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When the Spice Girls burst onto the scene in 1996, their 'Girl Power' motto was a zeitgeist moment.
In the words of Mel B, Victoria Beckham, Emma Bunton, Geri Halliwell and Mel C – who turns 47 today – 'friendship never ends'.
But behind the scenes, the fivesome had more than the odd barney, with Mel B once revealing that the brutal battles kicked off from start and that she'd even come to blows with Mel C.
"We fight, we argue, we make up… it’s always been like that. It’s been like that with all five of us over the years," she once told The Mirror.
“I’ve had punch-ups with Mel C in the past. But we have unconditional love for each other underneath it all.
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“Obviously there’s been stories saying some of us hate each other and there are fall-outs. But we’re like sisters.
“You know, we go through ups and downs and sometimes we might be p****d off but at the end of the day we’re there for each other.
“We might not speak for a week or so but then we get back on Skype and sort our s**t out. The five of us definitely have been through it over the years.”
So what really went down behind the scenes? From bust lips to savage spats, here's what life was really like for the feminist icons…
Scary v Posh
It has been claimed by Mel C that the Spice Girls did not face harassment
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Mel B and Victoria's first ever row was apparently over a disgusting incident involving one of Mel's boyfriends and a beach.
It was during a Spice Girls holiday to Hawaii in 1995 that a horrified Victoria spotted the guy Scary was hooking up with doing a number two on the sand before rinsing himself off in the sea.
Needless to say, Posh was appalled and in Mel's first memoir, To Catch A Fire, she told of the passionate holiday romance with the man called Nalu.
She said: “I ended going off with Nalu for nights on end, sleeping rough under the stars or in his little car. A proper holiday romance.”
But when Victoria saw Nalu's grubby antics, an outraged Posh is said to have told Mel: “Doesn’t he know what a toilet is? It’s disgusting.”
Scary v Sporty
Mel B says she had several 'punch-ups' with Mel C
According to Mel B, she and Sporty really knew how to grind each others' gears, resulting in 'punch-ups' and even a possible split lip on one occasion.
Asked if they'd ever done any real damage, she said: "Oh, nothing. Maybe a split lip, that’s all. Me and Melanie would irritate each other. It would always start off with a shove not a punch.
"Mel C’s pretty hard. And if she let rip…"
In reference to one boozy night, Mel C told Fabulous magazine they once came to fisty-cuffs after knocking back too much booze.
"We were too drunk. We got a bit pushy, shovey and Geri stepped in the middle to break it up and ended up getting punched in the face," she said.
"Then Melanie went off to be sick, and because she'd been drinking too much port she accused me of making her bleed!"
Mel B said they were able to smooth things over.
She added: “I’ve had punch-ups with Mel C in the past. But we have unconditional love for each other underneath it all.”
Sporty v Posh
Mel C landed herself in hot water after an exchange with Victoria
In the band's early days, Mel C almost argued her way out of the band after a particularly nasty spat with Victoria.
Last year, Mel admitted telling Posh to “f***off” behind-the-scenes of the 1996 Brit Awards – causing their managers to threaten her with the sack.
“We'd all had a few bevvies and on the way out there was a little scuffle between myself and Victoria. We can't say this on air but I asked her to go away. I was told if that behaviour ever happened again, then I would be out,” she told Radio 4's Desert Island Discs.
But the incident marked the start of a decline in Mel's mental health, with the star admitting she put pressure on herself that led to depression and eating disorders.
“I was so hurt and embarrassed,” she continued.
“To think I could have messed that up and lost it all… I began to be really, really hard on myself.
“I think that is where the start of some of my problems came because I had to be very, very strict with myself. I couldn't allow myself to relax because if I did I might mess it all up."
Posh v Scary
Mel B dressed up as Victoria Beckham for Halloween
(Image: Internet Unknown)
When Victoria refused to join the Spice Girls' tour in 2019, Mel B was not a happy bunny and used Heidi Klum’s legendary Halloween party to take a barbed swipe at her foe.
Sending a clear message, Mel dressed as VB in a little black dress and wore a mask of the star.
And just to make her point crystal clear, she held a sign on an axe saying: “No, I am not going on tour”.
Scary v Ginger
Mel B claims she got intimate with Geri – Geri says otherwise
(Image: Spice Girls LLP via Getty Images)
Mel B claimed she got sexually intimate with Geri – and Geri insisted they didn’t.
Rumours that the girls had been exceptionally close had swirled for years.
And when Mel B appeared on Piers Morgan's Life Stories in 2019, the host asked her outright: "Did or didn't you sleep with Geri Halliwell? Did you sleep with her?"
Mel replied: "Yeah. We all slept in a bed together, but not like that, all of us."
But Piers pressed on: "Did you sleep with Geri like that?"
To which Mel B nodded and smiled. Meanwhile, Geri fumed.
She released a statement saying it was “very disappointing to read about all these rumours again”.
The statement went on: "She would like [the fans] to know that what has been reported recently is simply not true and has been very hurtful to her family.”
Which Spice Girl do you think is the scariest? Share your thoughts in the comments section below…