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Nicole Scherzinger for HELLO! Magazine
Mar 13 2015

It is the aftermath of a spectacular sunset over the exclusive Nichols Canyon area in Los Angeles that Nicole Scherzinger calls home. Beyond its imposing facade, her house — perched at the highest point of a private estate — is bathed in a dusky light so faint one can barely make out the furniture in the elaborately decorated living room. Nicole, 36, apologises for meeting HELLO! under the cloak of near-darkness.

“I don’t want to turn the lights on as the place is such a mess,” she says. “I’ve been away for four months. Everything’s still in boxes upstairs, and I don’t even want to think about what it looks like down here.”
Nicole is returning to her sanctuary after a long day shooting a TV commercial for Midler desserts. She is also busy with rehearsals for a performance with Gary Barlow of numbers from a musical version of Around the World in 80 Days at a glitzy pre-Oscars bash.

“I’m a workaholic,” Nicole says. “If I ever have a break in my schedule I just want to sleep or lie in the sun listening to music. Usually I can’t doze off, though, and I end up just checking emails. It’s so hard to switch off.”

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TIME FOR CHANGE
Nicole recently took her final bow after a triumphant two-month stint as Grizabella in Cats in London’s West End, which she calls a “transformative time” in her life.

“The people in theatre are so lovely, they’re like family. It’s so different to my other worlds of TV and the music industry — there, they eat you alive,” she laughs. “The hardest part of Cats was doing eight shows a week and making sure that I gave the audience the most raw, authentic performance every night. The character goes deep and is very intense. It was a perfect run for me, two months, because I would never want to give anybody less than 110 per cent on each performance. I wanted to make sure there wasn’t a dry eye in the house every time.”

Sadly, Nicole herself is no stranger to tears, having recently split with Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton, her on-off boyfriend of seven years. “I’m devastated that it didn’t work out,” Nicole said at the time. “It was the hardest derision we had to make, but we made it together.” Memories of their time together are impossible to ignore. Only last week Nicole spent a few days with friends in Venice, having visited the Italian city of romance last June with Lewis, enjoying candlelit dinners and gondola rides together.

Toying with the Chanel necklace draped between her delicate shoulders, Nicole’s eyes moisten when asked how she dealt with the heartbreak.

“For anybody going through a hard time… you feel broken,” she says. “It’s about piecing yourself back together and just focusing on you. Working on yourself, getting whole, getting strong, taking care of yourself, loving yourself, having self acceptance. Finding your worth again, whatever that is — take some selfies in good lighting, put some cute contour on your face, take some Instagram pits, have a margarita… whatever it takes to boost your self-esteem.”

 

FAITH IN THE FUTURE
A devout Catholic, Nicole attributes much of her strength to her religious beliefs. “I pray a lot — my faith is probably the best thing about me. But you have to really sit down and figure out what you’re meant for — go figure out a plan of how you’re going to go for that.

“You have to work on yourself, not focus on the other person. If you do that you’re going to stay the old you and you are not winning —other people are winning and you are not. You can’t dwell on the past. There’s a Hawaiian saying that translates as ‘move forward against the wind’. Just one foot in front of another, ust keep moving forward.”
She pauses, before hinting that a reconciliation with Lewis, 30, may not be out of the question. “It’s okay to let go,” she says. “Because the people who are meant to be in your life will come back.”

For now, the newly single singer has surrounded herself with female friends. “I am very close to Sharon Osbourne — I can tell her anything. She’s really like my LA mom,” Nicole says. “And there’s my friend Katie [Morris]. We met on a show called Popstars, auditioning to be in a band that I ended up being in. I didn’t have very many fans on the show and she was always so supportive and so kind to me — she stayed my friend, faithfully.

“It’s funny, growing up I thought I was more of a guy’s girl, but now, I am all about the girls. I’ll do anything to help other women.”
Few women wouldn’t want to know the secret of the former Pussycat Doll’s enviable figure. “Like every woman, I can fluctuate kin five to ten pounds here and there,” she says.”I try to keep things in moderation, though, and I like to stay active. I do yoga, spinning, jogging, and intervals of weight training and cardio.”

Self-deprivation is not on the menu, however. “I am such a foodie,” she says. “My ideal night out would be a beautiful dinner, Italian or Japanese, and then either go and watch a movie, or have a walk on the beach… later on, maybe go and eat some more at a late-night Mexican, or a diner for breakfast, and come home and watch a romantic comedy.”
Does this mean her party days are behind her? “Don’t get me wrong, I love to go dancing. But with the right fellowship and good people around you, a beautiful dinner is everything — with a nice bottle of vino,” she says.

Nicole is able to indulge her “very sweet tooth” as the face of Milller’s new Piid Corner. “I love the Muller campaigns, I feel that they really allow me to be myself and use my Nicole-isms’,” she says. “When people see pictures of me they think I’m being all sassy, but in reality, I’m just a goofball.”

Sense of humour aside, what qualities does she most value in herself? “I’m compassionate and I see the good in everybody— I love to lift people up,” she says. Best friend Katie chimes in: “She wants everyone to be the best version of themselves. She’s the most loyal friend. She’s there for you before she has to be.”

Nicole modestly tones down the adulation. “I’m a terrible procrastinator. I’m very bad with time,” she adds, though she could easily add generosity to the list of admirable traits. “I bought my parents a home in Hawaii,” she says. “That was pretty massive for all of us. For myself, my last big indulgence was buying some really nice sheets from Italy. They’re so nice that they’re still in their package. I’ll have to wait for a special occasion to use those sheets.”

 

MAKING DREAMS COME TRUE
Despite all she has achieved in music, TV and theatre, Nicole still harbours a few ambitions. “I feel like I’m just in the beginning. It has always been a dream of mine to do a movie musical and I’d love to do more musical theatre,” she tells us.

“I want to continue in my recording career and have a world tour. I want to do more philanthropic work. I feel like there’s so much more to do.”

And that could be easier now Nicole has learnt self-acceptance. “If I could talk to my younger self, I would have so much to say. I was always very hard on myself. It robbed me of my experiences and any happiness and joy, as I was too focused on how I could be better. I was very insatiable, and nothing was ever enough. I was never enough…”

She trails off, seemingly lost in her thoughts. “I would say, `You are enough.’ Don’t be so hard on yourself, give yourself permission to love yourself.” She refers to a Buddha quote she recently read. “It said, ‘In the end, only three things matter— how much you loved, how gently you lived and how gracefully you let go of the things not meant for you.’ I thought that was really beautiful.”

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