Melanie Chisholm, aka Mel C, opened up about the experience of being sexually assaulted before her first ever full-length live performance with the Spice Girls in 1997.

“We were in Istanbul, we did two shows over there, and we’d never done a full-length concert before, so obviously we’d rehearsed for weeks ahead, costume fittings, makeup here,” Chisholm, 48, wrote in her upcoming memoir, Who I Am: My Story, per the Daily Mail. 

She continued, “And what happened to me I kind of buried immediately because there was other things to focus on. I didn’t want to make a fuss, but also I didn’t have time to deal with it. 

The pop star, known by fans as Sporty Spice, was 23 when the incident took place. She shared that while the act of violence “affected” her, she buried the issue due to being “in an environment where you take your clothes off with this professional” .

The England native explained that the process of writing her autobiography helped her wake up to the experience, before deciding that it was “really important for me to say it and to finally deal” with what happened.

“I suppose in a version of sexual assault it’s a mild version but I felt violated,” she shared. “I felt very vulnerable. I felt embarrassed, and then I felt unsure: ‘Have I got this right, what’s going on?'”

Chisholm further opened up about the difficulties she faced as a member of the Spice Girls during a Wednesday, September 14, episode of the “How to Fail” podcast, revealing that she still deals with mental health struggles to this day.