Nicole Scherzinger looked practically purr-fect onstage with the Pussycat Dolls while in her 20s.
“I had such a great life on the outside, the Dolls were on top of the world, but I was miserable on the inside,” she reveals in the August issue of Cosmopolitan magazine in the U.K. “I m never letting that happen again.”
Scherzinger, 36, went public with her bulimia struggle in 2012 and admits talking about her long-secret eating disorder is still difficult.
“It is such a horrible, paralyzing disease and it was such a dark time for me,” she says. “I didn’t think anyone knew in my group or in my family because I hid it that well, I was so ashamed. I knew it wasn’t normal or healthy because I was hurting myself through this cycle of disordered eating. It was my drug, my addiction. It’s an endless vicious cycle.”
She says it took blacking out while on tour to finally wake up to her problem.
“I had started losing my voice, I couldn’t sing at shows, and then I remember my manager finding me passed out on the floor in Malta or in the south of France,” she recalls. “I thought, ‘I’m going to lose everything I love if I don’t love myself.’ ”
Today, Scherzinger is healthy, but admits that despite her outgoing public persona, deep down she is a shy person.
“I get past my shyness by making everything about others and not thinking about myself,” she says. “That’s what I did on The X Factor – I can be goofy and playful when it’s about the acts. They are like my babies. But when I’m off stage I’m not as big and animated … for me all my smiles and confidence are a triumph because it came from a broken place.”
Another thing that makes her smile? Her seemingly on-again relationship with British Formula 1 racer Lewis Hamilton.
“Well, it’s something crazy romantic,” she says. “Relationships are hard and having to hold a long-distance relationship is even harder … But I’m good and I’m happy.”