Mel C, who is better known to the world as Sporty Spice from the Spice Girls, was recently on the How to Fail podcast to promote her new book, Who I Am: My Story.
Her interview on the podcast was the first time the singer publicly discussed her experience with sexual assault, which happened early on in her career with the Spice Girls. She was 23 years old at the time and they were preparing for their first full-length concert as a musical group.
“We were in Istanbul,” the singer brought up. “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 here, everything was leading towards the pinnacle of everything I’d 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,” Mel went on. She referenced the assault but said that she didn’t end up reporting or talking about the incident at the time because there were just too many things going on with the Spice Girls at the time.
“What happened to me, I kind of buried immediately because there was other things to focus on,” the singer said. “I didn’t want to make a fuss, but also I didn’t have time to deal with it. Because I didn’t deal with it at the time, I realize that I allowed that to be buried for years and years and years.”
“I suppose in a version of sexual assault it’s a mild version, but I felt violated,” she recalled. “I felt very vulnerable. I felt embarrassed, and then I felt unsure. ‘Have I got this right, what’s going on?’ I was in an environment where you take your clothes off with this professional person. It has affected me. But I buried it. Lots of people do.”
The singer continued, saying that it wasn’t until she sat down to write her book that the memories came back to her, and she made the decision to share her story to help with her own healing process and potentially help others as well.
To learn more about Mel’s life story, check out Who I Am: My Story, which is now out in stores.
If you are a survivor of sexual assault, harassment, or violence or want more resources on sexual assault, contact the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center by going to nsvrc.org.