Leigh-Anne Pinnock just defended 'her character' amid Jesy Nelson/Nicki Minaj drama

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Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images
Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images

Little Mix singer (and new mother of twins), Leigh-Anne Pinnock, has seemingly defended 'her character' after former bandmate Jesy Nelson, along with rapper Nicki Minaj, appeared to try and take it down during a recent Instagram Live discussion.

To quickly recap for anybody unfamiliar: following Jesy's first solo single and video release, BOYZ, the ex-girlband member was hit with new accusations of Blackfishing (wherein a person who isn't Black benefits and profits from adopting aspects of Black culture, or by altering their appearance to mimic Black characteristics e.g. by darkening their skin).

Jesy and Nicki then did an IG Live together wherein they discussed an alleged comment made by Leigh-Anne via DM, to TikToker No Hun, wherein Leigh-Anne apparently suggests No Hun makes a video about Jesy being "a Black fish". However, these DMs haven't been verified as real in any type of way. In the IG Live, Nicki looked to criticise Leigh-Anne while Jesy laughed in response.

Now, Leigh-Anne who just celebrated turning 30, has been seen delivering an emotional speech at her birthday celebrations in a video shared by her sister, Sarah. In the video Leigh-Anne seems to reference the ongoing social media furore by saying, "I'm 30 years old, I know my character, you all know my character, everyone who meets me knows my character. That’s all I care about."

Photo credit: HGL - Getty Images
Photo credit: HGL - Getty Images

The singer and swimwear designer then gave a shout out to her fiancé, footballer Andre Gray, and their children, and added, "And best believe everything I stand for, everything I’m fighting for is for them. And I will never stop. I’ve found my voice now and I will continue to use it."

This latter comment is likely also in reference to the powerful documentary that Leigh-Anne released earlier this year with the BBC, Race, Pop & Power, in which she spoke out about feeling like the least favoured member of the group and racism within the music industry.

Last week, other screenshots and screen recordings of comments supposedly left by Nicki circulated on Twitter, with the rapper appearing to call out those who came for Jesy in the comments section of a TikTok video captioned 'What is it with Brits and their love of excessive tanning? Blackfishing isn't cute luvs'.

Underneath, an account with the name Nicki Minaj (complete with a verification tick), looks to have written in response, "So all these reality stars y'all worship with big lips & tans r ok but Jesy's where y'all draw the line huh?"

In another comment, Nicki also seems to have written, "I can name a couple others singers in the US that tan just as much as this. Y'all always tryna find something. #VeryMuchSomething." However, these comments can no longer be seen under the video [Cosmopolitan has reached out to Nicki's team and asked for verification as to their legitimacy and will update this article if a response is received].

In a recent interview with Vulture, ahead of the launch of BOYZ, Jesy herself was asked to address the accusations of Blackfishing and said it was never an issue she'd had levelled at her whilst in the band.

"The whole time I was in Little Mix I never got any of that and then I came out of [the band] and people all of a sudden were saying it," she said. "I mean, like, I love Black culture. I love Black music. That’s all I know; it’s what I grew up on. I’m very aware that I’m a white British woman; I’ve never said that I wasn’t."

Vulture also report that two follow-up interviews, which were scheduled to ask Jesy about the specific criticisms aimed at her new video, were cancelled, and that via email she said: "I take all those comments made seriously. I would never intentionally do anything to make myself look racially ambiguous, so that’s why I was initially shocked that the term was directed at me."

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