James Arthur is set to have it out with his parents in a new documentary about being placed into foster care as a teenager.
The star was placed into care at the age of 14, and now says that he needs to open up about the decades of ‘trauma’ that he claims he has suffered since then.
On that show, he’ll have a look at the lasting impact made by his mum and dad’s decision to give him up at such a formative time in his life, as well as the mental health problems he’s suffered since then.
Arthur came to fame on The X Factor back in 2012, but has also had a longstanding battle with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, leaving him – at times – unable to leave his bedsit and grappling with suicidal thoughts.
So, he’s heading back to the North East of England to confront his past and try to gain some closure on the years of struggle.
He told The Sun: “I decided that, to tackle my mental health issues, had to start by going back to my hometown to revisit my past, and the separation from my parents.”
Even though he plans to face his demons, the singer admits to not having ‘gone there fully’ when it comes to his parents.
“I need to talk to my dad. With mum, I don’t know if I’ve ever got closure from her – to hear her say 'sorry' without hearing a ‘but’," he said.
James is now living back up in Redcar, having left the South of England after feeling ‘isolated’.
He hopes that the move back up the road will allow him to get a better grasp on ‘who he is’ and see him surrounded by the folks who knew him as the ‘weird little ADHD kid’ that he was during his earlier years.
His parents separated when he was just two years old, with delivery driver Neil and his mum Shirley both finding new partners and remarrying fairly quickly.
Shirley’s partner and James’ stepdad Ronnie Rafferty then ‘disappeared’ and left her to raise four children on her own, which was seriously tough to cope with.
In fact, at an emergency social care meeting a year later, James’ parents admitted they were unable to do it.
So, at the age of 14 James was placed into foster care.
By the age of 20 he was living in a bedsit and suffering with depression, but he found a way out on the TV talent show and managed to get signed by Simon Cowell’s SyCo label.
However, negative publicity followed, leading SyCo to drop him.
Now, he’s managed to get a second chance and has joined up with the label once again.
The documentary James Arthur: Out of Our Minds will air on BBC Three on November 13.