Melanie Chisholm has said that motherhood gave her the strength she needed to leave her ex-partner.

In 2009, the former Spice Girl gave birth to her daughter, Scarlett, with her then-boyfriend Thomas Starr.

However the couple, who had been in a relationship for 10 years, decided to split in 2012.

Appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, Chisholm told host Lauren Laverne that becoming a mother had “changed” her for the better.

“She has made me braver. She has made me stand up for myself more,” Chisholm said.

“I make big decisions. Leaving her dad was hard but I wasn’t happy and she wasn’t happy, and it wasn’t the environment I wanted my child to grow up in.

“I couldn’t have done that without the strength that I got from her.”

The 46-year-old also opened up about discovering that her father had another daughter in secret when she was growing up, explaining that she felt “betrayed”.

“My dad worked away a lot so my mum did all the tough stuff,” Chisholm said tearfully.

“I saw him at weekends and I went away in the summer with him. He was the wonderful dad who I did all the fun stuff with.

“I had him on this pedestal. Then he had kept a secret from me for 15 years and it took me a few years to get over it because I felt betrayed. I kind of felt my childhood had been a bit of a lie.”

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Chisholm, who was in her 20s when she met her 15-year-old sibling for the first time, went on to explain that she now sees it as a “wonderful positive thing”.

“I adore her and I have two beautiful nephews,” she said. “There’s a really happy ending but it was a really difficult beginning.”

During the interview, the singer also touched upon her struggle with eating disorders during the height of the Spice Girls’ fame. 

“I was described as the plain one at the back. So I tried to make myself perfect,” she explained. 

“I ended up making myself really ill. I was anorexic for a few years. I was exercising obsessively and I ended up being incredibly depressed. I was in denial.”

If you have been affected by any of the issues mentioned in this article, you can contact the following organisations for support: the BEAT helpline on 0808 801 0677​ or Mind on 0300 123 3393​.




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