Leona Lewis has branded Jamelia insecure.

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The X Factor winner was stunned when Jamelia described her as a “poor man’s Mariah Carey” but believes she only made the hurtful comment because she is worried about her own career.

She said: “If people are being horrible to you, it stems from their own insecurities. Jamelia said some nasty things about me, which hurt as I’ve never met her. I don’t know if she definitely said it, but if she did it’s sad. Us girls should support each other. I still think she’s good and I wouldn’t say anything bad about her.”

Jamelia first criticised Leona several months after she won The X Factor in December 2006, claiming her talent was being over-hyped by her manager Simon Cowell.

The Thank You singer said at the time: “When Simon stops all this stupid hype about her, that’s when we’ll see if she can deliver. Like every artist Simon has, she’ll fade into obscurity eventually. Leona is a poor man’s Mariah Carey.

“Simon’s lost it. He is disrespectful. Leona may be talented, but she’s not worked as hard as me or others in the industry – fact!”

Soon after Jamelia’s comments, Leona released her second single Bleeding Love, which became the biggest-selling track of 2007. She was then nominated for four BRIT Awards.

Leona’s double A-side single, Footprints In The Sand and Better In Time, which will raise money for British charity campaign Sport Relief, is released on March 10.