Halliwell had played in Helsinki with the band but was then absent when the Spice Girls returned to the UK for an appearance on The National Lottery. “Unfortunately Geri is not doing very well tonight,” Mel C, then known as Sporty Spice, told the audience. “See you soon, Geri! she added, pointing at the camera.
Geri, meanwhile, had retreated to her brother’s home in France to keep a low profile. The girls flew to Oslo without her, and on May 31, 1998, they announced that Geri had left the group, citing “differences between us”.
Of course, whenever someone leaves a good gig like this, rumors fly and stories of tension with other band members tend to skyrocket. In Halliwell’s case, talk of a power struggle with Brown was the most prevalent story. Meanwhile, Geri thought she made her intentions clear before leaving.
“Everyone had their theories,” Beckham, the former Posh Spice, wrote in her 2001 book. learn to fly. “That there was a nice argument on the flight home from Helsinki. That we had a fight. The truth is that we all really laughed on that flight home… We didn’t know [why she took off]. Why she said that, I have no idea; maybe because it made her look better, because otherwise it was like admitting she let us down. Which, of course, was exactly what she did. Geri Halliwell had completely let us down.”
“That was crazy,” Mel B wrote in catch a fire. “We didn’t have a free moment to absorb what had happened. We just had to carry on.”