Melanie C was sexually assaulted by a male masseur the night before the Spice Girls’ first concert.
Sporty Spice, 48, booked a massage at her hotel in Istanbul, Turkey, on the evening before the show in October 1997 when the attack occurred – leaving her feeling “violated” and “embarrassed”.
Mum-of-one Mel recounted the incident for the first time on the ‘How To Fail’ podcast on Wednesday. (14.09.22)
She said: “I felt violated, I felt very vulnerable, I felt embarrassed and then I felt unsure.
“I do want to talk about it because it has affected me. But I buried it.
“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 realised that I allowed that to be buried for years and years and years and then when I was writing the book it came to me in a dream. I woke up and it was in my mind.
“And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I haven’t even thought about having that in the book’.
“Then of course I had to think, ‘Do I want to reveal this?’ And I just thought, actually I think it’s really important for me to say it and to finally deal with it and process it. And for other people.”
Mel added she got up and left the room before the attack escalated, but said it has had a devastating lasting effect on her.
She said: “Terrible things happen all the time and this situation wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
“I suppose in a version of sexual assault it’s a mild version, but I felt violated, I felt very vulnerable, I felt embarrassed and then I felt unsure.
“Like, ‘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 was so many thoughts and feelings and I just thought, do you know what, I do want to talk about it because it has affected me.
“But I buried it and I’m sure lots of men and women, lots of people, do.”