The British singer was scheduled to get a massage at her hotel in Istanbul, Turkey the evening before the show in October 1997 when the attack happened.
Mel, 48, said: “I felt violated, I felt very vulnerable, I felt embarrassed and then I felt unsure. I do want to talk about it because it has affected me. But I buried it.”
She spoke about the incident for the first time on the How To Fail podcast, while promoting her autobiography Who I Am – out tomorrow – in which she opens up about the assault for the first time.
Recalling the attack, Mel explained: “So here we were, the eve of the first ever Spice Girls show.
“So I treat myself to a massage in the hotel and what happened to me, I kind of buried immediately because there were other things to focus on.”
“I didn’t want to make a fuss but also I didn’t have time to deal with it.”
“Because I didn’t deal with it at the time, I realized that I allowed that to be buried for years and years and years and then when I was writing the book it came to me in a dream. I woke up and it was in my mind.”
“And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I haven’t even thought about having that in the book’.”
“Then of course I had to think, ‘Do I want to reveal this?’ And I just thought, actually I think it’s really important for me to say it and to finally deal with it and process it. And for other people.”
The chart-topping star said she got up and walked out of the room before things escalated. But it has had a major impact on her, which is what prompted her to speak out.
She said: “Terrible things happen all the time and this situation wasn’t as bad as it could have been.”
“I suppose in a version of sexual assault it’s a mild version, but I felt violated, I felt very vulnerable, I felt embarrassed and then I felt unsure.”
“Like, ‘Have I got this right? What’s going on?’
“I was in an environment where you take your clothes off with this professional person so there was so many thoughts and feelings and I just thought, do you know what, I do want to talk about it because it has affected me.”
“But I buried it and I’m sure lots of men and women, lots of people, do.”
Timothy is a senior writer based in Atlanta, specializing in celebrity-related news. She is always ready to cover trending TV stories with an unbiased perspective and a pinch of gossip.