Nicole Scherzinger
Coping with fame: Nicole ScherzingerREUTERS/Phil McCarten

She may be one of the most successful women in showbusiness, but Nicole Scherzinger has revealed that she once struggled to cope with life in the limelight.

The former X Factor presenter who shot to fame as the lead singer of The Pussycat Dolls told the Guardian that dealing with fame during her twenties was difficult because the more the girl group accomplished, the lonelier she felt.

She said that her drive for fame and success meant she couldn't enjoy her pop-star lifestyle for many years, until she finally learnt how to "chillax".

"My twenties were fruitful but not enjoyable. Being in The Pussycat Dolls was probably my loneliest time because I was quite insatiable," she told the newspaper.

"Nothing was ever good enough, and I didn't know how to take a break. My thirties have definitely been more chillaxed,'' she added.

While the Your Love singer has now learnt to take it easier, she said she will always have the drive to succeed.

"In America, ambition is a good thing - it's hunger, it's drive. I hate it when people use the word negatively."

The 36-year-old star has also revealed a darker side to her struggle, her battle with bulimia.

"It is such a horrible, paralysing disease and it was such a dark time for me," she said. "I didn't think anyone knew in my group or in my family because I hid it that well, I was so ashamed. I knew it wasn't normal or healthy because I was hurting myself through this cycle of disordered eating. It was my drug, my addiction. It's an endless vicious cycle."

In the candid interview with Cosmopolitan magazine, she admitted: "It still is hard, and thinking about it I try not to well up."

Now the star has put all her troubles behind her and has her "crazy romantic" relationship with long-term beau, Formula 1 racer Lewis Hamilton to thank for that.

"Relationships are hard and having to hold a long-distance relationship is even harder ... But I'm good and I'm happy," she said.