Spice Girl Mel C reveals sexual assault ahead of first Spice Girls concert: “I buried it”

Spice Girl Mel C, aka Sporty Spice, publishes her memoir Who I Am on Thursday, and in a new podcast, she discusses one of the book’s revelations: Ahead of the first full Spice Girls concert in 1997, she was sexually assaulted by a massage therapist in Istanbul, Turkey.

In the latest episode of Elizabeth Day‘s How to Fail podcast, Mel says, “We were in Istanbul. We did two shows over there and we’d never done a full-length concert before, so obviously we’d rehearsed for weeks ahead, costume fittings, makeup, hair, everything was leading to towards the pinnacle of everything I ever wanted to do, and ever wanted to be.”

“So here we were, the eve of the first-ever Spice Girls show, so I treat myself to a massage in the hotel,” she continues. “And what happened to me — I kind of buried it, immediately, because there were other things to focus on. I didn’t want to make a fuss but also I didn’t have time to deal with it.”

“Terrible things happen all the time and this situation wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been,” Mel explains, describing it as a “mild version” of sexual assault. Nonetheless, she says, “I felt violated. I felt very vulnerable. I felt embarrassed.”

It was only when writing her memoir that she woke up one day and realized that she’d never even considered including the incident in the book. But ultimately, she says she decided, “I think it’s really important for me to say it, and to finally deal with it and process it.” 

“It has affected me,” she adds, noting, “I’d buried and I’m sure lots of men and women…lots of people do.”

In the podcast episode, Mel also discusses her eating disorder, her suicidal thoughts and more.

If you are in crisis or know someone in crisis, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or by visiting 988lifeline.org. You can also contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

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