Melanie Chisolm of the Spice Girls says she was sexually assaulted the night before the girl group’s debut performance.
The 48-year-old singer, also known as Mel C, opened up about the alleged incident in her upcoming memoir, titled Who I Am, revealing that he held his feeling “violated, vulnerable and embarrassed”.
In her book, she shares that the group were about to perform their first full-length concert in Istanbul, Turkey, when the incident took place during a hotel massage.
“We were in Istanbul, we did two shows and we had never done a full-length concert before, so obviously we’d rehearsed for weeks ahead,” she told Elizabeth Day on her podcast How to Fail while promoting her memoir.
“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. Because I didn’t deal with it at the time, I realized that I allowed that to be buried for years and years and years.”
The singer said the experience came to her in a dream while she was writing her memoir and she decided to include it.
“I think it’s really important for me to say it and to really deal with it and process it and for other people. Terrible things happen all the time and this situation wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
“In a version of sexual assault, it is a mild version 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, so there were so many thoughts and feelings, and I just thought I do want to talk about it because it has affected me.”
The Spice Girls performed their first live major concert, Girl Power! Live In Istanbul in 1997 after the release of their second album Spiceworld.
The book by the former Spice Girl singer will follow the journey from her bedroom in north-west England to global recognition with the group.
Melanie C’s book will detail the incredible highs of becoming one of the world’s most recognizable pop stars, including playing at Wembley, conquering the Brit awards and closing the Olympics.
She will also share the lows of struggling with her body image and mental health, and the difficulties of finding her own identity in a world where everyone knows your name.
In a recent interview with the DailyMailshe opened up about her experiences with depression and disordered eating while a part of the band.
She said: “It is such a mixed bag of emotions when I look back, because 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.”
Mel C’s book will be released on 15 September.