Jesy Nelson claims Leigh-Anne asked her about her race before Little Mix exit

Jesy Nelson has revealed that her former Little Mix bandmate Leigh-Anne Pinnock did speak to her about "Blackfishing" while they shot their last music video together.

The pair, both 30, have been engulfed in controversy after an influencer exposed released messages he claimed had been sent to him from Leigh-Anne Instagram account. He alleged the messages were encouraging him to "create a video around Jesy black fishing."

Since its release last week, Jesy's video for her debut single Boyz has been at the centre of 'Blackfishing' claims – a term used to accuse someone of pretending to have Black or mixed-race heritage for their own gain.

And in an Instagram live stream to her 8.4 million followers with US rapper Nicki Minaj, who collaborated with her on Boyz, Jesy said that Leigh-Anne did text her about race shortly before she left the band.


Jesy recalled: "I was in a group with two women of colour for ten years, and it was never brought up to me until the last music video I did with them when Leigh-Anne messaged me…"

The Essex born star failed to elaborate on the exact nature of the conversation as Nicki interrupted to further discuss the controversy.

Jesy went on to defend her image, revealing that she tans easily and her hair is naturally curly.

"My intention was never to offend people of colour with this video and my song," Jesy said.

She added: "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!'"

Jesy added that she got her naturally curly hair from her 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."

OK! has contacted a representative for Leigh-Anne for further comment.

Super Bass hitmaker Nicki discussed the controversy further.

"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," she vented.

"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**.

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