Nicole Scherzinger may be forced to miss the "X Factor" auditions because of a family illness.
The 38-year-old singer is believed to be returning to the judging panel for the ITV talent competition this year, but might have to skip out on the first stages of the programme in order to be close to her aunt in the US, who is reportedly suffering from a mystery illness.
A source told The Sun newspaper: "Nicole is incredibly close with her auntie, she's one of her closest friends and role models. She is devastated to see what her auntie is going through. While Nicole wants to make sure she gives "X Factor" her full attention, of course she has to be with her family.
"She wants to make sure she is there to support her auntie so will be back in the US in upcoming weeks -- and it looks likely to clash with the first auditions. It's an incredibly difficult time for Nic but the "X Factor" will provide her with a good distraction when she returns."
The news comes after Nicole - who has been a judge and mentor on the show for three years in 2012, 2013, and again last year - said she "thinks" she'll be coming back this year, although the judging panel is yet to officially be announced.
Asked whether she will be back on the show for 2017, she said: "I can't confirm it, but I think so."
Meanwhile, the former Pussycat Dolls member is thought to have "locked down" her deal to appear on the panel beside show boss and fellow judge Simon Cowell after rumours began to circulate that Mariah Carey was in talks to steal her spot.
A source previously said: "Nicole is so highly thought off by "X Factor" that there was always the intention to tie her down for another year. Once she heard other names being mentioned, she was keen to get her deal locked down and it's now there to sign. "Mariah's name is still in the frame and, given it's "X Factor", it's safer not to rule anything out."