In an upcoming Behind The Music special for VH1, Nicole Scherzinger admits that she struggled with an eating disorder for years. Scherzinger, now 34, rose to fame through the Pussycat Dolls, Dancing With The Stars, Eden’s Crush and X Factor but apparently was privately dealing with bulimia for seven years, according to Radar. In fact, she admits that not even her relatives knew, saying, “It’s embarrassing. I never spoke about it. Like I said, I never want to play a victim, and I never wanted my family to hear about things from me because I think it would break their heart, you know.”

Unfortunately, the singer was dealing with a huge problem:

I did it every day for, like, years. Every time I had a second to be alone, I was doing something to myself. You get, like, blisters on your hands or scars on your hands, and I’d try to hide those. I think the girls could tell… I guess it was like my addiction, right? I never did drugs, but kinda doing things to myself was my addiction. It’s like when I got off stage, I was on this high, and I’d come back to my room and I’d be alone, so I would just do things. My bulimia was my addiction; hurting myself was my addiction.

This Behind The Music special will air Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on VH1, so if you’re interested in hearing the full story from Scherzinger herself, check it out. [via Jezebel]

As I’ve said before, bulimia is a health- and heart-crushing illness, so it deeply saddens me to hear of a singer — one who hid it so well with her great voice and publicly cheery personality — suffering from it, particularly with such voracity. And as Jezebel noted, Scherzinger is not alone: many female celebrities have recently come out with stories of eating disorders. From famed news anchor Katie Couric to ultimate celebrity of this age Lady Gaga, many well-known people are revealing their difficult pasts with eating disordered illnesses.

I sort of hope this is like when a famous person comes out as gay and a couple other celebrities suddenly do, too, perhaps because it feels like it’s less taboo when more do it simultaneously. It’s not as though I hope more famous people have eating disorders, but I strongly doubt that these women are, somehow, the only ones; the more that are public about it, the more national attention eating disorders will receive, the less taboo they become and the easier it is to obtain help for those who need it, as well as a larger focus on prevention.

Image via jailpals.