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X Factor star Lloyd Daniels has spoken out about his time on the show – telling fans he felt pressured to keep his sexuality a secret.
The singer, who is now openly gay, says when he was on Simon Cowell's hit series in the final 12 it was made clear to him being out could hinder his career.
Lloyd was 16 in 2009 when he appeared on the show with Cheryl as his mentor.
Speaking during an Instagram live session with charity Spirit of Stonewall, Lloyd said: "I met someone on the show and we really clicked.
"I'd never had that emotion towards guys. I knew it was more than a friendship and it slowly unfolded. I ended up being with them for over a year.
"It was odd to accept it because I was going through a huge change in my life joining the music industry, I thought 'am I going mad?' I felt off-colour."
The Welsh star added he wasn't officially pushed into silence, but he was strongly advised.
Lloyd, now 28, said: "The hardest part about it was not being able to talk about it.
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"I won't say I was under oath, but to that somewhat extent I couldn't talk about it because of my status.
"I had to aim my marketing towards teenage girls, that was what was going to sell the whole 'Lloyd Daniels, X Factor self'.
"I felt really suppressed, like I wasn't being my true self.
"It was really, really hard. I totally get that's how the music industry works. It's different now to how it was ten years ago."
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A rep for The X Factor and Simon Cowell has been contacted by Daily Star for comment.
Lloyd's claims come after infamous X Factor duo went on a Twitter rampage with a string of allegations about the show.
The TV duo accused Simon Cowell of acting like a 'mafia boss' and alleged that contestants were pushed to their limits during their time on the show.
John and Edward added on social media that their biggest regret in life was not telling the judges to "f*** off".
In a previous statement, X Factor insisted the welfare of their contestants was their priority.
They said: "Duty of care to our contestants is of the utmost importance to us.
"We take welfare very seriously and have measures in place to ensure that they are supported.”
- X Factor
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