X Factor finalist Tamera Foster has spoken out about her recent bad press, saying her critics are ‘totally wrong’ about her.

The 16-year-old singer – one of six remaining acts in the competition – has been dogged by controversy since first appearing on the show after she confessed to smoking cannabis and being in trouble with the police for assaulting another teenager.

An incident in which she was caught shoplifting in Gravesend, Kent, also came to light in recent weeks.

However speaking to the Sunday People the 16-year-old singer admitted she suffered from trust issues after growing up without her father around.

“I haven’t known my dad, he left my mum before I was one, so I’m very conscious of who I let in,” Tamera explained.

“I feel afraid to let myself go completely in front of the cameras because when I started out I got so much bad press. Many people judged me before they even had a chance to get to know me.”

She admitted things had been tough, adding: “I’m 16 and I’ve just finished school. I don’t know anything about this industry.

“It’s a learning curve. I’m still trying to discover who I am.”

She also insisted she was “not a villain”, saying: It’s not nice when you read false accusations and I haven’t been able to put my side.”

“People have got me ­completely wrong. I’m not the horrible person I’ve been painted as. I want to show ­everyone the real Tamera.”

The singer disappointed the judges on Saturday night’s tenth anniversary X Factor after forgetting the lyrics to James Arthur’s Impossible mid-performance – the third time she has struggled over a song since the series began.