Rebecca Ferguson has given an explosive account of the ‘abuse’ she suffered in the music industry, claiming her life became hell after she fell out with two high-powered figures.
The singer, 36, claims her life was controlled as she was medicated and tucked up in bed at night, and told who she could date and spend time with.
Pop star Rebecca said she became so unwell at one point she repeatedly collapsed and was told to fake good health so she could travel home after jetting abroad for her professional duties, and was told she had to continue working over the phone from her bed as she attempted to recover.
Speaking out: Rebecca Ferguson, 36, has given an account of the ‘abuse’ she suffered in the music industry, claiming her life became hell after she fell out with two high-powered figures
Taking to TikTok this week to give a lengthy account, she explained: ‘A few years ago I had an issue with two quite major people in the music industry and my life was a living hell from that day when I decided to stick up for myself and not take any BS.
‘My life in the music industry became hell and I’ve tried to speak out about it a lot…
‘I really peeved off two people in the music industry who had quite a lot of power and influence, and were able to hinder my career.’
Rebecca has not identified the individuals.
Rise to fame: Rebecca finished in second place on the seventh series of The X Factor in 2010 (pictured on the show)
She continued: ‘One of my albums, especially the (2013) Freedom album, was blocked in some international territories, and one of those territories was the US.
‘For my US fans on TikTok, it was a couple of years ago that the block got lifted and Freedom was finally available digitally for you to download and that was because I fought for that, because actually it was blocked…
‘Certain tours were cancelled and certain promotional tours in the US were also cancelled. So basically I fell out with these people and it had a massive, massive effect on my career.’
Getting tearful, she continued: ‘I can honestly say that the past nine years of my life, although I’ve found happiness now, were torturous. I was petrified, I was so scared of these people. I was going through hell and unable to express what was happening to me properly and fully because no one really understood what was happening. These people for years targeted me and literally put me through hell.
Breaking down further, she explained: ‘A lot of you have watched me come into showbiz and that’s all I ever wanted to be. Being a singer was my dream since I was a little girl and I really wish that the experience that I’ve had could have been a lot nicer, and I’m not saying I haven’t had an amazing career because I have, and I’m very grateful.
‘But the things that have happened to me I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. It’s hard watching these people get away with it.
No freedom? The singer says her life was controlled as she was medicated and tucked up in bed at night by her handlers, and told who she could date and spend time with
‘One of the things they did, I was only allowed to be in certain relationships or have certain relationships and I had a lot of security with me many years ago because I’d had certain threats, and my chief security was threatened with his job.
‘They were told, “You need to ruin Rebecca’s relationships and if you don’t, you’ll be fired.”
‘As well as that, everything I did was watched. I didn’t have any freedom to be me. Absolutely everything to do with my life was micromanaged. This sounds really weird and silly but, literally, I’d get tucked into bed. People would put me into bed and I’d get given pills before bed.
‘I now honestly could not tell you, and this is the God’s honest truth, I could not tell you what I was being given, I don’t know. But I’d get given tablets and I’d get put to bed after I’d done all my work.
‘My whole life was managed down to the finest detail. Down to who I’m allowed to date. I’d be told off, I’d be shouted at if I was going out with someone, I’d get shouted at like I was a child…
‘I feel like now is a good time to tell my story because the music industry needs to change and for it to change it needs to look at itself, and you need to hear what’s happening to a lot of artists.
Troubles: Pop star Rebecca said she became so unwell at one point she repeatedly collapsed and was at one point told she couldn’t fly because of her ill health
‘My whole life was being controlled and, unfortunately, because of my schedule and probably the way I was being treated, I started to become really, really sick. A doctor actually said, “Rebecca’s had a complete mental and physical collapse.”
‘The doctor was so worried about me but it didn’t stop me working and I was just about to do an interview with Rolling Stone magazine but the interview was cancelled. I collapsed in a lift and my head hit the floor.
‘And then I had another interview and I collapsed, head hit the floor. I was unconscious. No ambulance was called for me, no ambulance.
‘I went into the interview and apparently I was that noncoherent and my speech was that distorted that they had to cancel and delete the interview but it didn’t stop the people that were around me from propping me up in bed after my collapse and making me do work from bed on the telephone.’
She said that on one trip she collapsed three times and the airline would not let her fly unless she returned to good health.
‘I was told by the people around me, “Rebecca, you need to fake looking well otherwise you’re not going to go home,” she said.
‘So they didn’t call an ambulance for me, they watched me collapse on multiple occasions, they propped me up in bed like I was a rag doll and made me work.
‘A lot of you have already heard stories like this from people like Britney and there are a lot of other artists that are speaking out now and I’m just another one of them, and I’m doing it to raise awareness.
‘I did end up on the flight and it was a Virgin airways flight and actually I’d like to appeal to the doctor because there was a doctor on that flight and he was so concerned about how ill I was.
Hitting out: It comes after Rebecca Ferguson launched a veiled social media tirade against ‘irrelevant people and their no longer relevant show’
‘We were in Upper Class and he spent his entire flight checking on how I am, checking my vital signs, and I’d just like to appeal to him if he could get in touch with me in any way because that would be amazing… I just want to say thank you to you.
‘I tried to break free from these people because obviously it was quite clear what was happening to me was abuse, actually I’d call it a form of trafficking. You could call it luxury trafficking, call it what you like, but I would call it a form of trafficking.
‘When I tried to break free, everyone that tried to help me was threatened. I ended up getting really close to Elton John, who is absolutely amazing, and he was so, so lovely to me and I have to thank him as well. His team were so lovely to me but even Elton John’s team were threatened.
‘When they tried to help me, when they tried to support me through it, they were disgusted by how I was being treated, they were utterly disgusted. Even when they tried to support me they were getting calls, they were getting threats.’
She added: ‘There’s been a lot of people speaking lately and it’s been really hard to watch it because they come out and they finally pluck the courage to tell their truth and they get ridiculed.
‘And some of the things that get said are, “Oh, she’s crazy,” or, “She wishes she had more fame,” just stupid to me, it’s just daft. Why would you come out and say these things have happened to you, you’d have to be absolutely round the bend. And for fame? Really, come on.
‘When these people come out and tell their story, don’t mock them, don’t dismiss them. You don’t realise what’s going on behind the scenes, what they have had to face.
‘The NDAs (non-disclosure agreements), the bullying, the financial crippling, how they suppress these stories.
Not happy: The singer posted a flurry of messages last month having spoken out about her experiences in showbiz
‘There was one woman, I’m just going to be really mindful because it’s not my story to tell but she was sexually assaulted and her story was supposed to come out. It didn’t end up coming out because one of the perpetrators who was involved in it all, in the cover up, he gave the press a much bigger story.
‘I was doing an exclusive interview with a really major TV show that we all love, by the way. I got a call from the producer to say that my interview’s not going to go ahead and the reason why it’s not going ahead is because it’s too obvious who it is. That’s what she said to me, “If you come and do this interview, it’s too obvious and we can’t touch it.”
‘That’s what people are coming up against.’
‘When you try and speak out, they find ways to ridicule you, mock you, make you look stupid, make you look silly. Or they use their power, money and influence to bury the story’
In 2021 Ferguson went to the Metropolitan Police to report allegations of harassment and coercive control against a senior male industry figure.
The singer claimed she was targeted while working to build her career after coming runner-up on ITV show The X Factor.
Rebecca, who agreed the Mail on Sunday could reveal the complaint she made to police, also met Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden to discuss problems within the industry.
It comes after Rebecca launched a veiled social media tirade last month against ‘irrelevant people and their no longer relevant show’ – days after six former X Factor contestants accused the Simon Cowell owned record label SyCo of bullying.
Five solo acts and a group are said to be approaching a law firm and intend to sue the label for alleged ‘bullying, mistreatment and neglect’ as a result of going on the ITV show.
Old times: Ferguson is a former finalist on the show after successfully auditioning in 2010
Taking to Twitter last month, Ferguson – a former finalist on the show after successfully auditioning in 2010 – insisted she is not one of them.
She wrote: ‘Things go wrong! You get what you put into the universe! That is all.’
She added: ‘He is an irrelevant person who is clinging on to the good old days the good old days where in 2010 and they’ve had nothing but bad luck since! Because when you mess with pure hearted blessed people! [sic]
‘As my mum would say let go and let God! I’m focused on creating structures and systems that will ensure that people in music are treated with dignity and humanity!’
A further stinging rebuke read: ‘Whilst doing this I have 3 children to raise! I don’t have time or energy to focus on irrelevant people and their no longer relevant shows!’
She finished her tirade by confirming she is not seeking legal action, but has instead used her platform to create a better working environment for singer and musicians.
She wrote: ‘I’m not suing anybody! I’ve spent two years speaking, attending meetings and discussing with the Government and MP’s on how we can make the music industry safer!
‘I’m working with the Ivors academy and ECSA in Europe to give my voice on issues of injustice in music.’
Continuing her tirade, she wrote: ‘Everything I went through was supposed to happen! Because I went through that the music industry now has an Independent Standards Authority!
‘I’m not bitter or sad about my past it’s all lessons! What they thought was going to harm me actually helped thousands of people!
‘They don’t win in the end! Good conquers always just have faith! No matter what they do to try and ruin you! Good people always win in the end!’
She added: ‘For me to sue somebody they would need to be relevant to me and they’re not somebody I know or ever think about. My energy is precious and I don’t waste it.’
New claims: A group of former X-Factor contestants are reportedly planning a £1million bullying lawsuit against Simon Cowell’s company SyCo