21/03/2012 07:48 GMT | Updated 21/03/2012 07:53 GMT

JLS' Aston Merrygold Heartbroken Over Sister's Bully Torment

JLS' lives have changed rather dramatically since coming second on The X Factor in 2008 - but their success has come at a price as Aston Merrygold has learnt.

The singer has spoken about about the torment his younger sister Courtney faced, after school bullies targeted her due to her brother's fame.

Aston told The Mirror : "Everything looks great on the outside, but stuff happens behind closed doors that isn't always so great.

"And my little sister being bullied was one of them. I was bullied a little when I was younger, but what tipped me over the edge was her. It was hard for people around us to get to grips with our success, and my sister got bullied as a result."

Aston also admitted that he and his fellow bandmates Marvin Humes, Ortise Williams and JB Gill have all suffered from racist abuse online.

"It's pathetic that people have got so much time and energy to put into negativity. When we were starting out you couldn't help but read all these negative comments on the internet.

"I'd ask myself, 'Why would someone hate me so much?' It is hard... We've had racist abuse be it on YouTube or Twitter, all the troll stuff. It's wrong, awful."

Aston is the latest in a long line of stars to speak out about internet trolls.

Fellow X Factor star Cher Lloyd has previously been very vocal about online bullying after suffering on-going taunts.

She recently told BBC's Panorama: "I must get at least ten tweets a day saying I'm a dirty pikey. I think they know it's going to get to me, or because they know they can.

"There have been many times when I've cried myself to sleep. I'm very scared because I like to think people think I'm strong, because if they don't, then they might not think I can do it... Some days I wish that people would leave me alone for a bit and for there to be a hole to suck me in."

Only this week, TV and radio presenter Richard Bacon told of how he had gone to the police over a threat to his family.

"You have got to try and work out where critical comment crosses over into harassment.

"I wanted to know how a dislike of a radio station could go to contacting my family and tweeting about my baby," he said on Monday night's The Unsocial Network.

"But the advice I got from a psychologist and a police officer was to make an official complaint, so I'm in the process right now of making a complaint to the police."