Melanie C was sexually assaulted the night before her Spice Girls debut

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  • She said it made her feel both “vulnerable” and “offended”.

    Melanie C – best known for her role as Sporty Spice in the iconic ’90s girl band the Spice Girls – has today claimed she was sexually assaulted the day before the band’s debut.

    Trigger warning – the article contains themes of sexual abuse.

    Talking about How to fail podcast hosted by Elizabeth Day, she explained that the incident took place while she was receiving a massage at a hotel in Istanbul.

    She said: “What happened to me I kind of buried right away, because there were other things to focus on. Everything was leading towards the top of everything I ever wanted to do.”

    “I didn’t want to make a fuss – I didn’t have time to deal with it,” she continued.

    She explained the violation and her difficult position, explaining how months of training and a lifetime of dreams had led to this moment, which meant she didn’t feel able to share what had happened for fear of sabotaging the dream.

    While reflecting, 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 in an environment where you take your clothes off with a professional,” 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 itself and the incident in a dream. “I think it’s very important for me to say that and to finally deal with it and process it.”

    The singer has long been candid about her life experiences and lessons, speaking openly about both her disordered eating and depression during the height of her Spice Girls fame.

    Sadly, she is far from alone – statistics from Rape Crisis show that as many as one in four women have been raped or sexually assaulted as adults, 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 that help is out there. Rape Crisis is here to help on 0808 802 9999 or on rapecrisis.org.uk.

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