Celebrities

Mel B recalls being sent racist hate mail at height of Spice Girls fame

Mel B has recalled being sent racist hate mail after buying a house in Marlow at the height of her Spice Girls fame in 1998.

The star snapped up the swanky, listed Buckinghamshire mansion along with former husband Jimmy Gulzar, however she has recalled some in the neighbourhood evidently weren’t that keen on having her move in.

Speaking about being targeted, the singer told The Sun: ‘The fact I bought it disturbed the whole village. I got not just hate mail but racist hate mail, which was shocking to me.

‘It said, “Get out of this village, you don’t belong, you can’t buy something like this . . .”

‘It disturbed me but I still threw some great parties there – really loud to disturb the village.’

On the subject of race, Mel believed there had been ‘a massive change’ as we’re ‘a little bit more educated’, sharing her belief some countries were still behind the UK.

It was reported at the time ‘more than a dozen’ letters were sent to Scary Spice when she moved in, however residents told the Bucks Free Press in 2000 they were shocked to hear the star was sent the notes.

One said: ‘We are very surprised and shocked that something like this can come into our village.

‘Certainly, this issue has never come into our lives and this is the first time we have heard of these kind of problems in Little Marlow.’

Another added: ‘I don’t think the problem of race is even an issue and she’ll always be welcome here.

‘We are a very small village and if anything had been going on here, I’d have known about it. We’re a pretty friendly bunch and we all know each other.’

Following anti-racism protests across the world that have been sparked by the death of George Floyd – an unarmed black man who died in Minneapolis following his brutal arrest which saw a white police officer kneel on his neck – Mel said she feels it is an important issue to highlight, and previously opened up on the racism she encountered growing up as well as in the girl group.

Recently speaking to the Daily Star, Mel said: ‘So much of the racism you feel as a person of colour growing up in a largely white culture is not spoken aloud.’

Recalling being chased home from school as kids shouted derogatory comments, Mel also spoke of the systemic racism she encountered throughout her career.

When filming the music video for hit single Wannabe, Mel said she was told by a hair stylist that they wanted to straighten her hair.

She point blank refused, explaining: ‘My hair was my identity and yes it was different to all the other girls, but that was what the Spice Girls were about – celebrating our differences.’

Mel went on: ‘There were times when there was obvious racism, I was asked to leave a designer clothes shop in Sun City when I was with all the other girls… It’s pretty awful to think I wasn’t actually shocked because if you are brown, then there’s always a part of you that expects some confrontation.’

During her time in the Spice Girls, Mel said she would be in meeting after meeting where everybody else was always white.

While she says she was ‘strong enough, old enough and brave enough’ to call out industry bosses during her time in the band, she also tried to get the other girls to understand what it was like for her.

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