UK & World News
Cole 'Near Breakdown' When Fired From X Factor
Cheryl Cole has said she "wasn't well in the head" when Simon Cowell sacked her from the US X Factor.
The singer, 31, was left humiliated when she was axed from the TV show in 2011 just weeks after starting and before the series even went on air.
But she has told Elle UK she believes she was close to a nervous breakdown at the time.
"I can talk about this because I'm OK about it now," she said.
"But I went through hell and it literally drove me mad.
"I became so desensitised, you could say terrible things to me and I wouldn't even think about it.
"I'd read awful stuff about myself and not blink. I shut down because I didn't know what else to do."
She told the magazine: "Now I can say that Simon was right to get rid of me.
"I wasn't well in the head when that was going on, so it wasn't going to work.
"But he wasn't right not to tell me to my face."
The usually chic star, who raised eyebrows when she appeared with big hair and dressed in purple trousers and an orange frilly top on her first day's filming for the US show, sent Cowell a text after she was dropped.
"F*** you, F*** Fox, F*** the orange and purple outfit. F*** the big hair. F*** the UK X Factor. F*** you all. I hate you," she wrote.
Cole revealed to the August issue of the magazine that she felt as though she was having a nervous breakdown last year.
"It only hit me at the beginning of 2013 that I'd completely lost myself. I'd look in a mirror and think: 'Who the hell is she?'," she said.
"I didn't know what I thought or felt about anything, couldn't make decisions - I didn't even know what to eat or drink. Something was seriously wrong: it felt like a nervous breakdown. I had to stop, get out of my life I'd been living and find myself again. The consequences if I didn't were just too frightening."
The former Girls Aloud singer, who is now back as a judge on the UK X Factor, divorced her husband Ashley Cole in 2010 and is now dating French restaurateur Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini, said that today she is a stronger woman.
"I thought I had every box ticked, career and personal," she said.
"I was the first to get married. I was the one everyone thought would be the first to have a baby and then the rug got pulled out from under me. I've learned that there is no such thing as a plan. You can't make them."
The singer, whose new single Crazy Stupid Love is out later this month, said: "I'm just enjoying finding out who I am. That's good enough right now ... I know I'm really lucky because none of what I've been through broke me."
The August issue of Elle UK is on sale now.