix singer Jesy Nelson in an emotional open letter after she left the girlband

The mother of four said although the two women have never met she has felt ‘pain’ watching her public battles, which were chronicled on BBC documentary, Odd One Out.    

She wrote: ‘It has been painful to witness your battles but I can’t lie, I have sought some comfort from them because it has shown me, and the world, how perfectly human you are.’

Ulrika later went on to compare there situations as she confessed she has had similar days where she struggled to find the ability to ‘turn up’. 

The model has previously been candid about her struggles with depression and anxiety over the years. 

Brave: The TV star, 53, admitted she couldn’t have endured the criticism Jesy has faced and felt ‘humbled’ by her decision to quit the band in order to focus on bettering her mental health

She said: ‘Just like you, Jesy, who found there were days you just couldn’t turn up for work because the criticism or bullying on social media was affecting you so badly. I had days when walking out of my front door would fill me with nausea and self-loathing.’

Admitting that many people would not have taken the same path as Jesy has chosen, Ulrika noted that she was impressed by her decision to step away from the limelight. 

She said: ‘I admire you, Jesy, so very, very much for taking the decision you have. For understanding a healthy mind is far more important than all the fame and glory.’ 

At the end of the letter, Ulrika wished the X Factor star the best for the future and said she hopes to see her return when she is ready. 

Early days: Ulrika referenced her own mental health battle and said she ‘doesn’t think she’d be here’ if social media was present at the start of her career like it was for Jesy (pictured 1989)

Earlier this week on Wednesday, Jesy returned to social media for the first time since announcing she has quit Little Mix.

She penned a message saying the support she’d received from fans had made her ‘so emotional,’ after announcing on Monday she was leaving the band to focus on her mental health.

Jesy wrote: ‘I just want to say thank you so much to everyone of you that has shown me so much love and support over the past few days some of your messages have made me feel so emotional and I appreciate it so much love you all.’ 

Breaking her silence: Jesy returned to social media on Wednesday for the first time since announcing she’s quitting Little Mix

Moving: The singer penned a message saying the support she’d received from fans had made her ‘so emotional,’ after announcing on Monday she was leaving the band 

Jesy announced her departure from Little Mix on Monday night in a lengthy Instagram post, three weeks after it was confirmed she’d be taking an extended break from the band.

She wrote: ‘To all my Mixers, the past nine years in Little Mix has been the most incredible time of my life. We have achieved things I never thought possible. From winning our first Brit Award to our sold out shows at the O2. 

‘Making friends and fans all over the world I can’t thank you all enough from the bottom of my heart for making me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. You have always been there to support and encourage me and I will never ever forget it.  

‘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.

Bombshell: On Monday Jesy announced she’d quit Little Mix, admitting the ‘constant pressure’ of being in the band took a toll on her mental health (pictured with bandmates Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards and Jade Thirlwall L-R in November 2019)

‘There comes a time in life when we need to reinvest in taking care of ourselves rather than focusing on making other people happy, and I feel like now is the time to begin that process. 

‘So after much consideration and with a heavy heart, I’m announcing I’m leaving Little Mix.’  

Jesy emotionally added: ‘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.

‘I want to say thank you to everyone involved in our journey. All the hard work and dedication that went into making us a success.

‘To every single fan who came to see us in concert, who listened to our songs and sung their hearts out, sent me messages and supported me along the way I want you to know I love you all so much and I could never have done this without you and I appreciate it endlessly.

‘Most of all I want to say thank you to Jade, Perrie and Leigh-Anne for creating some of the most amazing memories I’ll never forget. I hope that you’ll continue to fulfil all of your dreams and keep on making music that people love. Love Jesy x.’

Emotional: She shared a heartfelt statement where she revealed she wants to focus on things that make her ‘happy’

Following her announcement, Jesy proceeded to unfollow Little Mix’s manager Samantha Cox, who still follows other members of the band. 

She’s also removed any mention of Little Mix from the top of her Instagram profile, replacing it with an email address.

Perrie Edwards, 27, Jade Thirlwall, 27, and Leigh-Anne Pinnock, 29, admitted it was an ‘incredibly sad time’ for the band but they ‘fully support’ Jesy’s decision. 

Fans were left devastated over the news as they sent their best wishes to both Jesy and the band in emotional messages. 

While several celebrities, such as Dermot O’Leary and Frankie Bridge, reached out on the post to support Jesy as they praised the star for her ‘brave’ decision.  

Little Mix also confirmed that they would be remaining as a trio, saying that they are ‘not ready for it to be over’.   

Cutting ties: Following her announcement, Jesy proceeded to unfollow Little Mix’s manager Samantha Cox, who still follows other members of the band 

They penned on both Instagram and Twitter: ‘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. 

‘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. 

‘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. We’re looking forward to seeing so many of you on tour.’

They signed off their post with: ‘Love always, Jade, Perrie and Leigh-Anne xxx.’   

‘Hard’: In an interview days after Jesy’s ‘extended break’ was announced, Little Mix admitted that they ‘didn’t expect being in a band to be so hard’ (pictured with Jesy in September

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