After four years in the group, Geri Halliwell shocked fans and her bandmates alike when she quit the Spice Girls in 1998. She’s since returned to the group for reunion tours, but why did Geri Halliwell leave the Spice Girls in the first place? Geri’s official farewell statement at the time read:
This is a message to the fans. Sadly, I would like to confirm that I have left the Spice Girls. This is because of differences between us, I am sure the group will continue to be successful and I wish them all the best.
Why did Geri Halliwell leave the Spice Girls?
Since then, Halliwell has revealed that she was struggling with bulimia at the time and no longer felt she ‘belonged’ in the group. She said:
Throughout my 20s, I had bulimia. Even when I’d recovered from it, I had a distant relationship with food.
It’s bloody dangerous. I was worried I’d get fat. I would binge and then felt fatter and would make myself sick. It was awful.
Halliwell admits she 'threw in the towel' and 'gave up.' According to Mel B, Halliwell's departure came as quite a shock to the other bandmates, who least expected the turn of events. She told Larry King:
She just didn’t show up. We had the rest of the tour, the American part of the tour to continue.
Even though Halliwell has since apologized to her fans, saying she was being a 'brat' at the time, her actions only speak to the immense pressure the Spice Girls, and all celebrities, face in the spotlight, and how few coping mechanisms exist to stay sane and healthy.
Spice Girls: How Girl Power Changed Britain
The new Spice Girls documentary sheds light on the intense pressure and sexism the group faced, like when they were rated out of 10 for looks, singing and personality at their auditions. So much for 'girl power...'
Another major revelation that came out of the latest episode of the documentary is an unearthed interview, which shows Victoria Beckham, 12 weeks after having given birth to Brooklyn, being forced to step onto the scale on live television. TV host Chris Evans from TFI Friday then proceeded to 'congratulate' her for 'getting back in shape after the birth.'
You can watch parts 1 and 2 of Spice Girls: How Girl Power Changed Britain on All 4. The third part is set to air on Channel 4 next Tuesday 28 September at 9.30pm.