Spice Girl Mel B shares more in expanded memoir, aims to help abuse survivors

By Thomson Reuters Mar 27, 2024 | 9:10 AM

By Alicia Powell

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Spice Girl Mel B is releasing an expanded version of her 2018 memoir, sharing more details about her personal life which she hopes will help survivors of domestic abuse.

The British singer and television personality, born Melanie Brown, has added three new chapters to “Brutally Honest”, which looked back on her childhood, meteoric rise to fame and marriage to her ex Stephen Belafonte, who she said had been abusive towards her. He denied the claims.

“It’s now 2024 and a lot has happened since (the book’s release) … I got my MBE for campaigning and spreading awareness about domestic abuse. I am engaged. I bought my first house and I’ve done a lot of healing with my relationships,” Brown told Reuters.

“I wanted to give survivors that hope and that honesty that ‘you know what, I’m going through it too still, just like you are. So don’t give up’.”

Brown, a patron of the charity Women’s Aid, became a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2022 for services to charitable causes and vulnerable women.

“It’s given me more of a purpose. It’s like an extension of girl power because I’ve been screaming girl power since I was 19, and then for 10 years I was very girl powerless and now I’m speaking my truth,” she said of her campaigning against domestic abuse.

“I’ve got … survivors behind me cheering me on, saying ‘yes be our voice’ because my story is their story.”

Brown, 48, said she originally released her memoir after encouragement from both her daughter and her friend, Louise Gannon, who wrote the book with her.

“I have the platform … I’m reaching out to people that don’t have a voice, that don’t have a safe place where they can get help or talk about it,” Brown said.

Earlier this month, the Spice Girls – consisting of Brown (Scary Spice), Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice), Melanie Chisholm (Sporty Spice), Emma Bunton (Baby Spice) and Geri Horner, formerly Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice) – shared a video marking 30 years since their first auditions.

The group, which formed in 1994, stormed charts around the world with hits including “Wannabe” and “Say You’ll Be There” before going their separate ways. Four of them reunited for a 2019 tour.

Asked about previously hinting at something new involving all five Spice Girls, Brown said: “I can’t say exactly …, but us five have been talking … for a long, long time now, many, many months.

“So, we’re going to announce something soon … and I know the fans are not going to be disappointed. It’s going to be very exciting.”

(Reporting by Alicia Powell; writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; editing by Mark Heinrich)