X Factor champ James Arthur’s life – sex addict, Rita Ora regret and troll hell

James Arthur shot to fame 11 years ago after winning The X Factor – and his time in the spotlight has been anything but straight-forward.

The singer, who turned 35 this week, received the most public votes against Jahméne Douglas in the tense final.

He was the first ever winner of the show to have previously been in the bottom two.

READ MORE: X Factor's James Arthur unrecognisable as he's forced to shut down Masked Singer rumours

Over the past decade, James has bravely opened up about his mental health struggles and has been targeted by evil social media trolls over his appearance.

As James turns another year older, Daily Star has taken a look inside his life.

Family life

Growing up, James entered part-time voluntary foster care aged 14.

His mum Shirley Ashworth and dad Neil Arthur split up when he was two years old but they both attended his X Factor audition together for support.

James has four sisters and a brother and last year he announced the arrival of his daughter.

The Say You Won't Let Go hitmaker shocked fans when he shared an adorable picture of his newborn daughter Emily's face for the first time in November 2022.

Rita Ora regret

After winning the X Factor, James penned a autobiogprahy, Back To The Boy, in 2017 where he opened up about his mental health and love life.

In his memoir, James claims that he shared "magic" evenings with pop sensation Rita.

However, after "amazing nights together" and even a declaration of love by the blonde bombshell, she eventually broke off contact, leaving him “heartbroken".

"It hit me really hard,” claimed James. “If I’m honest, I became a bit of a sl*g after Rita."

James has since expressed regret over claiming Rita turned him into a sex addict.

Sex addiction

James went on become addicted to weed and sex as a result of feeling lonely, isolated and depressed.

He wrote in his book: "I started bingeing on sex.

"I became as addicted to sex as I was to weed. I craved sex, I had to have it and I needed it to fill the void and make myself feel better.

"I was chatting to hundreds of women online or on WhatsApp after swapping numbers with them via Twitter, and I started to sleep with so many of them I lost count.

"They were usually the same type — Babestation girls or glamour models. If I saw someone I fancied I’d contact her on social media and tell her blatantly I wanted to have sex."

Trolling hell

Back in 2019, James quit Twitter after being "hurt" by online trolls.

He said at the time that the abuse directed at him had gone too far and told nasty online users that if that was their aim, they had won.

The musician tweeted: "Have to be honest some of the things I read on here go a bit too far and quite frankly f***** hurt, if that was your goal you win.

“Maybe I should have thicker skin at this point I don’t know but either way this is my last tweet, I’m logging off."

He added: “All posts will be done by digital team moving forward.

"Thanks for all the love and support shown by fans on this platform over the years it’s been emotional but I’ve gotta delete this app. Much love and respect JA."

James has since returned to Twitter.


James looks completely different now compared to his X Factor days.

He recently took part in a special celebrity football match in aid of brave young cancer patient Rio Spurr.

He appeared on the pitch alongside the likes of I'm A Celebrity's Owen Warner, TOWIE's Dan Osborne and EastEnders star Dean Gaffney at Altrincham Football Club.

Hollyoaks actor Owen shared a series of snaps from the match on Instagram and some fans couldn't get over how different James looked as he sported curly, long locks.

One fan penned: "I thought that was James Arthur for a minute."

Another added: "It looks like James Arthur."

A third person said: "Is that James Arthur?"

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