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Entertainment Weekly

Music

Inside Fifth Harmony’s tense final days with Camila Cabelllo

Rich Polk/Getty Images

After Fifth Harmony members surprised fans on Sunday with news that member Camila Cabello would be leaving the group, the singer posted on social media Monday to refute her ex-groupmates’ claims that they were icily informed about the change.

Fifth Harmony’s statement, posted on social media, said Cabello told her groupmates “via her representatives” that she was moving on, but Cabello has denied that: “Saying they were informed through my representatives that I was ‘leaving the group’ is simply not true,” she tweeted.

Cabello’s final days with Fifth Harmony have been fraught with drama, EW has learned, and her departure comes after many weeks of tension among remaining members Lauren Jauregui, Ally Brooke, Dinah Jane, and Normani Hamilton. A source says the group attempted to meet with Cabello “for months” to discuss the group’s upcoming plans for 2017, but she declined. The members went so far as to ask Epic label head Antonio “LA” Reid, who they met while they were contestants on The X-Factor, to step in.

“She wouldn’t meet with them,” says the source. “They called LA Reid as a last resort and were like, ‘We need a mediator.’ She didn’t show up to meetings or mediator meetings even after LA Reid was involved. Reid was last resort. She wouldn’t sit down with the group for group therapy.” (Reid’s rep did not respond to EW’s request for comment.)

The group confirmed these intended meetings in a second note posted to Twitter late Monday night when they wrote, “We have tried with exhausted efforts and hearts to keep this group alive as the five of us, and we want to be very clear that unfortunately those efforts were not mutual.”

A second source counters, “Camila had multiple meetings with the group in the past, including with intermediaries, however they were unproductive. And more recently she spoke with them on an individual basis.”

While each member has had individual pursuits outside of Fifth Harmony — Cabello put out duets with Shawn Mendes and Machine Gun Kelly; Jauregui released a song with Marien Hill; Brooke is an ambassador to the non-profit March of Dimes — the first source says their solo careers weren’t a major source of contention, and Fifth Harmony had hoped to continue working as a group. “[Cabello’s] solo career is not the issue,” says the first source. “The issue is how she handled herself over the past year. The secrecy and not knowing what’s coming, that’s the issue. They needed to map out a plan [for 2017] and she wasn’t having it.”

Cabello may be moving on, but Fifth Harmony will continue to release new music, produce new shows, and keep their numerated name. In fact, Hamilton told fans during a Jingle Ball performance in December that the group was prepping a follow-up to 2016’s 7/27. And while the first source says Cabello isn’t featured on the new recordings, “the four girls are planning new music together.”

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