“I read about myself and wondered who that person was,” she told Desert Island Discs presenter Lauren Laverne. “We were in our early 20s, so I was kind of wondering, ‘Who am I?’ I was portrayed as quite gobby, quite boyish, a bit of a tomboy. I am sporty and athletic, but I am quite soft and gentle really. It was confusing.”
“I was described as the plain one at the back that doesn’t really do much, doesn’t really say much,” she continued. “That’s really hurtful when you’re a young, aspiring pop star.”
As a result, Mel tried everything she could to be “perfect.” Instead, she made herself “ill.”
“I was anorexic for a few years. I was exercising obsessively and I ended up being incredibly depressed,” she explained.
It was only after developing a binge eating disorder that she finally decided to seek help.
“I went to my GP and I was diagnosed with depression,” she said. “It was such a weight lifted off my shoulders. It was such a relief because I thought: “Oh my God, there’s a name for it and I can be helped.’”
The 46-year-old also admitted that she was nearly kicked out of the band before it’s official launch due to a “scuffle” with Victoria Beckham at the Brit Awards.
“I got a bit lairy and I told Victoria to f*** off,” she said. “I upset her, and I was told that if that behaviour ever happened again, then [guillotine gesture.]”
“I am putting this all together in my head now and I think that is where the start of a lot of my problems was,” she continued. “I had to be so strict with myself after that, in case I messed it up.”
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