Melanie C was sexually assaulted before first Spice Girls gig: ‘I buried it’
Melanie C has revealed that she was sexually assaulted the night before the Spice Girls’ first-ever live show, saying she felt “violated” and “very vulnerable.”
The Spice Girls formed in 1994, and released their first album Spice in 1996. Their first ever live show was show “Girl Power! Live In Istanbul” in 1997.
Speaking on a new episode of the How To Fail podcast about her new autobiography Who I Am, the 46-year-old, real name Melanie Chisholm, explained that she was a victim of sexual assault just hours before the band took to the stage for the first time.
“So here we were, the eve of the first ever Spice Girls show. So I treat myself to a massage in the hotel and what happened to me, I kind of buried immediately because there were other things to focus on,” she said.
Melanie C decided to discuss the sexual assault in her book because she hoped to help other survivors, and felt that writing about her experience would help her to “finally deal with it and process it”.
“I didn’t want to make a fuss but also I didn’t have time to deal with it,” she added.
“I felt violated, I felt very vulnerable, I felt embarrassed and then I felt unsure.
“I do want to talk about it because it has affected me. But I buried it.”
During her Spice Girls heyday, Melanie C also struggled with her body image and disordered eating. The group split in 2000, before reuniting in 2007 and again in 2018.
She said there was little discussion of mental health at the time, and looking back on her stint in the world’s most iconic girl group is “a mixed bag of emotions”.
“Us girls achieved so much, we accomplished our wildest dreams.
“I never want to look back on that time negatively, but it is important for me to tell the difficult parts of my past.
“Our culture has changed so much and so many young people are hungry for fame. And I just want them to be prepared. It’s not plain sailing.”
Sexual assault is never your fault, and help is available. Readers in the UK affected by the issues in this story can contact Rape Crisis for support, and can find their nearest sexual assault referral centre here. Readers in the US can contact RAINN’s national sexual assault hotline on 800 656 4673, 24 hours a day.