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She said it made her feel both “vulnerable” and “violated.”
Melanie C – best known for her role as Sporty Spice in iconic 90’s girlband Spice Girls – has today claimed that she was sexually assaulted the day before the band’s debut.
Trigger warning – article contains themes of sexual assault.
Speaking on the How To Fail podcast hosted by Elizabeth Day, she explained that the incident took place while she was having a massage in a hotel in Istanbul.
She said: “What happened to me, I kind of buried immediately, because there was other things to focus on. Everything was leading towards the pinnacle of everything I’d ever wanted to do.”
“I didn’t want to make a fuss – I didn’t have time to deal with it,” she continued.
Explaining the violation and her difficult position, she explained how months of training and a lifetime of dreams had led up to this moment, meaning she didn’t feel able to share what had happened for fear of sabotaging said dream.
While she reflects, in her own words, that the assault was “mild,” she also added that the fact that it happened during a massage made the violation all the more confusing. “It happened an environment where you take your clothes off with a professional person,” she shared. “I felt very vulnerable, and I felt embarrassed.”
She went on to add that she decided to share her story after remembering the trauma and incident itself in a dream. “I think it’s really important to me to say it and to finally deal with it and process it.”
The singer has long been candid about her life experiences and learnings, speaking openly about both her disordered eating and depression while at the height of her Spice Girls fame.
Sadly, she’s far from alone – stats from Rape Crisis show that as many as one in four women have been raped or sexually assaulted as an adult, and one in 20 men.
If you or someone you know has been affected by the themes in this article, know that you are not alone and help is out there. Rape Crisis are there to help on 0808 802 9999 or at rapecrisis.org.uk.