English singer, TV personality and X Factor judge, Mel B is opening up like never before in her new memoir, Brutally Honest.
The 43-year-old Spice Girl holds nothing back as she discusses her mental health struggles, sexuality and drug use.
Mel B also delves into her love life, including her rarely discussed relationship with Eddie Murphy and her tumultuous 10-year marriage to Stephen Belafonte.
1. On her struggles with depression, Mel B says feeling “so lonely, isolated and misunderstood” led to her considering taking her own life.
“My life was a sham. Behind the glitter of fame, I felt emotionally battered, estranged from my family. I felt ugly and detested by the very man who once promised to love and protect me, my husband and manager, Stephen,” she writes.
After swallowing many pills, Mel experienced instant regret as she thought about her three daughters, Phoenix, 19, Angel, 11, and Madison, 7. She then called Stephen, her husband the time, to help her get out of the bathroom.
“I couldn’t let myself go under. I had to believe things could get better. I couldn’t do it to my girls, my family or all those people who actually believed in me. I looked in the mirror and said, ‘No.’ Suicide was not the answer,” she continues.
“I had to make my life count. I had to get to a hospital, I had to get those pills out of my stomach before anything happened.”
She eventually awoke in the hospital with Phoenix at her bedside, “furious, shaking, full of rage.”
Against doctor’s orders and with “serious damage” to her liver and kidneys, Mel returned to The X Factor shortly after her suicide attempt.
Two weeks into filming The X Factor, Mel says she started using cocaine to “get me through the run of show, to get me through living with Stephen, which felt like neurotic claustrophobia, and — for deeper, darker reasons — to get me through the emotional gridlock of being so geographically close to my family in Leeds and my Spice ‘sisters’ in London. On so many levels, I felt myself sinking.”
Though she’s “not proud” of her cocaine use, it did help her “to have a line of that white powder when I got up in the morning.”
“Most of the time, getting up and working, and then spending the time with my daughters, was enough to keep me going,” she writes.
“But a few weeks into filming, I could feel I was starting to sink. I could feel the dark cloud of depression descending. I didn’t want all the crap in my life to get in the way of the job I wanted to do, and knew, I was doing really well. So, as insane as it may sound, my quick fix answer was cocaine.”
2. On her sexuality, Mel B calls herself “an extremely sexual person”.
During her marriage to Stephen Belafonte, Mel initiated threesomes, something she said was fun in the very early days.
“We’d go to a nightclub and pick out girls we found attractive. We had similar tastes — toned bodies, an air of confidence, a couple of tattoos and a sexy way of dressing,” she writes.
“I preferred blondes. Stephen would watch the way someone danced and moved — you can tell everything about a woman’s sexuality by the way she dances. I’d invite them over for a drink. It’s pretty easy when you are Mel B; people are really happy to talk to you.”
Mel says that Stephen’s only rule when it came to threesomes was that the third had to be a woman, no men allowed.
“[That] suited me fine because I love women. I’ve always found women’s bodies so much more beautiful than men’s bodies. I have no issues with my sexuality,” she shares.
“I’ve been in relationships with men and women. I don’t think it’s shameful to like sex. I don’t think it’s shameful to experiment — as long as it is all consensual — and I believe women can enjoy and initiate sex as much (if not a whole lot more) than men.”
3. On her relationship with Eddie Murphy, Mel recalls being “truly, madly, deeply in love” with Eddie Murphy before being “spectacularly dumped”.
In the book, Mel recalls her love story with Eddie Murphy, which, she says, started the moment they laid eyes on each other.
Despite the instant chemistry, she “never thought for a second anything would come of it, other than an interesting evening.”
Mel B says she fell in love with him at first sight when she laid eyes on him at a dinner party at his house in May 2006.
Startled by her instant feelings, Mel bolted, giving the excuse that she had to “meet some friends at the Mondrian.”
Naturally, Murphy then moved the dinner party to the hotel.
“I loved his shyness and his sweet, gentlemanly ways, and he made me laugh,” Mel recalled.