Monday 19 March 2018

Tulisa opens up on her tortured childhood

X Factor judge Tulisa
X Factor judge Tulisa

X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos says she is still dogged by fears she does not "belong" on the show after her troubled childhood.

She said she is still overcome by doubts following her teenage years in which she attempted suicide, self-harmed and was a regular dope smoker.

The star told the Radio Times she has her moments of self-doubt "now and again".

Contostavlos joined the show this year as the judging panel underwent a revamp.

But reflecting on her role, she said: "I'll think, 'I don't belong here.'

"I get those moments now and again. Although I can be very feisty, that's a defence mechanism for me. I'm defensive because too many years of my life I was treated like shit."

She said it was a result of "being bullied, feeling weak all the time".

This series of ITV1's The X Factor winds to a close on December 11, but Contostavlos said she would be happy to return to the show for a second year if asked.

And the star - one-third of chart act N-Dubz along with her cousin Dappy and boyfriend Fazer - said she has formed the most intimate bonds with the acts she has mentored.

"I get closer to my acts than any other judge. I want them to feel they've got a little family.

"They say I'm like a mother hen. Even Dappy and Fazer used to call me the mother hen.

"So if that's what I do with my own band, when I'm in charge of these other bands, obviously I start mothering them."

She said the instinct probably stems from the many years spent looking after her mother who has bipolar disorder.

"I feel I've got a duty to do it," added Contostavlos, who has guided girl group Little Mix to this weekend's X Factor semi-final.

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