JESY Nelson has admitted that former Little Mix bandmate Leigh-Anne Pinnock DID warn her against "Blackfishing" last year – as she insisted that her dark tan and curly hair are both natural.
The pair have been embroiled in controversy after an influencer leaked messages allegedly sent by Leigh-Anne that asked him to do a video exposing Jesy for being a "Blackfish".
This is a term used when a white person uses black culture and aesthetics for their own gain – with Jesy's look in the music video for her debut solo single Boyz sparking controversy when it was released last week.
Addressing the backlash, Jesy claimed that she'd not been criticised for her image before going solo, but we revealed earlier today that Leigh-Anne herself had warned Jesy against the look when she was still in the girl group last summer.
And in an Instagram livestream with collaborator Nicki Minaj this evening, the star confessed that the conversation did take place – after giggling while US rapper Nicki savagely laid into her former bandmate.
Referencing Leigh-Anne and bandmate Jade Thirlwall, Jesy said: "I was in a group with two women of colour for 10 years and it was never brought up to me until the last music video I did with them when Leigh-Anne messaged me…"
Before she could continue, Nicki had interrupted to rant some more about the saga.
Defending her image, Jesy also told livestream viewers: "My intention was never to offend people of colour with this video and my song.
"I just want to touch on the whole tanning thing as well, when I was in the video with you [Nicki], I didn't have fake tan on. I'd been in Antigua prior to that for three weeks.
"I'm really lucky as a white girl I tan so much. Leigh-Anne even said to me in the group: 'Are you sure you're not mixed race because you go darker than me in the sun!'
"My hair is naturally curly, I got it from my dad – I wanted to get a wig that emulated the same texture as my hair and I genuinely didn't think I was doing anything wrong."
Earlier in the stream, Jesy had giggled as Nicki savagely put down Leigh-Anne – calling the new mum a "clown" and accusing her of being "jealous and insecure".
She'd seethed: "When you try to bring someone down because you see them continuing to try and pursue their careers, you are a f***ing clown. And let me tell you, there's a lot of women out here in the US that tan and get bigger lips.
"If you've ever done business with someone then you send a text message when they try and do something else, trying to end them – you've already ended your f***ing self. You won't go anywhere because your heart ain't right.
I'm really lucky as a white girl I tan so much. My hair is naturally curly.
"Unless someone is pretending they're a race they're not and lying, sweetheart, take them text messages and shove them up your f***ing a** because when you do clown s**t I have to speak to you and talk to you like you're a clown."
While Jesy nodded silently in agreement, Nicki went on: "You don't have to try and ruin anyone – you're in this woman's group and don't talk about this s**t for 10 years and now you've seen she has a video coming with Diddy? Print those text messages out and shove them up your a**.
"If you want a solo career, just say that – you can go out and do your own music, you don't have to attack someone else. It screams insecurity, you're jealous – only jealous people do things like this, and now you look like a big, jealous Bozo."
In addition to calling Jesy a "Blackfish" the alleged messages from Leigh-Anne also claimed that Jesy had "blocked and cut off" her Little Mix bandmates.
An insider told us earlier today: "Leigh-Anne had a conversation with Jesy, trying to explain why she was upset and why it could be offensive. She felt she had to address it while making her racism documentary, but it apparently fell on deaf ears.
When you do clown s**t I have to speak to you and talk to you like you're a clown.
"For Jesy to now claim that it has never been mentioned to her before is really rude. It’s upsetting she hasn’t taken any of this on board."
Jesy said she has only faced allegations of “Blackfishing” since quitting the group, insisting: “The whole time I was in Little Mix I never got any of that. Then I came out of [the band] and people all of a sudden were saying it.”
But a source close to the band claims Little Mix’s management also warned her about it after she sported her hair in braids three years ago.
The message scandal came after all three of the Little Mix girls unfollowed Jesy on Instagram at the weekend – as has the account belonging to Perrie’s dog Hatchi.
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