Fifth Harmony’s Ally Brooke Says There Was ‘So Much Mental, Verbal Abuse’ During Her Time in the Group

Fifth Harmony was a girl group who rose to fame in the early 2010s after being formed on the American version of The X Factor. Their music attracted a lot of attention, and they had notable hit singles such as “Boss,” “Sledgehammer,” “Worth It,” and “Work From Home.”

Fifth Harmony’s success was also accompanied by many dark moments behind the scenes. Member Ally Brooke recently shared that she experienced “mental, verbal abuse” during her time in the group.

Ally Brooke close up
Ally Brooke | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Fifth Harmony went on hiatus in 2018

Fifth Harmony made their debut in 2013 shortly after finishing third on The X Factor. The group spent the next few years releasing music and touring. They even went through a lineup change in 2016 when Camila Cabello left.

In 2018, Fifth Harmony announced the group would go on an indefinite hiatus.

“After six years going hard, non stop, we also realized that in order to stay authentic to ourselves and to you, we do need to take some time for now to go on hiatus from Fifth Harmony in order to pursue solo endeavors,” the group said in a statement.

Although Fifth Harmony called their break a “hiatus,” many fans and news outlets (such as Billboard) have said the move was likely to be a permanent split.

In any case, all the members of Fifth Harmony have gone on to release solo music.

Ally Brooke recalled her ‘traumatizing’ time in Fifth Harmony

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Being in Fifth Harmony was no doubt a huge stepping stone for the members. However, Brooke has talked about how “traumatizing” the experience was for her.

She shared on the first episode of her podcast The Ally Brooke Show, “I’m going to say how proud I am of Fifth Harmony, of what we did, of what we did for music, what we did for female empowerment, what we did for girl groups.”

Brooke contrasted that by revealing she “did not enjoy” her time in Fifth Harmony. 

“I didn’t love it,” she said. “It was hard because there was so much going on. So much behind the scenes, so much toxicity, so much abuse… 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.”

For example, in another part of the episode, Brooke talked about how she once asked someone at her label for help with problems in Fifth Harmony only to for the experience to turn extremely negative. She explained, “I show up to meet with him and he gives me a freaking thong. I know what he was trying to do. I was humiliated.”

Brooke went on to say that she tried to be positive in public for the fans, but behind the scenes, she was dealing with insecurities and competition between the members. “It was traumatizing,” she said.

Ally Brooke previously talked about these experiences in her book

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Perhaps these revelations might not be that surprising for some fans. After all, Brooke also talked in detail about the negative aspects of life in Fifth Harmony in her 2020 book Finding Your Harmony.

As reported by E! News, Brooke wrote in the book about things such as her body image issues as well as her struggles to stay true to her faith in the fact of executives who wanted her to do the opposite.

Nonetheless, despite all the ups and downs, Brooke shared that she still has a good relationship with fellow group members Lauren Jauregui, Normani, and Dinah Jane. (It should be noted that she never mentioned Cabello by name in the book.)

“There were some difficult times in Fifth Harmony, but I chose to focus on the positive,” Brooke said. “And one thing is true: I will always have love for them. And who knows, maybe one day, we will be at a major worldwide event together as a group again.”