Note: This article contains mention of sexual assault, which may be hard for some to read.
Mel C, aka Sporty Spice, opened up for the first time publicly about her experience with sexual abuse.
During an appearance on the How to Failpodcast, where she was promoting her new book, Who I Am: My Story, the Spice Girls singer revealed that she experienced sexual assault early in her career, when she was 23 and about to have her first ever full-length concert with the group.
“We were in Istanbul," she recalled. "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 continued. She suggested that's where the assault occurred and said she didn't report it or speak on it at the time because she already had so much going on in her life with the group.
"What happened to me, I kind of buried immediately because there was 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 realize that I allowed that to be buried for years and years and years."
Mel said that the abuse left her feeling "violated," "vulnerable," and "embarrassed," even though some may consider it a "mild version" of sexual violence. “I suppose in a version of sexual assault it’s a mild version, but I felt violated,” she shared. “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.”
Mel said that she remembered what happened to her while writing her book, and that she decided to share it for her own healing and for others. To read more about her story, you can get Who I Am: My Story when it comes out tomorrow.
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE, which routes the caller to their nearest sexual assault service provider. You can also search for your local center here.
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