James Arthur has spoken out about his problems with sex addiction after having a ‘fling’ with Rita Ora.
The 2012 X Factor winner has previously spoken out about his struggles with mental illness, telling the BBC Newsbeat last year that he struggles with severe anxiety every day.
He explained how anxiety was something that had ‘become part of [his] life’.
“At one time it was horrendous and I didn’t know what it was. I go through these episodes where I can’t breathe and I feel like I’m having a heart attack,” he said.
Credit: PA Images
Now, in an interview with the Sun on Sunday, published today, he discussed how he developed an addiction to sex.
He claims his problems came after he met Rita Ora and the two of them ended up going back to her tour bus, which began a fling between the pair.
He told the Sun: “I was so puzzled that someone like Rita was actually interested in me. I told myself this couldn’t be real. Rita’s made a mistake. She must think I’m someone cool. This is so confusing.
“Me and Rita met up a few more times after that and had some more amazing nights. ‘I’m in love with you’, she told me one night. She said it so sincerely I wanted to believe her, though it seemed insane.”
But he described how his problems spiralled out of control after she allegedly ‘went cold’ on him and posted pictures with other men.
He added: “If I’m honest, I became a bit of a slag after Rita. I was chatting to hundreds of women online or on Whats-App after swapping numbers with them via Twitter, and I started to sleep with so many of them I lost count.
“They were usually the same type – Babestation girls or glamour models. If I saw someone I fancied I’d contact her on social media and tell her blatantly I wanted to have sex.
“It was ridiculously easy. There would be no emotional attachment and it would be just pure sex, and with one or two exceptions that was how it was.”
As well as developing an addiction to sex, he also became hooked on gambling and smoking cannabis. At his lowest point he even contemplated suicide.
At the height of his struggles, in a desperate text to girlfriend Jessica Grist, a dancer on The X Factor, he told her: “I hate myself. My mind is broken.”
Credit: PA Images
James said: “I was on the edge, riddled with fear and self-loathing, panicking and crumbling under the agony of the deepest depression I’d ever experienced. There was no way I could ever claw myself back to sanity, let alone success.
“It’s taken three years to feel more comfortable in my own skin, and ready and able to explain the demons inside my head and how I’ve learned to cope.”
From there James has got his mental health back on track and has documented his struggles in a new book Back To The Boy released on October 5.
He is now an ambassador for the charity SANE, and had a number one single and a platinum album with Back From The Edge in the last year.
‘U OK M8?’ is an initiative from LADbible in partnership with a range of mental health charities which will feature a series of films and stories to raise awareness of mental health.