Mel C’s memoir ‘Who I Am reveals a secret from her past.
The Spice Girl alum, Melanie ‘Mel C’ Chisholm, is opening up about being sexually assaulted before she went on stage to perform as a Spice Girl for the first time.
In her memoir, "Who I Am," Melanie ‘Mel C’ Chisholm details the incident that took place in 1997 and says that she was sexually assaulted by a massage therapist at a spa in a hotel in Istanbul, Turkey, where she was staying with her fellow Spice Girls. Mel C stated that they had called the reception desk to inform them about what had happened, but they found out that the massage therapist had already left.
Mel C also appeared on Elizabeth Day’s "How to Fail" podcast where she recalled that they had never done a full-length concert before, so they rehearsed for weeks ahead of the final performance, including getting their costume fittings, makeup, hair, and everything. She said that everything was leading to the pinnacle of everything she had ever wanted and ever wanted to be.
The singer recalled that before their first show, she decided to "reward herself with a massage." She also revealed that she quickly buried what had occurred to her because she had other important matters to attend to and did not have time to deal with it or raise a scene.
After 25 years, when the former Spice Girl decided to write her memoir, she felt like maybe it was time to finally address what had happened, and she explained that it came to her in her dream or maybe she woke up and it was on her mind and she thought that she had not thought of having that in her memoir, but then the singer said she questioned herself if she needed that to be out or not.
Mel C continued by saying that she felt compelled to speak forward because she needed to confront and process what had happened to her almost 25 years earlier. She continued by describing the incident as a mild form of sexual assault, but she yet felt violated, exposed, and ashamed. The situation was not as bad as it could have been, so Mel decided to not talk about it much. However, as time went on, she began to second-guess herself and wondered if she had handled the situation correctly. Mel did not explain or go into detail about what had happened instead stating that terrible things happen all the time.
The singer recalled the incident and said that at the time she was in an environment where people usually take their clothes off with a professional in the room, so when it happened to her, she had a lot of thoughts and feelings rushing through her mind and said that at the time she felt like she just did not want to talk about it because it had affected her, adding that she buried it and mentioned that she is sure that a lot of men and women do the same thing.
Mel also opened up that the success of the Spice Girls did affect her health. She explained that she was quite unwell for a few years and when she looks back, she does not know how she managed to do all of that physically because she was not okay. If one considers how little she lived on and how much exercise she was doing alongside a brutal schedule, it was a lot.
The singer was later diagnosed with clinical depression, anorexia, binge-eating disorder, severe anxiety, and agoraphobia, after which she was put on anti-depressants. The singer also discussed the effects of her parent's divorce and the eating disorder she acquired while a member of the Spice Girls in the interview for the How To Fail podcast. She claimed that she began out with this vision of what she had to be—a member of a band, a pop star—and gradually eliminated food groups, became highly rigid with her diet, and increased her activity to the point where it became compulsive. Mel C said that it went on for years and she had lost so much weight that she had become anorexic and her periods stopped.
Mel C continued that she always wanted to be a mom, and here she was unable to control this thing that jeopardized her fertility and mentioned that it was such a compulsion that she couldn't stop it. She did, however, express her pride in having overcome her eating disorder and giving birth to her daughter Scarlett in 2009.
Talking about her food disorder, Mel C somewhere in the interview mentioned that at one point she was binge drinking and binge eating and she was embarrassed and ashamed of it. The Spice Girl alum added that she had to keep it a secret because, even though a person is in denial about it, there's still that tiny little voice going in her head that reminds her that 'This isn't right, you can't continue like this. Mel C later added that she would only eat fruit and vegetables to try to lose weight. The singer added that having an eating disorder can make you feel alone and isolated.
She talked about her mental health being affected. She said that even now, in 2022, she lives with depression and she feels like it’s there, but she has now learned very much about how to deal with it and cope with it and keep it at bay, but sometimes it can get the better of her. Mel C continued that, according to her, she thinks it’s really important to learn what works for you and thinks everybody can just have different little tools in their kit to get them through.
She lastly added that she is a warrior. She was struggling and, in her eyes, she failed. She failed herself, she failed the public, but she got through it. Mel said that she got through the other side and her story is that she did succumb to these things and she felt ashamed of that, but the thing that she felt very proud of is that she overcame all those things.
Who I Am: My Story will be released on Thursday, September 15.
Please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) if you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, or visit rainn.org.