X Factor 2012: James Arthur reveals desperate measures he took just to live while homeless
During last night’s X Factor auditions show, the judges and the audience were absolutely wowed by singer James Arthur – I was moved to tears! – who performed a mash-up rendition of Tulisa’s hit, Young.
And as we in his pre-audition VT, James’ proud mum and dad had accompanied him to the auditions, which as James explained, was a major achievement in and of itself as his parents have sadly become estranged.
James also touched on the revelation that he voluntarily put himself into foster care to avoid “the rows at home” and added that at times, he’d “slept rough” on the streets.
But in today Daily Star, James has revealed just what desperate measures he was forced to take to survive while he was homeless.
He explained, “When I was 15 I got kicked out of my mum’s house and ended up sleeping rough. It didn’t matter where I slept – a sofa or a park bench…
“I wasn’t sleeping rough for long and was housed pretty quickly in foster care. But it did get to the point when I was having to steal food to eat.
“I would go to the supermarket and fill up a bag so I could eat for the week.”
James’ parents split up when he was just two, and at the age of ten, he moved to Bahrain with his mum when she remarried. But after four years, his mum and step-dad also split, and James and his mother moved back home to Middlesbrough.
He said, “The contrast between lifestyles was a shock when I got back. It was luxurious with swimming pools and we had people come do the housework.
“I was in a lot of trouble at school. Things were going wrong in my personal life so I was taking it out at school.
“I was getting thrown out of class, getting into fights, trouble seemed to find me. I was playing truant.
“I got arrested a few times for stealing drink and got a caution. I also got my wrist slapped for fighting on a night out.
“My mum couldn’t cope with me and I couldn’t stay with my dad. I was unbearable. My mum had every right not to be able to cope with me. She had other kids to look after.
“I missed a male role model. I was angry with my mum and thought all my problems were her fault, which I realise they weren’t now.
“I never had a chance to build a proper relationship with my dad when I was younger.”
However, happily, James added, “I’m now older and wiser and appreciate the importance of family.
“I was tormented but I’m not any more. We are all in contact now.
“I finally got myself together and got in a place where I felt like I could audition and I wanted both my mum and dad to be with me.
“I was going through a bit of an epiphany at the time of X Factor.
“I wanted to go back through all my issues and resolve things with my family and that’s what we’ve done.”
Aww that’s so good to hear. What did you think of James’ audition last night?
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