Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall has denied her band has a “personal vendetta” against Simon Cowell after splitting from his record label.
The girl group – Thirlwall, Jesy Nelson, Perrie Edwards and Leigh-Anne Pinnock – left Syco Music for the RCA label in November 2018.
Cowell later launched another version of the X Factor, called The Band, to rival the girl group’s upcoming talent show on the BBC, The Search.
Speaking to Radio Times, Thirlwall said: “I think with Simon it’s all fun and games. We’ve got no personal vendetta against him.
“We moved on and, to be fair, over the years we didn’t actually see him that much. We’re not ones to hold grudges.”
Earlier this year, Cowell announced plans to “rest” the X Factor for 12 months after a decline in viewing figures, with spin-offs Celebrity and The Band failing to stem the losses.
Speaking about their own show, Edwards said: “The best revenge is success.”
Little Mix formed on The X Factor in 2011 and have become one of the country’s biggest-selling girl bands.
Thirlwall recalled the band’s treatment as young artists.
She told the magazine: “At the beginning we were so scared of pissing anyone off and damaging our career, so we did what we were told.
“We didn’t even realise we had a choice, it was pitched as not having one, so you sign what you are told to and you go along with it.
“As the years went on, we started to realise we didn’t like that.
“It took a while for people to not see us as little girls.
“We are (physically) small and look quite young, so it took some time for us to be able to say ‘no’.
“I remember in one meeting with one of the head guys and I tried saying, ‘Can we just come to some kind of compromise here?’ and he was like, ‘How dare you? It’s not about compromise, this is what we are doing.’
“I left that meeting crying my eyes out and ringing my mum.
“It took a while to be like, ‘Actually, f*** you. I’m just as entitled to an opinion as you are.’
“The industry is very much dominated by older men and for a while we did feel intimidated by it.
“The minute we started to say ‘no’, a weight was lifted off our shoulders.”
Cowell’s representatives have been contacted for comment.
Read the full interview in Radio Times, out now.