"I hid it from the world; I was extremely ashamed," Nicole Scherzinger said. "When you're battling your own demons and insecurities, it's not something you want to share with other people."
First it was the Spice Girls and now it looks like the Pussycat Dolls are heading down reunion road, announcing a huge tour and coming clean about the secret battles with bulimia and alcoholism that tore them apart in the first place.
They have also promised a more inclusive Pussycat Dolls experience, which is a stark contrast from the Nicole Scherzinger-dominated feel of the group at its peak in the 1990s. In fact, Nicole effectively confirmed to The Sun that she used to sing 95 percent of the vocals and even went so far as to travel separately from the group's other members, though not as a statement of pride.
"I hope it's different because WE are different," Nicole told the outlet. "It is ten years on now. We all bring our own unique gifts to the group. I am so excited and we have grown so much."
"We are here to see each other shine," the "Masked Singer" judge continued. "I think we are going to push each other." And that's vastly different from how things used to be, when Nicole didn't even feel comfortable sharing one of her deepest struggles.
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The singer confessed that she was suffering with bulimia and didn't feel able to open up to her bandmates about it, blaming this disconnect on much of the tension that would ultimately tear the band bitterly apart and leave them not talking to one another for years.
"I hid it from the world; I was extremely ashamed," she said. "When you're battling your own demons and insecurities, it's not something you want to share with other people."
Meanwhile, Jessica Sutta was dealing with the crushing pressure in another way, revealing that she was in the throes of alcoholism while on tour. "The lifestyle is not normal," she said. "You're drinking champagne in the morning on these private jets. You get really unhealthy habits which, for an alcoholic, is the worst thing that could ever happen to you."
It was Nicole finding her own health and happiness that led to her ultimately publicly apologizing to Jessica, Carmit Bachar, Ashley Roberts, Melody Thornton, and Kimberly Watts. And it was that apology that began them on the road to healing that would culminate in this reunion tour.
That and the fact that these women were now in control of how they choose to present themselves and the Pussycat Dolls, which Nicole sees as more of a group effort than it's ever been before. In other words, no more "glorified backing dancers," as one of her bandmates described the experience. This time it's a genuine group effort, which is what this kind of experience is supposed to be about.
And no more "anorexic aliens," as Kimberly indicated they were pressured to look like by their record company. It was this tremendous pressure, among others, that put so many of the young women into an unhealthy mental state, as evidenced by Nicole's secret struggle with an eating disorder to fulfill those expectations.
But it's not water under the bridge for all of the members, apparently, as Melody has not signed on to the project, though founder Robin Antin says the door "was and is always open."
She added that "it wasn't right" for Melody "at this time," indicating there might still be some emotional concerns that need to be acknowledged and/or addressed.
"Like any family, it's a relationship and you work it out," Nicole added, seeming confident they can get there. "It's natural people are going to disagree and argue. But we always had so much respect for each other."
Now, the women see this reunion as an opportunity to put out a stronger message and be an inspiration for other women, describing the current #MeToo climate as "a beacon of light for women empowerment."
The Dolls reunion kicks off in the UK, where Nicole is a judge on "The X Factor," with a performance of their greatest hits on that show's season finale. Then, a 2020 tour kicking off in the UK in April. Then?
"Well, we've been working on some new music but right now we're just focusing on brushing off the old limbs," Nicole said. But that means they are singing and recording so don't count out a new album at some point.