Ally Brooke kicked off her eponymous podcast with a candid reflection on her Fifth Harmony days, which she described as “traumatizing.”
On the first episode of her new podcast The Ally Brooke Show, Ally Brooke opens up about the mental and verbal “abuse” she allegedly suffered while in Fifth Harmony.
For the first time, the 27-year-old singer talked about her time with former bandmates Normani, Lauren Jauregui, Camila Cabello and Dinah Jane in the hourlong “My Time in Fifth Harmony / I Believe in Miracles!” episode that premiered Wednesday. Despite praising them for being the biggest girl group of the 2010s that will “be in the history books,” she says, Brooke shed light on some of the darker moments she experienced.
“I hate saying this: My time in Fifth Harmony, I didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t love it,” she confessed. “It was hard because there was so much going on. So much behind the scenes, so much toxicity, so much abuse, so much abuse of power, so much mental abuse, verbal abuse. And it’s just horrible and to me, it’s a shame because we were so big. I should have enjoyed myself more.”
Brooke was also candid about the “competitive” environment the girls were in, including the “fight for our lives” to see who got to sing the good parts of a song, and the environment felt hostile. “There was such inappropriateness, too, within the label — talking to us a certain way, talking to me a certain way, making me feel uncomfortable, making me feel inferior and knowing that they can make me feel that way because I was a woman,” she said.
She told Extra on Thursday about the “inappropriateness” she experienced. Brooke recalled at one point how she approached a male executive for help when the girl group was going through a breaking point, and how his alleged behavior ended up making her feel “helpless.”
“There was a lot happening within the group, and we were kind of breaking, and I went to this executive for help. This person said, ‘Oh yes, I can help you. No problem.’ And I felt so much comfort in going to someone,” the “No Good” singer recalled in the interview. “This man, he approached me with a thong. That was the first thing that he gave me. When you go to someone for help and all they meet you with is inappropriateness, it’s horrible … I felt embarrassed, ashamed. I felt helpless.”
Brooke also told Extra’s Jenn Lahmers that sharing the ups and downs she faced in 5H in her new podcast allows her to be more “vulnerable,” which she’s felt very nervous about, and be “real and raw with my fans.” She also points out in her own podcast what she hopes listeners will take away from it while sharing an important reminder for other female artists in the business.
“I’m so thankful I survived that period in my life, and again, I take the blessings with Fifth Harmony and the lessons, because I learned a lot of lessons,” Brooke said in the first podcast episode. “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, there’s a better way to live and to thrive in this industry. And we as women, we deserve our respect.”
Billboard has reached out to Fifth Harmony’s labels, as well as reps for Normani, Jauregui, Cabello and Jane.