Wednesday 21 February 2018

George Shelley leaves Union J - former band mates say they kicked him out

George Shelley of Union J performing in Hyde Park
George Shelley of Union J performing in Hyde Park

George Shelley has left Union J - with his former band mates saying they kicked him out.

Josh Cuthbert, JJ Hamblett and Jaymi Hamsley told The Sun that the I'm A Celebrity runner-up refused to commit to the pop group after returning from the jungle in December.

But a spokesman for Shelley said it was a "mutual decision" - and called the other Union J members "simply jealous".

The boy band apparently gave him a final ultimatum by email, as the situation had become "heartbreaking".

Cuthbert said: " He did the jungle, he came off it and his head space was different to ours.

"Using a sporting analogy, he wanted to turn up to the big matches but not turn up to training."

Union J are now planning to replace Shelley with a new fourth member within weeks.

Hamsley said: "It's heartbreaking. I spoke to him the other day and I said I'm heartbroken over this."

He added: "He wasn't putting his full effort in. One member is not bigger than the band."

A spokesman for Shelley said: "It was a mutual decision for George to leave Union J so he could focus on his broadcasting and acting career."

This includes being a "regular part" of the Capital FM Breakfast Show, hosting the Brits Red Carpet Live and filming a part in BBC3's Murder In Successville.

The spokesman added: "He is an utterly charming and hardworking individual - not a diva in the slightest.

"The fact of the matter is that the other members of Union J are simply jealous he has achieved the start of an exciting new career and they have not.

"George had agreed to be totally magnanimous towards them, but unfortunately this has not been reciprocated."

Shelley, who "came out" to fans after leaving the jungle and discussed his attraction to both men and women in a video posted online, was not an original member of Union J.

The group were originally named Triple J and competed in The X Factor in 2012 - as did Shelley. The two acts joined forces during the show.

Union J tweeted on Sunday: "The three best friends that anyone could have" - with a photo of Cuthbert, Hamblett and Hemsley, posing together without Shelley.

On Wednesday, Shelley posted a photograph of him playing the guitar on Instagram, alongside the caption: "Throwback. Started writing again this week, feels good."

Press Association

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