Mel C reveals she was sexually assaulted before first-ever live Spice Girls performance

The Spice Girl singer, real name Melanie Chisholm, alleged she was sexually assaulted by a massage therapist in a Turkish hotel in 1997.

Mel C Melanie Chisholm

Melanie Chisholm, also known as Mel C or Sporty Spice, said during How To Fail podcast that she was sexually assaulted in 1997, as reported by The Hollywood Repoter. Speaking with host Elizabeth Day, the Spice Girl was promoting her new memoir, Who I Am, which is released today (Sept. 15) and brought up the incident which took place before the first ever live performance of the popular girl band. 

“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 said, illustrating the pressure the whole group was under before their first ever live show. 

Chisholm said she wanted to treat herself to a massage. 

spice girls 2012

Spice Girls performing at the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony in 2012. Credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

“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,” Chisholm continued and added she “didn’t deal with it” at the time. 

It was during writing of her memoir that she recalled the incident again in a dream and decided to include it in the book as a way of processing the trauma. She didn’t share further details of what happened, but did share her immediate feelings about it. 

“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.”

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