Cher Lloyd says fame is ''mentally damaging''.

The 26-year-old singer - who has 23-month-old daughter Delilah-Rae with her husband Craig Monk - shot to fame as a teenager when she appeared on UK singing competition 'The X Factor' in 2010, and says that whilst becoming a pop star was a ''dream'' come true, the pressures of fame quickly became a ''nightmare''.

Recalling the early days of her success, she said: ''I was a naive 16 year old, who came from such a small shielded town where bad things didn't happen, and I think I found it more difficult going on to a show like that because of where I was from and my background.

''I could deal with the pressures of performing at the drop of a hat, that wasn't the part I struggled with - anything creative was a dream for me.

''When it came to the world of showbiz and gossip, that's when it started to crumble and the dream turned into a little bit of nightmare. I feel like I was thrown to the wolves and it was so mentally damaging.''

The 'None of My Business' singer finished in fourth place on the show, and as she began to pave her way in the music industry, she found herself suffering a daily onslaught of online abuse including racism and death threats.

In 2012, the singer was forced off stage at V Festival after audience members threw bottles of urine at her, and Cher now admits the abuse left her feeling ''lonely''.

She added: ''I spent most nights crying in hotel rooms - sure, they were fantastic five-star hotels, but I was so lonely. I didn't trust anyone. I thought everyone was out to get me or wanted to take the p**s out of me and ruin whatever dream I had.''

And even a decade on from her appearance on 'The X Factor', Cher still feels ''disappointed'' in the way she was treated.

Speaking to The Sun on Sunday's Fabulous magazine, she explained: ''I'm more disappointed that it was OK to do that to a human being, and that talent could be overlooked because people wanted to create a character. And even 10 years later, I'm still having to prove to people that that person wasn't me. The things that happened to me back then would not be allowed to happen today. It feels tacky and gross and we don't want to sit and laugh at other people.''