Mel C opens up about sexual assault ahead of Spice Girls’ debut concert
Mel C opens up about sexual assault ahead of Spice Girls’ debut concert

Melanie Chisholm, popularly known as Mel-C/Sporty Spice of the hit ‘90s girl group Spice Girls, recently opened up about the sexual assault she endured right before the Spice Girls’ first concert in 1997.

The singer wrote about her sexual assault in her new memoir. She narrated that she had endured sexual assault at the hands of a massage therapist in Istanbul, Turkey prior to the group’s first live performance, as per The Hollywood Reporter. Mel C was staying in the hotel the night before the girl group was to perform.

In an interview on Elizabeth Day’s How to Fail podcast ahead of the September 15 release of her forthcoming memoir Who I Am, Chisholm divulged the details of the incident.

“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 towards the pinnacle of everything I ever wanted to do, and ever wanted to be,” Chisholm recalled. “What drives me is being on stage, being a performer, 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. I didn’t want to make a fuss but also I didn’t have time to deal with it.” She added that because she “didn’t deal with it at the time,” she has since realised that that allowed for that night to be “buried for years and years and years.”

She said that the she didn’t think about the incident until writing about it for her memoir: “It came to me in a dream, or I kind of woke up and it was in my mind. And I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, I haven’t even thought about having that in the book.’ Then, of course, I had to think, ‘Well, do I want to reveal this?’ And I just thought, actually, I think it’s really important for me to say it, and to finally deal with it and process it.”

“Terrible things happen all the time and this situation wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been,” she said. Though she didn’t share further details of the assault, she described her experience as a ‘mild version’ of sexual assault. “But I felt violated. 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.”

Chisholm went on to say that there were “so many thoughts and feelings” about that moment in her life, but she ultimately wanted to share and talk about it because of the impact it had on her: “It has affected me. But I’d buried it, and I’m sure…lots of people do.”

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