Little Mix: Jesy Nelson's ex Chris Hughes supports the star as she announces she's quit the band

JESY Nelson's ex Chris Hughes has sent his support to the star after she announced she has quit Little Mix.

The 29-year-old singer caused shockwaves yesterday when she confirmed that she was leaving the group after nine years due to the "toll" it had taken on her mental health.

Jesy has been inundated with love and support from fans and celebs alike, including her Little Mix bandmates.

Chris, 27, was among the well-wishers – sending a sweet message to the star eight months after their split.

Commenting on the emotional statement Jesy shared to her Instagram account, the former Love Island star wrote: "The best ❤️"

The pair split in April after a 16-month romance but there is no bad blood between the pair, with the hunk previously promoting Little Mix's BBC talent show The Search in September.

Chris opened up about his and Jesy's break up in July, admitting that it was the first time he'd ever felt properly heartbroken.

Speaking on Vicky Pattison's podcast, he explained: "People can see it in your face.

"You can look sad in your face, without actually pulling a sad face, which I discovered… but everyone says: 'You’re back to yourself, now', it’s good."

Both stars have now moved on, with The Sun exclusively revealing in August that Chris is dating stunning model Mary Bedford.

Meanwhile, Jesy is loved-up with Our Girl hunk Sean Sagar.

The beauty has been praised by devastated fans for doing what is best for her mental health after she announced her shock decision today.

She explained in the statement: "The truth is, recently being in the band has really taken a toll on my mental health. I find the constant pressure of being in a girl group and living up to expectations very hard.

"I need to spend some time with the people I love, doing things that make me happy.

"I'm ready to embark on a new chapter in my life – I'm not sure what it's going to look like right now, but I hope you'll still be there to support me."

And while fans were understandably devastated by her decision, they insisted that it was the right call as they praised the brave star for putting her mental wellbeing first.

Jesy has been open about her mental health battle over the years, bravely sharing the devastating impact years of online trolling had in her BBC documentary Odd One Out – which featured Chris.

In the film, which won a National Television Award, Jesy spoke candidly about her struggle in Little Mix – revealing how she would starve herself for days during the deepest times in her depression, due to constant trolling about her weight and looks.

Discussing the impact it had on her, she shared: "I just wanted to be Jesy. I didn’t want to be Jesy the fat one.

"I wanted people to see me as normal, so I punished myself. I starved myself."

The star's Little Mix bandmates have released a statement sharing their support of her decision to leave, also confirming that their 2021 tour will go ahead as scheduled.

They wrote: "After an amazing 9 years together Jesy has made the decision to leave Little Mix. This is an incredibly sad time for all of us but we are fully supportive of Jesy.

"We love her very much and agree that it is so important that she does what is right for her mental health and well-being. We are still very much enjoying our Little Mix journey and the 3 of us are not ready for it to be over.

"We know that Jesy leaving the group is going to be really upsetting news for our fans. We love you guys so much and are so grateful for your loyalty and continued support of all of us.

"We’re looking forward to seeing so many of you on tour."

In November, a Little Mix rep confirmed that Jesy was taking "extended time off" for "private medical reasons".

They said at the time: "Jesy is having extended time off from Little Mix for private medical reasons.

"We will not be issuing any further comment currently and ask media to please respect her privacy at this time."

It came two weeks after she missed the grand finale of the band's TV talent show The Search, as well as their high-profile stint hosting the MTV EMAs.

The Sun then revealed that Jade, Perrie and Leigh-Anne are going solo – with each involved in secret plans to launch individual careers next year at the end of their existing deal.

However, Jade has insisted the group "will never die" even if the girls do end up branching out.

Little Mix formed on The X Factor in 2011, becoming the first band to win the show.

Together they have sold more than 50million records, landing two Brit Awards, four number one singles and releasing six albums along the way.

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