The pop singer spoke about the alleged incident in a new interview on Elizabeth Day's 'How to Fail' podcast.
In an interview on Elizabeth Day’s How to Fail podcast, Chisholm claimed that she was sexually assaulted by a massage therapist at a spa in an Istanbul, Turkey hotel in 1997 ahead of her first-ever live performance as a Spice Girl. The singer was staying in the hotel the night before the group was set to hit the stage for the first time.
"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, hair, everything was leading towards the pinnacle of everything I ever wanted to do, and ever wanted to be,” Chisholm, whose memoir, Who I Am, hits shelves Sept. 15, shared. "What drives me is being on stage, being a performer, so here we were, the eve of the first-ever Spice Girls show, so I treat myself to a massage in the hotel."
She continued, "And what happened to me -- I kind of buried, immediately, because there were other things to focus on. I didn’t want to make a fuss but also I didn’t have time to deal with it." Adding that because she "didn’t deal with it at the time," she has since realized that that night was "buried" in her mind "for years and years and years."
Chisholm said she didn't think about the incident until writing about it for her memoir, telling Day, "It came to me in a dream, or I kind of woke up and it was in my mind. And I was like, 'Oh, my gosh, I haven’t even thought about having that in the book.' Then, of course, I had to think, 'Well, do I want to reveal this?' And I just thought, actually, I think it’s really important for me to say it, and to finally deal with it and process it."
"Terrible things happen all the time and this situation wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been," she went on to add. While Chisholm didn't go into detail about the assault, but she did describe the alleged incident as a "mild version" of sexual assault.
"But I felt violated. I felt very vulnerable," Chisholm explained. "I felt embarrassed. And then I felt unsure -- 'Have I got this right? What’s going on?' I was in an environment where you take your clothes off with this professional person."
The 48-year-old pop star said that while she has "so many thoughts and feelings" about the alleged assault, she wanted to share her story because of the impact it's had on her.
"It has affected me. But I’d buried it, and I’m sure...lots of people do."