Tula Paulinea "Tulisa" Contostavlos (born 13 July 1988) is an English singer-songwriter and actress of Greek and Irish descent. She is best known for being a member of the Camden-based hip hop group N-Dubz, with her cousin Dappy and their friend Fazer.Tulisa is also currently a judge on the eighth series of The X Factor.
Life and career
1988 – 2008: Tulisa was born in Camden Town, North London, to Anne Byrne (who was formerly a member of 80s band Jeep, with her three sisters, before Tulisa was born) and Steve (Plato) Contostavlos (also part of Mungo Jerry). Tulisa is an only child and lived with her parents near to the other N-Dubz members Dappy and Fazer. When she was five, her mother was sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Tulisa's parents separated when her father left home when she was nine years old. She became a carer for her mother who has bipolar disorder and was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder when Tulisa was a baby. Tulisa said she was brought up in a council estate and experienced a lot as a teenager: violence, depression, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, anorexia nervosa, mental health issues, financial difficulties and bullying. She started her secondary education at La Sainte Union Catholic Secondary School for girls, but at thirteen she was withdrawn and "on the edge of suicide". She revealed that she twice tried to kill herself as a teenager and also used to self-harm to try and help her cope with everything she was going through. With support from her uncle and N-Dubz's former manager Byron Contostavlos she then tried to put her life back on track and at fourteen years old enrolled in the same school as Dappy and Fazer, Haverstock Secondary School, which they had been attending since they were twelve, later going to Quintin Kynaston School in St John's Wood. She did not sit her GCSE examinations. She described her school experience on Twitter as, "really hard, but I'm not sad about my life. Everything happens for a reason and I wouldn't take back one bad thing, because it's made me who I am and look at me now, how could I complain?"
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