Mel C Battled Depression, Eating Disorder During Spice Girls' Reign

Mel C Battled Depression, Eating Disorder During Spice Girls' Reign

By Keri Blakinger 09/21/16

“When the Spice Girls were at their biggest, I couldn’t even really look at myself in the mirror because I didn’t like what I saw.”

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Mel C Battled Depression, Eating Disorder During Spice Girls' Reign

She’ll tell you what she really, really wants—not to be in the Spice Girls again. 

Melanie Chisholm—better known to fans as Mel C or Sporty Spice—opted out of the upcoming Spice Girls reunion, citing depression sparked by her first go-round in the famous Brit pop band.

Chisholm, now 42, recounted despondency and eating disorders during her time at the top in a recent Event magazine interview. 

“When the Spice Girls were at their biggest, I couldn’t even really look at myself in the mirror because I didn’t like what I saw,” said the ‘90s singing sensation.

“Depression, eating disorders, obsessive over-exercising. I went through all of it. Yet I didn’t even admit it to myself. When your life is that crazy, traveling everywhere, performing all over the place, constantly on the move, you don’t have to acknowledge what is going on in your life.”

Thus, when three other members of the “Wannabe” quintet wanted to get back together, Chisholm demurred. Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice), Emma Bunton (Baby Spice) and Melanie Brown (Mel B or Scary Spice) are planning to reunite and maybe even make a TV talent show.  

Victoria Beckham, aka Posh Spice, is conspicuously absent from that line-up. Her rep told TMZ in January that Beckham would opt out in order to focus on her fashion career. 

But Chisholm offered a more personal explanation for her reunion-breaking stance. 

“It was a really hard decision. I’d like to say the money didn’t matter to me,” she said. “I made a lot in the Spice Girls but I spent a hell of a lot and had a lot of fun spending it. I’m a single mother now and I do have financial concerns, but at the end of the day I didn’t want to base my decision on being about the money.”

It was an awful lot of money, though—Chisholm turned down a $2.6 million offer. 

“I didn’t make the decision lightly,” she said. “I did go quite far down the route with the girls. I went to a lot of meetings. But when it came to it, I just didn’t feel it was right in my gut. When I finally said no I just felt absolute relief.”

The Spice Girls formed in 1994 and stayed together until 2000, belting out a smattering of hits including “Wannabe” and “Say You’ll Be There.” In her post-Spice life, the Liverpudlian now lives in north London with her daughter Scarlet, the days of mega-rich mega-stardom well in the rearview mirror. 

Even though she’s not rejoining the group now, Chisholm has her own plans in the works. The erstwhile Sporty Spice now has her own record label and is set to release her seventh studio album, Version of Me, next month.

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Keri Blakinger is a former drug user and current reporter living in Texas. She covers breaking news for the Houston Chronicle and previously worked for the New York Daily News and the Ithaca Times. She has written about drugs and criminal justice for the Washington Post, Salon, Quartz and more. She loves dogs and is not impressed by rodeo food. Find Keri on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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