The ex-Sugababe, 30, feared fans hated her after she was arrested several times and then convicted of drink-driving.
Lifting the lid on her troubled past, Amelle said: “I read stuff about myself that was so awful. If the person I was reading about was someone else I wouldn’t like that girl. I’d be thinking ‘Really – she got in her car and drove like that?’
“I felt like I had to explain myself to everyone. It got to the point where I just couldn’t do it any more.”
Amelle hit the headlines in 2007 and 2008 when she was arrested for alleged assault and criminal damage, with all charges later being dropped.
But her image suffered a massive blow in 2010 when she admitted drink-driving and was banned.
Amelle said: “In life you have to admit your faults and just deal with it. I was told I could try and get off the charge because I was only just over the limit.“In life you have to admit your faults and just deal with it”Amelle Berrabah
“I’d been out and went home and slept and then woke up and drove – I didn’t drive home from a night out.
“But I wanted to put my hands up and admit what I’d done.
“The thing about being in the public eye is if you make a mistake it follows you for the rest of your life. You have fewer chances.”
Amelle is hoping her stint on new BBC1 reality show Tumble will restore her reputation.
She said: “Being in Sugababes is like a tattoo – people think we’re very serious no matter how smiley we are.
“I think I got the brunt of it more than the other girls. But now people see me on my own and they’re saying ‘You’re different from what I expected’. It would be nice to be known for who I really am.”
Training for the gymnastics contest, which launches next Saturday, has already seen Amelle suffer a crippling injury that has left her with permanent damage.
“It’s much bigger than the other ankle now and it’s going to stay that way. I’m disfigured for the rest of my life.
“Training is very gruelling. I’m seeing the physio twice a week. It’s physically exhausting and a test of your mind as well.”
Amelle has sometimes been in tears training for four hours a day over the past two months.
But she is determined to compete in honour of her dad who died from cancer in 2002.
She said: “I know he’ll be watching and I know he’ll be giving a little kick to say ‘You can do this’. I think about him every day because everything reminds me of him. I try to make him proud every day.”