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Saturday, May 30, 1998 Published at 11:54 GMT 12:54 UK


Geri quits Spice Girls

Last orders: Ginger has called time on the Spice Girls

Geri Halliwell has left the Spice Girls because of "differences" with the other four members of the group but is telling fans: "I'll be back."

In a statement read by her lawyer Julian Turton, Geri - Ginger Spice - wished the remaining four girls success for the future.

From BBC News 24: Geri's departure is confirmed with an announcement in London
Her statement ended with the words: "I'll be back." Bookmakers have slashed the odds of Geri achieving a solo Christmas number one from 100-1 to 33-1.

The four remaining Spice Girls were "upset and saddened" but will carry on and fulfil their commitments including the forthcoming American tour, their spokesman Alan Edwards said.

Victoria Newton of The Sun: Geri never wants to sing another Spice Girls song (1'24")
Ms Halliwell, 25, has been in hiding since it was reported earlier this week that she is suffering from gastro-enteritis.

On Saturday night the rest of the chart-topping millionaires also did a disappearing act.

Earlier it had been thought that the other four group members - Emma Bunton, Melanie Brown, Melanie Chisholm and Victoria Adams - had flown back to Britain following two concerts in Oslo.

But Mr Edwards insisted all five Girls were still abroad.

[ image: True Brits: Ginger and Posh]
True Brits: Ginger and Posh
He said: "I honestly don't know where they are, except that they are scattered around various parts of the world."

He added that the band - whether quartet or quintet - were not due to fly to America, until just before the dates begin on June 14.

Ms Halliwell is reported to have hired a team of lawyers to handle her split from the group.

The Sun reported on Saturday that her lawyer was on his way to meet her in a secret European "bolthole".

[ image: Five become four]
Five become four
Victoria Newton, co-editor of The Sun's Bizarre column, told the BBC that Geri never wants to sing another Spice Girls song again.

"Geri has been flooded with offers. The other girls don't like her doing her own thing and the row started from there."

According to newspaper reports, the group had a midweek row in Helsinki, complete with bawling in an airport lounge, sniping on a private jet and flouncing off on touchdown.

A spokesman for the group's record company, Virgin, said: "There has been a falling out between the girls but this is not the first time. Geri is very strong-minded and they have had many, many such arguments in the past.

Press speculation about a rift began when Ginger failed to appear with the rest of the group on the BBC's National Lottery show on Wednesday, apparently because of gastro-enteritis.

It grew to a frenzy when she was missing again from concerts in Oslo on Thursday and Friday.

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