Belfast Telegraph

Max Stone: I was bullied

The X Factor's Max Stone has opened up about the tough times he faced at school.

The X Factor's Max Stone turned to drugs and self-harm in a bid to change his personality after being brutally bullied at school.

The singing hopeful has made it through to the live shows in Simon Cowell's Overs category, despite the music mogul slamming him for being boring and showing no enthusiasm earlier in the contest. Max has now opened up about why he seems so calm, explaining it's a by-product of his childhood.

"I lost myself completely. I started to hang with the wrong friends," he told Britain's The Mirror newspaper

“I went out and built this ego around fighting a lot and doing drugs and it got worse and worse and lost myself. It got dark. I got to the point where I thought there was no hope. Sooner or later I’m going to die."

Max told Britain's The Sun newspaper he was victimised "for years", which is why he tried to "tone down" his personality, resulting in him cutting his arms when he was a teenager. At 14 he was already smoking marijuana.

The 27-year-old star is now doing much better and has a girlfriend of five years called Eleanor, who he credits with getting him back on the straight and narrow. Being away from her for the show is incredibly tough, not least because she is worried the experience will change him. He's tries his best to reassure her that's not the case, with the couple talking through how their lives will alter now he's well known.

Those who were selected for the final stage of the singing contest found out during live shows over the weekend (24-25Oct15), with Bupsi Brown and Anton Stephans joining Max in his group. Rita Ora opted for Kiera Weathers, Lauren Murray and Louisa Johnson for the Girls, with Nick Grimshaw's Boys category made up of Che Chesterman, Seann Miley Moore and Mason Noise. Cheryl Fernandez-Versini has gone with 4th Impact, Alien Uncovered and Reggie n Bollie.

It was the first time this part of the show had been done live, with the episodes not going down well with fans. Hosts Olly Murs and Caroline Flack have been widely panned for being disorganised and talking over each other.

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