Ally Brooke got candid about her time in Fifth Harmony on the debut episode of her podcast “The Ally Brooke Show”.

The singer explained how the group, which were formed on “The X Factor” in 2012 after they originally auditioned as solo contestants, underwent “mental and verbal abuse.”

They originally consisted of Brooke, Normani, Camila Cabello, Lauren Jauregui and Dinah Jane, before Cabello left in December 2016.

Brooke shared, “We took over the world. We took the music industry and the entertainment industry by storm… I’m going to say how proud I am of Fifth Harmony, how proud I am of my work in Fifth Harmony, of what we did, of what we did for music, of what we did for girls, what we did for female empowerment, what we did for girl groups.

“We had hits, we had anthems, and great songs… but I hate saying this. My time in Fifth Harmony, I didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t love it. I didn’t like it,” she continued. “It was hard because there was so much going on. So much behind the scenes, so much toxicity, so much abuse, so much abusive power, so much mental abuse, verbal abuse, and it’s just horrible and to me it’s a shame because we were so big and I should have enjoyed myself more.”

Fifth Harmony attending the 2016 American Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Credit: CP Images
Fifth Harmony attending the 2016 American Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Credit: CP Images

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Brooke went on, “Sometimes I don’t like looking back at that time. I’ll look at a music video and all I’ll remember is how I felt that day. How I felt super insecure, or how I felt let down or how I felt like I wasn’t good enough. People around me told me that I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t cool enough, I wasn’t valued, nobody cared about me. It was awful but I also try to remember the good times, of being in Brazil… all of our fans chas(ing) us down, and thousands stamped(ing) us, and going to Japan and Mexico.”

The musician spoke about her struggle with body image and insecurity, explaining how people would call her “the big one of the group.”

She said, “People said I was the big one of the group or the fat one and I was fat and all these things and especially in one moment when we were shooting a music video we were in bathing suits and I was just not… I didn’t feel at my best. And then there were paparazzi pictures that came out and people made fun of me so much and it was horrible.”

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Brooke, who is currently working on her debut solo album, expected to released this fall, then recalled a time when a music executive abused his power and showed up to their meeting with a thong in hand asking her to wear it.

She shared, “I’m so thankful I survived that period in my life and again I take blessings with Fifth Harmony and the lessons because I learned a lot of lessons and I hope by me sharing my story that I can help someone else to speak out, to speak up, to maybe be alert and be aware and know that there’s a better way to get things done.”

Concluding, “To know that there’s a better way to live and thrive in this industry. We as women especially, we deserve our respect.”