Frankie Cocozza: X Factor bosses told me I'd be safe after cocaine shame
Former 'The X Factor' contestant Frankie Cocozza claims he was told by show bosses his cocaine use "wouldn't get out".
The 23-year-old singer was given the boot from the talent contest in 2011 after news that he had used the class A drug on a night out leaked to the press, but the only proof of the scandal was his own confession, which he volunteered during a private meeting.
Speaking about his time on Simon Cowell's talent show during an interview on 'This Morning,' he said: "I loved it, I had the time of my life, it was amazing, great fun. But with the whole cocaine thing, there was no proof or anything. I don't know why they decided to release that. They said they wouldn't in the last meeting. They said, 'Look, we've heard that you've done it'. And all it was, was me admitting it. I said, 'There's no proof or anything, is everyone going to find out?' And they said 'No'. And then on the way home it was all over the papers. I held my hands up though and said I've got to leave (the show), I've got to go."
Frankie - who hails from Brighton - found the attention he received afterwards from the press and the public "horrible" and says he hit rock bottom, after his best friend Connor died from a punch to the head.
He told presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield: "It was horrible. I was 19 and I had £200,000 in the bank.... I liked going out and I did like some of the stuff that I shouldn't have liked and it did get really bad... I lost my best mate Connor. It was a single punch and he died. He was the best person I've ever met.
"There was times that I would just wake up and was crying and I just didn't know what was going on. It would last for weeks and I would talk to my dad and he said 'What about counselling'."
Frankie is currently the lead singer of British Pop-Rock band The Telescreen, and says he doesn't blame 'The X Factor' for his downfall.
He added: "It's just so dangerous and you don't think about these things. I'm not saying like it was because of all of that, that I went a bit mental, but you don't think about it. Being on the street, people were looking at me, and it was really horrible."