Whatever Happened To The Pussycat Dolls?

Nothing screams aughts pop culture like The Pussycat Dolls. The dream project of choreographer Robin Antin, the group blossomed from their humble beginnings as an underground burlesque attraction into a bonafide music supergroup, becoming one of the best-selling girl groups of all time, per Apple Music. PCD sang and danced their way into the millennial zeitgeist, and some of the decade's hottest stars, like Paris Hilton, Christina Aguilera, and Gwen Stefani, guest performed with the group. The New York Times reported that by 2006, The Pussycat Dolls were not only selling millions of albums but were also becoming a merchandising powerhouse, lending their name and likeness to cosmetics, nightclubs, and toys. They even looked for a new group member on television with "The Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll."

After releasing two successful albums and performing across the globe, the music group called it quits in 2010. Band members Nicole Scherzinger, Carmit Bachar, Kimberly Wyatt, Melody Thornton, Ashley Roberts, and Jessica Sutta pursued solo work, some garnering more attention than others. But what exactly happened to The Pussycat Dolls after they hung up their low-rise jeans and bedazzled, cheek-bearing skirts? It turns out the group's story didn't end when they disbanded. Read on to discover whatever happened to The Pussycat Dolls and why the group's story isn't finished just yet.

PCD creator Robin Antin continues to oversee her empire

Choreographer Robin Antin started The Pussycat Dolls in the '90s as a burlesque act. She told the Los Angeles Times, "My idea, from the very beginning, was to have sort of live dolls, dancing and singing." She transformed PCD from a nightclub dance troupe to an international pop sensation. While the group's music endeavors eventually stalled, Antin has kept the group's legacy alive by design. "There might be different girls that you see in the group. I see The Pussycat Dolls living for a long time, if not forever." Antin kept to her word, debuting a new PCD lineup during a 2012 Super Bowl ad. Pussycat Doll Jessica Sutta told Heart radio that Antin was the catalyst for the band's 2019 reunion.

Antin continued working in the music business with her PCD spin-off groups Girlicious and G.R.L., but she is a choreographer and dance entrepreneur at heart. Antin shared with L.A. Style Magazine that her dance studio Playground LA is her main focus. She displays her dance skills on Instagram, teaches dance master classes, and launched Playground LA's digital platform, PGTV. Antin is not slowing down anytime soon and surely is ready to show you a thing or two about what it takes to find your inner-Pussycat Doll.

Nicole Scherzinger's powerhouse entertainment career

The Pussycat Dolls' lead singer Nicole Scherzinger was poised to be the group's breakout solo star, even while the project was at the height of its success. In 2007, Entertainment Weekly reported hopes of turning Scherzinger into a solo act, but failed singles and her continued work with PCD meant Scherzinger's debut solo album "Killer Love" didn't drop until 2011. The release of "Killer Love" was timed perfectly with her stint as judge on the wildly popular U.K. reality competition series "The X Factor." Scherzinger wasn't a stranger to reality TV — having received early exposure on first season of The WB series "Popstars" in 2001, competing on "Dancing With the Stars," and judging the NBC singing competition show "The Sing-Off" in 2010 — but "The X Factor" was the it-project that truly catapulted her into post-PCD fame.

Scherzinger kept a relentless working schedule in the 2010s, commenting to The Guardian 2019, "In the past I've said you can never work too much." In addition to her "X Factor" hosting duties, she released a second studio album, picked up an Olivier Award nomination for her role as Grizabella in the West End production of "Cats," and voiced Sina in the Disney animated feature "Moana." Along with her numerous showbiz projects, Nicole Scherzinger's relationship with Lewis Hamilton held global intrigue for years. These days, Scherzinger serves as a panelist on "The Masked Singer" and continues to act, including in NBC's "Annie Live!"

Carmit Bachar's empowering transformation

Carmit Bachar (known professionally as Carmit) performed with The Pussycat Dolls in their first incarnation as a cabaret act at Johnny Depp's nightclub The Viper Room. Carmit shared with Mr. Warburton magazine that she brought her friend Gwen Stefani to perform on stage with PCD, which transformed the troupe from scintillating nightclub novelty to international pop music sensation. Although she was one of the group's original members, Carmit was the first to leave PCD in 2008 prior to the release of their second album, "Doll Domination." She explained to Mr. Warburton magazine, "I didn't leave for any other reason than I had other projects brewing and it was a scheduling issue."

After PCD, Carmit has stayed booked and busy, releasing music both as a solo artist and with LadyStation. She also expanded her family, welcoming daughter Keala Rose in 2011 with long-time partner Kevin Whitaker. Carmit told Glamour South Africa that her daughter loves performing just like mom, sharing, "We have dance parties all the time. So we put on music and we just move and live it up. She'll start singing my song, or a Pussycat Dolls song. She's my little inspiration." 

After the collapse of The Pussycat Dolls reunion tour in 2022, Carmit confessed on "Dan Karaty: If I'm Being Honest" that her work with the group was no longer empowering her. With her schedule free, Carmit has been performing Pride shows and taking on gigs to get back onstage.

Kimberly Wyatt has become a U.K. TV star

Before Kimberly Wyatt left The Pussycat Dolls in 2010, she was already striking out on her own in the U.K., teaching master dance workshops and holding down judging duties on the dance competition series "Got to Dance." When she announced her departure from the group in an interview with Loaded Magazine, Wyatt hinted at behind-the-scenes drama, saying "I wish that it was different because I love what we do on stage. I love being a Doll, but as far as the variables off-stage are concerned — I just couldn't do it anymore" (via the Daily Mail). Perhaps she didn't want to perform her signature "standing oversplits" with the Dolls, but she certainly spread her talents in other forums.

Since her Doll days, Wyatt has made a name for herself in the United Kingdom. She's acted as a judge on "Taking the Next Step," and "Live to Dance," won the BBC's "Celebrity MasterChef" in 2015, and competed in "Dancing On Ice" in 2022. Not just a reality competition star, Wyatt honed her dramatic acting chops in the CBBC series "Almost Never" and released dance music as one-half of the music duo Her Majesty & The Wolves. While Wyatt's talents are versatile, dance remains her true love. As a mom of three, Wyatt advocates to the BBC for kids to take up dancing for good health, and she launched the Kimberly Wyatt Dance Academy "to develop growth and unlock potential as artists, athletes and people," her mission statement reads.

Melody Thornton is a true solo act

Melody Thornton's time in The Pussycat Dolls left her feeling low. She shared with the Mirror, "I lost so much confidence and felt really worthless. Because it was pointed out, over and over again, that I was the weakest link in the group." Armed with vocal prowess but perhaps lacking in dance moves, Thornton's talents were often overlooked in favor of Nicole Scherzinger's singing. In 2010, Thornton remarked to The Source about the split (which perhaps began as a break), "I'm excited about it because it's given me an opportunity to actually work just on my own direction and what I want to do, which is sing on my own."

Like other former Pussycat Dolls, Thornton found success as an international celebrity. She's appeared in a number of U.K. reality series, including "Popstar to Operastar," "Celebs Go Dating," "Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls," and "Dancing on Ice." In 2022, Thornton made her way down under, winning Australia's "The Masked Singer" performing as Mirrorball. 

Thornton eventually got to live out her long-held dream of singing on her own terms, launching an independent music career. In 2012, she released a mixtape "P.O.Y.B.L" and the EP "Lioness Eyes" in 2020. Touted as a one-woman show by Grammys.com, Thornton says of her self-sufficient creativity, "I know what is best for me, and I'm committed to that. I'm not in any way a role model. But hopefully, people find strength and empowerment through the music."

Ashley Roberts is a confident U.K. celebrity

When Ashley Roberts left The Pussycat Dolls in 2010, she felt burnt out and needed a reset. Talking on the "Private Parts" podcast, Roberts revealed that she traveled with The Pussycat Dolls for nearly eight years. She said of performing with the girl group, "We make people a lot of money, so the schedule was outrageous. And I'm not gonna lie, by the end, I was breaking down. I was in the hospital." 

After some rest, Roberts took up work in the U.K., becoming the runner-up on "I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!" in 2012. In addition to visiting tropical locales with other notable stars, she was a "Dancing On Ice" judge in 2013 and 2014. Roberts also hosted "Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway," competed on "Strictly Come Dancing," and served as a presenter on "The Real Dirty Dancing" (via The U.S. Sun).

Roberts is not just a British reality television mainstay, but she's become a noted celebrity in a number of other mediums. She's kept close to her music roots, releasing her solo album "Butterfly Effect" in 2014 and hosting "Heart Showbiz Hub with Ashley Roberts" for Heart radio. Roberts, who is now in her 40s, feels as confident as ever and looks forward to the future, telling The U.S. Sun, "I feel excited about the years to come because I feel better than how I felt in my 20s."

Jessica Sutta's kept busy with a dance music career

In the years after The Pussycat Dolls, Jessica Sutta embarked on a chart-topping dance music career. Her move toward solo success started near the end of her PCD tenure, when Sutta broke a rib while on tour with the group. She told ABC News her injury made her re-evaluate her membership in The Pussycat Dolls, and eager to step into her own spotlight, Sutta left PCD in 2010. 

She kicked off her solo career in 2011 with the smash Billboard Dance/Club Play Songs club-banger "Show Me." Sutta's 2017 debut album "I Say Yes" included another Billboard No. 1 Dance Club Song track, "Distortion." Sutta maintains her empowered PCD attitude in her solo career, sharing with Palm Springs Life, "And that's what I stand for as a solo artist: Be free. Don't care what people think about you. It's about living your life."

Sutta has juggled her music industry triumphs with serious personal matters. She told The Sun of her jet-setting pop star ways, "You get really unhealthy habits which, for an alcoholic, is the worst thing that could ever happen to you." Sutta sought treatment for her addictions and met her future husband Mikey Marquart while both lived at Malibu's Beach House sober living facility (via Us Weekly). The pair married in 2019 and happily welcomed son Michael Jesse in 2021, per ET. The new mom told the outlet that she even got some advice from former groupmates Carmit Bachar and Kimberly Wyatt.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

The failed PCD reboot

The pop star iteration of The Pussycat Doll disbanded in 2010, but PCD mastermind Robin Antin saw their demise as an opportunity to reboot the brand. And what better way to introduce the revamped PCD lineup than during one of the most-watched television events in the United States: the Super Bowl. The new PCD strutted their stuff on a GoDaddy commercial alongside veteran "GoDaddy Girl" Danica Patrick, whose 2009 ad for the brand became the most-watched Super Bowl commercial of that year, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Before the commercial's debut, Antin dished to MTV News about the new PCD crew: "It's a fresh, young energy. I want to appeal to our young fans." No doubt folks of all ages caught the spot, as The Washington Post reported that 2012's Super Bowl XLVI became the most-watched television broadcast in U.S. history.

However, just because millions of eyeballs may have ogled the group doesn't mean the new PCD was bound for glory. Antin's PCD reboot evolved into the girl group G.R.L. in 2013, which band member Lauren Bennett told Billboard reflected their more pop-focused sound. G.R.L. had modest success on the charts as featured vocalists on Pitbull's "Wild Wild Love," but the group disbanded in 2015 after the death of band member Simone Battle the previous year (via Billboard). In subsequent years, G.R.L reformed in various iterations, but has yet to regain traction, or release new music, after their official break-up.

They released a comeback single in 2020

The Pussycat Dolls disbanded in 2010, but after nearly a decade apart, the group was ready for a comeback. In 2019, a source shared with ET that the original PCD lineup was busy in the recording studio laying down new tracks. Months later, the girl group, minus member Melody Thornton, confirmed their reunion (via Entertainment Weekly). Not only did the ladies announce a U.K. and Ireland reunion tour, but they had a hot new track to reignite fans' appetites for their sexy show. In a statement published in Rolling Stone, Nicole Scherzinger said of "React," "We are women who are on the other side of a lot of life experiences — it has given us so much perspective and growth. And then being able to release our music independently at this moment in time feels incredibly empowering."

PCD performed "React" during the finale of "The X Factor: Celebrity" in 2019. Their scintillating performance, complete with the band's signature sexy choreography, risqué PVC costumes, and scorching vocals, had just enough kink to get some viewers clutching their pearls. The Daily Mail said more than 400 complaints rolled into British communications regulator Ofcom. Per Forbes, the single landed in the top 40 on the U.K. singles chart, and music industry fans like Meghan Trainor embraced the PCD comeback. Trainor told People that Scherzinger was looking for new Pussycat Doll songs, so Trainor cooked up a few tracks, including "Genetics," on which PCD was a featured artist.

The drama surrounding a potential reunion tour

In 2010, Nicole Scherzinger told Ryan Seacrest on his eponymous radio show that PCD had been at it for six years and that she thought they all needed to go their separate ways. In 2019, after nearly a decade apart, PCD announced their reunion on "Heart Breakfast with Jamie Theakston and Amanda Holden." Missing from the reunion was Melody Thornton, who told ET she was focused on her own music. She gave a very diplomatic quote to The Sun, telling the British tabloid, "I think it would be great for everyone to enjoy themselves and their lives, and whatever direction it is they want to go." Perhaps Thornton was diverting attention away from alleged past tension between herself and Scherzinger, but regardless, she was out.

PCD released their comeback single "React" in 2020 and were set to hit the road, but their plans were stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic. Their reunion tour was put on hold, but the band still aspired to create new music together, with Robin Antin telling ET they dreamed of collaborating with au courant stars such as Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi B, and Karol G. 

However, in a shocking move to fellow bandmates, Scherzinger abruptly announced their tour cancellation in 2022 in a public Instagram Story (via People). Jessica Sutta and Carmit Bachar voiced their reaction: "We want to say how incredibly disappointed we are to learn of an announcement made on Instagram that the Pussycat Dolls reunion tour is canceled," they began on IG.

The salacious accusation leveraged against PCD

Years after the height of The Pussycat Dolls' pop culture influence, someone close to the act came forward with serious allegations about the group's true nature. In 2017, former Pussycat Doll Kaya Jones posted a series of tweets, starting with "My truth. I wasn't in a girl group. I was in a prostitution ring." Never actually mentioning the group by name, it was assumed that Jones was addressing her time with PCD and with the group's founder, Robin Antin. Clearly, Antin received the message. She denounced Jones' accusations against herself and the group in a statement to ET, which reads, in part, "To liken our professional roles in The Pussycat Dolls to a prostitution ring not only undermines everything we worked hard to achieve for all those years but also takes the spotlight off the millions of victims who are speaking up and being heard loud and clear around the world."

Antin told The Blast that Jones was "clearly looking for her 15 minutes" with charges that were "disgusting, ridiculous lies," but Jones stood by her words, tweeting, "You don't have to believe me. I lived it." The story was reported widely, and Antin, who vehemently denied Jones' claims, went to court to stop them from perpetuating. In 2018, The Pussycat Dolls, Inc. and Antin sued the parent company of the Daily Mail for defamation, alleging in their complaint, "...the Defendants published and commented on these defamatory statements with a reckless disregard for the truth" (via The Hollywood Reporter).

PCD's legal woes

When The Pussycat Dolls originally announced their reunion in 2019, fans seemed ready for a refreshed and revamped version of "doll domination." The new version of the band promised to be more democratic, with an insider divulging to The Sun, "In the old days Nicole became the stand-out star... But for the reunion, the women want it to be more of a level playing field." However, according to a series of lawsuits, the PCD reunion proved to be very dramatic. In 2021, Pussycat Doll founder Robin Antin sued Nicole Scherzinger. According to a complaint obtained by People, Scherzinger wanted an increase in profits and ultimate creative control over the group. Scherzinger also allegedly threatened to withdraw from the reunion if her demands were not met, a move Antin called "extortion" in her own complaint.

Scherzinger didn't take Antin's accusations lightly. Her attorney told E! News that the lawsuit's "ludicrous and false claims are a desperate attempt to divert blame for [Antin's] own failures by trying to impose obligations on Nicole that simply do not exist." In 2022, Scherzinger countersued Antin, claiming it was the PCD founder, and not her, who caused their reunion to collapse. In details published by Radar, Scherzinger's cross-complaint alleged that Antin used Scherzinger's name without authorization, and that she misused and misappropriated funds meant for the tour. Scherzinger sought over $1 million in damages.

PCD lived on in Las Vegas

Long before The Pussycat Dolls released '00s-defining tracks like "Don't Cha" and "Buttons," they were a spicy burlesque troupe who strutted their stuff at Johnny Depp's infamous West Hollywood nightclub, The Viper Room. Founded in 1994 by choreographer Robin Antin, The Pussycat Dolls' retro-infused striptease titillated audiences at the club for years (as told in Vice's "Dark Side of the '90s"). As word-of-mouth for their repertoire grew, so did the group, and soon they went from being a Sunset Strip staple to a global pop entity. Even before the pop group disbanded in 2010, The Pussycat Dolls' brand lived on in one of the sexiest places on earth: Las Vegas.

The Pussycat Doll Lounge opened inside Pure nightclub at Caesars Palace in 2005, the same year the album "PCD" was released. Further capitalizing on the group's erotic mystique, Caesars also operated The Pussycat Dolls party pit inside the casino, complete with go-go dancers moving above game players, according to Vital Vegas. And at the Caesars Entertainment-owned Planet Hollywood, The Pussycat Dolls Burlesque Saloon opened its doors in 2011 (via Thrillist). Unfortunately, by the mid 2010s, the party was over for The Pussycat Dolls' brand on the Las Vegas Strip. With Las Vegas Weekly reporting The Pussycat Dolls Lounge had already closed in 2010, Sin City roving reporter Robin Leach shared that the Burlesque Saloon suddenly closed in 2013. Apparently, all the "big spenders" had spent enough of their money and time with the Dolls.